So I guess it’s time to acknowledge that the wheels have come off the Arnold Schwarzenegger bus. I was all set to write a post about the irresistible attraction of literally the world’s biggest alpha male. But then pictures surfaced, and pundits began discussing the impact of steroids on libido, and Arnold’s raging insecurities, and character flaws uncovered by opposition research. With the Internet awash in prurience, I was inspired by an article that decided to remember happier times – a recap of the Top 5 Arnold movies. I thought I could make my own contribution with an analysis of the Top 3 muscle moments in Arnold’s movie career. So without further ado (and not a moment too soon):
#3: The handshake in Predator
This scene was actually a 2-for-1, with Rocky legend Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed) on the other end of that monster grip. Arnold has said that he always filmed his muscle scenes first on any project because maintaining his conditioning on set was so difficult. I imagine they shot this scene on day one.
#2: Shirt-ripping from Twins
The movie Twins was full of gratuitous disrobing by Arnold. But 20+ inch arms remain an impressive thing regardless of the marketing. I remember thinking at age 15 that it was pretty cool to be able to tear apart the sleeve of your shirt by flexing your bicep – and I still do today.
#1: Opening scene of The Terminator
Only organic material can travel through time, so Arnold always appears in his birthday suit at the beginning of the Terminator films. In 1984, when the first Terminator was released, Schwarzenegger had just embarked on his film career and was only four years removed from his 1980 Mr. Olympia title. He was still able to show off his perfect v-taper, with his massive traps, shoulders and lats. Radio personality Howard Stern once asked Arnold on his show if shooting these opening scenes ever bothered him, with the full production crew watching, and given the rumors about the “undesirable” effects of long term steroid use. In response, the Terminator said simply: “There is nothing small on Arnold Schwarzenegger.”