"The Terminator" is a science fiction movie with action and horror elements, done by James Cameron and released in 1984.
Concepted as a trashy B-movie, the original "Terminator" has no stunning effects, and no Hollywood-like structure, being quite the opposite of its more popular sequel, "Termiantor 2: Judgement Day".
Anyway, if you take this movie for what it is, it is amazing.
It has a bit of everything, for both the girls and the guys, and is still perfectly balanced:
There is a lot of action, especially when showing scenes involving the future, or spectacular chase scenes.
But also, we have an excellent love story, and a strong female protagonist that stands brave no matter what happens - bringing in elements Cameron will later use in his masterpieces "Aliens" and "Titanic".
Whenever the Terminator appears, he brings in elements we know from horror flicks and even delivers one scene or the other that remind us of a tamer slasher movie (always keep in mind: a TAMER slasher movie).
As silly as Schwarzenegger can seem, as serious he is in this movie. He almost never talks and when he does, he doesn't overact. An especially great performance is given by Linda Hamilton, who plays the protagonist, Sarah Connor. There is a great soundtrack by Brad Fiedel, that is as varied as the movei itself, featuring both catchy synthesizer melodies and calm piano music.
All of this is hold together by a terrific science fiction story, that nowadays seems as terrifying as back in the time, where the movie was released.
It is as simple as that: "The Terminator" has everything it takes to make an excellent movie, and became a cult classic over the years for good reason.
(SPOILERS may follow:)
I rate this movie 12 - BUT WITH CAUTION!
There are some gory scenes, language and a sex scene.
Let's focus on the violent content:
This list is in chronological order.
The Terminator punches through a man's chest, implyingly ripping his heart out, and we see his bloody fist (the heart is not explicitly seen).
The Terminator shoots two people off-screen in two different scenes.
Scenes of war, including explosions (nothing too strong, no visible gore).
Ginger's dead boyfriend suddenly gets thrown though a glass door, covered in blood (in a jump scene, but it is not too strong).
The Terminator then shoots Ginger, but does not kill her. Then he shoots another time off-screen, killing her.
There is a shoot-out in the nightclub TechNoir, but it is not strong.
The goriest moment: The Terminator cuts his arm open, revealing some bloody flesh, and his metal skeleton.
He then cuts off his badly injured eye. We see him inserting a small knife, but the main impact is implied. He then rips it off, revealing his robot eye behind it. This scene is not as graphic as it sounds, and the eye does not look like an eyeball.
A bloody shootout in a police department with many, many deaths.
The Terminator gets damaged heavily, being covered in cuts revealing his metal skeleton.
The Terminator burns until only his metal skeleton remains, still walking.
Kyle Reese dies, with little blood on his face.
The Terminator skeleton blows up and his body parts continue living. He then gets crushed to "death" by a machine. However, it is not that graphic, since it is only metal.
There is a sex scene between Kyle and Sarah, including breast nudity, but it is not any erotic or pornographic, and is very romantic featuring emotional paino music as background music.
Kyle and the Terminator are seen naked at the beginning. Kyle's privates are never seen, and the Terminator's only in the dark and from a distance, being extremely hard to see.
The language includes 9 uses of the f-word, as well as some milder profanity.
The movie is definitely violent, and if you don't know the movie and only read about how violent it is, you might think that my age restriction is too low, but overall, it is clearly a fictional story, the violence is not realistic and by nowaday's standards is what teens are used to.
Personally, I watched this movie when I was 12 or 13, and I'm pretty sure that viewers of this age can handle this movie with parental guidance.