Summary and Analysis
The Terminator begins with a flashback to Los Angeles in 2028 A.D. The city is completely dark. Machines are shining spotlights and shooting bullets into the rubble. As a slow bulldozer moves through the streets, it crushes the bones of the dead. A written message displays onto the screen; it says:
"The machines rose from the ashes of the nuclear fire. Their war to exterminate mankind had raged for decades, but the final battle would not be fought in the future. It would be fought here, in our present.
The credits roll, and the rest of the story begins; it is 1:52 a.m. on a day in 1984, still in Los Angeles. A man driving a forklift is surrounded by electrical surges. Unsure of the cause, he gets out of the truck and walks away. A moment later, a nude man who is crouching unseen...