In our new blog series, we’re delving a little deeper into what makes some of our favourite movie characters and actors so iconic. From coloured frocks to over-sized props, each month we’ll take a deep dive and look at 5 movie props that made our chosen actors’ careers and character what they are today.
Throughout his career, Arnie’s stance as the ultimate action hero has been solidified with his many iconic action film roles. From working on big-hit action series such as Terminator, Predator, and The Expendables, Arnie made himself a household name.
So let’s dive into the movie career of this beloved action hero and see our top five favourite movie props that have made Arnie’s characters so iconic…
Total Recall is known for is overtly horrifying and unusual special effects, but this one is our favourite – if not weirdest – of Arnie’s list of iconic movie props. With SFX input from Rob Bottin, (who worked on The Thing (1982)) and makeup work by Jeff Dawn (best known for his work on Terminator 2 (1991)), it’s no wonder that such a team were able to pull off this intense and almost hypnotic body morphing shown throughout the film.
For the scene in which Quaid arrives on the Mars mining colony, Arnold Schwarzenegger actually had to wear a “fat suit” for the costume – a first for the actor, we’re sure! Interestingly, there wasn’t just ‘one’ disguise suit but several versions made, each serving as a separate various mechanical malfunction that it suffers from in the film.
With the continuation of the films, the T-800 became an iconic 80’s film character and soon began popping up as a pop culture reference in other places, such as the video game Mortal Kombat, to battle against other pop culture fighters.
Early on during the release of the first film in the Terminator series, the creators realised that Arnold made a better hero than a villain, so they had to create something else that could stand up to the beloved T-800’s beefcake physique. Thus, the T-1000 (played by Robert Patrick) was introduced from the second film in the franchise, facing off against a newly ‘turned’ T-800 Arnie. This evolution of the endoskeleton model went on throughout the series, with new villains such as the Terminatrix and the T-3000 delighting fans in later films.
The shotgun can be first seen as the Terminator searches for John Connor through the arcade, revealing it in epic fashion from a box of roses as a nod to the film’s theme song “You Could Be Mine” by Guns ‘N’ Roses. The gun was altered for the production, removing the stock and giving it an extra-large finger loop in its lever to make it easier to cycle the action with a flourish. Not only that, the sound effect of the gun heard in the film was actually created by two cannons firing. So, it not only looks cool but sounds cool too.
Co-created by prop maker Tim Huchthausen and swordsmith Jody Samson, four hero versions of Conan’s Atlantean and Master blades were made for the production of the film, but they were unbalanced and not suited for stage fighting and so were only used for close-shots.
Arnie prepared for this film by taking weapons and martial arts training, and horse riding lessons. He trained with a 4kg broadsword two hours a day for three months so that he could easily handle the $10,000, now iconic hero Atlantean sword. Director John Millius made sure to tape Arnie’s intense workouts, which, according to Schwarzenegger, were just as intense as training for the bodybuilding competitions that he’d once taken part in.
The Atlantean sword’s inscription reads, “Suffer no guilt, ye who wield this in the name of Crom.”
Conan as both a film and a character has withstood the test of time, with a sequel Conan the Destroyer in 1984 and even had a remake starring Jason Mamoa in 2011. But as with most iconic movies, nothing compares to the original hit film that started Arnold Schwarzenegger down his path to movie stardom!
So, what do you think? Do you agree with our top 5 props that have made Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career so iconic? Let us know in the comments below what you thought, or what you would have included, or join in the discussion about this blog
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