At the end of the car chase scene in The Terminator, the titular villain makes an escape and isn't seen until later in the film.

  • Presumably the terminator either hides under the police car or rapidly flees the area. Jun 3, 2019 at 1:28
  • Are you talking about when he crashes the car into the station? A scene where he's hit by the car? Can you provide a clip?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jun 3, 2019 at 2:14
  • I remember the scene. It's when Reese and Sarah are surrounded by cop cars in the parking garage after being chased by the terminator, who was driving a cop car, and the terminator had crashed into a wall. When they look at the crashed car, he is gone.
    – the guest
    Jun 3, 2019 at 11:30
  • the: Yes, it was that scene. I actually remember looking at that scene prior to this last time that I had seen The Terminator, which was just yesterday, and found that in slow motion, you can actually see the cyborg jerk back when the car hits the wall. It was a bit weird that it was able to disappear that fast because throughout the whole movie, it seemed very susceptible to terminator like concussions, where it would have to pause after a huge blow, either from a gun shot, the gas truck blowing up, etc. Jun 3, 2019 at 11:33
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1 Answer 1


Watching that scene, there's 35 seconds between when he hits the wall and when anyone looks over to see he's gone. In that time, he could have exited the passenger door and casually walked away.

Presumably he was damaged, which would explain why he didn't immediately continue the attack. But he wasn't stunned or anything. He spends 3 seconds assessing the situation and decides to temporarily flee, then he climbs out the door facing away from everyone and takes a hike.

And there's another overturned car just past the police car, and darkness not far beyond. Fleeing without being noticed would have been pretty simple.

Update: He was damaged, yes. I think the next scene after this is where he's in a motel room repairing his face (I could be misremembering). Heck, if he hadn't been damaged, there's no reason he wouldn't have immediately pressed the attack. But he wasn't knocked unconscious like a human might have been. He had plenty of time to assess the situation and decide he needed to flee, and step out the passenger-side door.

The car he hit just before the crash was overturned there, so that'd provide cover for the first dozen feet or so of fleeing. After that, as you can see near the end of the scene, the street-lights end and it gets dark. Can't see exactly where, but he might have had only a few feet to go to reach darkness. And he was wearing dark clothing.

After reaching darkness, there's a street to flee on.

And if you watch the scene, every single cop was focused on the couple in the car, on the guy holding a shotgun. It's easier to flee if nobody's looking at you.

  • That was my though, The policeman looks down the alley and it's pretty dark. The Terminator only needed to make it about twenty feet and it would be entirely invisible to the naked eye in shadow
    – Valorum
    Jun 4, 2019 at 21:50
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    For the record, the party line is that he was most certainly stunned and took considerable damage; scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/106541/…
    – Valorum
    Jun 4, 2019 at 21:51
  • User: I reached out to you because you answered my previous question. My other question was another I asked yesterday and members of this site thought it as being duplicate. The difference in my other question is, from what we know, HOW does he get away without being noticed? For instance, we see the cop looking to the right of the police car. There is NOTHING there, but a wall (no gaps, etc.). Being damaged, the T-800 would have spent some time just trying to erect itself and then make a getaway. We saw this many times when he was shot or had taken a blow off a motorcycle. Jun 16, 2019 at 13:32
  • Here is the most previous question: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/214540/… Jun 16, 2019 at 13:37

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