I vote Spinal Tap, so it can try to survive Terminator. I first saw it around age 13 while flipping tv channels, uncensored on PBS, during the discussion of knocking over Stonehenge. By the puppet show marquee I was thinking, "This can't be real!" The perfect viewing experience - well done, PBS
The Stonehenge scene alone has my vote.
Totally depends on the rules. If we're playing "time machine" rules, meaning the defeated movie never existed and all its progeny are gone forever too, then we've got to keep Terminator. It's pretty hard to conceive of a media landscape without time-traveling Viennese deathbots, and where the phrase "I'll be back" isn't synonymous with California politics.
BUT - I ran my reel-to-reel back and double-checked the transcripts from your last show... and we're definitely going with "bonfire" rules, where all copies of the loser are shredded and torched, but no one messes with history. With legacy-preservation out the window, we can just compare the movies mano a mano. James Cameron gave pop culture a big shot in the arm with his very cool deathbot flick, but let's be real: it's a sexed-up B movie. It's got great overall vision (and amazing effects), but it's a little rough. Michael Biehn and Linda Hamilton aren't exactly Bogart and Bergman, here, and the dialog ain't Tenessee Williams either.
Spinal Tap? It didn't exactly revolutionize cinema - but damn is it ever an original, well-made movie, and it's so, so funny. The leads are unreal in their command of this stuff: whip smart, lightning in a bottle improv; hilarious (and believable) quirks, affectations and mannerisms; straight faces through unexpected scenes that most actors could never get through without losing it.
The bigger the cushion, the sweeter the cushion. The looser the waistband, the deeper the quicksand. Spinal Tap wins and takes an encore.
The Terminator is a better movie than This is Spinal Tap.
In addition, Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.
I love The Terminator, but it's just another in a long line of drummers compared to Marty DiBergi's masterpiece.
"It's such a fine line between stupid, and uh..."
"Yeah, and clever."
Both are great and some of the best of their genre. So since it's a toss up I'm going to go with the one that isn't a comedy.
I love both these films.
But Terminator has not aged well. It struggles from one haircut and set of shoulder pads to the next with its own 1984itude. Knowing that T2 survives the death match kind of seals it. I'd pick T2 over its fading ancestor.
Spinal Tap on the other hand, still makes me laugh. It's age is actually a part of its identity that only enriches the movie. See also: the (25th?) Anniversary commentary which reinvents the film with Guest, McKean and Shearer all in character as Tap raging about the unfair treatment they received at the hands of Marty DiBergi. Fake music news!
Does This is Spinal Tap feature Arnold Schwarzenegger smoking cops with an assault rifle and a shotgun? No, it doesn't - The Terminator wins.
And while I doubt you'll read my profane ramblings on the podcast, if you choose to for whatever reason, I'm from El Monte, CA.
The humorless drones are putting Terminator over Spinal Tap?!?! Obviously, Skynet has hacked the new Filmspotting site. "I'll be back" is iconic, but it's not in the same pantheon as "You can't really dust for vomit" ... or "These go to 11" ... or "None more black" ... or "Lick My Love Pump" ... or "That's just nitpicking, isn't it?" ... or Stonehenge ... or "Shit sandwich" ... or 37,000 other quotes, moments, and sequences in TIST.
POSSIBLE RESPONSE TO TERMINATOR'S DEATH MATCH VICTORY OVER SPINAL TAP:
PLEASE COME BACK LATER
FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE
**FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE**
Oy. Just when you think madness is over this little gem pops up. Madness dammit!