“I shouldn’t have wasted time talking to you,” says the woman cat burglar, “I should have listened to my mama and never talked to strangers.” Clutch smiles to himself, great minds. “Well, lady,” he says, holding out his hand, “the name is Clutch. Clutch Guthrie. See? Now we’re not strangers.” The cat burglar smirks and takes his hand, “Katherine Lattimore, but I still think my mama would tell me to steer clear of you.” Suddenly they hear a soft cough and they turn to see the Wishmaster waiting impatiently. “If you two are done with your introductions I’d appreciate it if you grant me one wish: hand over the gold,” he says with a sneer. Kat and Clutch look at each other and nod, turning their handshake smoothly into a spinning flying double scissor kick. “Oh no! Not a spinning flying double scissor kick! The only thing that can stop my wishes!” screeches The Wishmaster.
Patrick looks at the last passage and feels like it doesn’t seem exactly right. Has he given The Wishmaster enough backstory for the reader to understand why a spinning flying double scissor kick would be the only logical thing to defeat his wish power? Being a professional writer who writes very professional passages like the one above, these are the types of questions that can take hours to answer. Everything must be tight. He reaches for his eraser but pauses. Does he have time? At this very moment that piece of shit hack Manfred Long is also writing his story. But when he looks at Manfred he’s still deep into his Quickening brought on by his use of the Obsidian Dongle. His page is also curiously blank. Patrick shrugs and grabs the eraser. Now what needs to be modified to get his point across? That’s right! We are doing the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic Eraser. We weren’t quite at the tail end of the Arnold heyday, but we were on the verge. This is part of the chain going through John Snyder. Let’s go!
Jamie swoops down on his hang glider towards the hack jack port. A cyborg flies in to intercept, but Kyle knocks him out of the way and winks his classic Kyle wink. Hack jacking his way like the jack master he is, Jamie enters Party Town, USA… the world where he and Kyle make the rules and are guardians of the universe. That’s right! We are pairing Eraser with Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe starring Jesse Ventura… but also featuring Jim Belushi, star of K-9. Pretty great. Let’s go!
Eraser (1996) – BMeTric: 30.2; Notability: 103
StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 21.2%; Notability: top 0.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 36.6%; Higher BMeT: Barb Wire, Kazaam, Striptease, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Bio-Dome, Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, Ed, The Crow: City of Angels, The Stupids, Hellraiser: Bloodline, Mr. Wrong, Spy Hard, Poison Ivy II, Solo, Jingle All the Way, The Glimmer Man, Eddie, Adrenalin: Fear the Rush, D3: The Mighty Ducks, Maximum Risk, and 33 more; Lower RT: The Dentist, Ed, Big Bully, Adrenalin: Fear the Rush, Ripe, Bio-Dome, Kazaam, Faithful, Mr. Wrong, Spy Hard, Bulletproof, Eye for an Eye, Solo, Celtic Pride, House Arrest, Mrs. Winterbourne, Larger Than Life, Two If by Sea, The Glimmer Man, Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, and 66 more; Notes: I’m pretty surprised this is even as low as a 6.1 on IMDb, I would have thought it would have been mid-6 for sure. That notability is gaudy.
RogerEbert.com – 3.0 stars – It helps to have a short attention span while watching “Eraser,” the new Arnold Schwarzenegger picture. … “Eraser” is more or less what you expect, two hours of mindless nonstop high-tech action, with preposterous situations, a body count in the dozens, and Arnold introducing a new trademark line of dialogue (it’s supposed to be “Trust me,” but I think “You’re luggage” will win on points). Thinking back over the film, I can only praise the director’s restraint in leaving out the canary.
(I’m liking the sound of that. A big dumb Arnold actioner that I’ve somehow ever seen? You know those are an endangered species unfortunately.)
(The trailer not explaining the magic gun while showing the magic bullet-time shots is hilarious. And once they basically bust out the Prodigy techno in the trailer is also incredible.)
Directors – Chuck Russell – (Known For: The Mask; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors; The Scorpion King; The Blob; I Am Wrath; Junglee; BMT: Eraser; Bless the Child; Notes: His directorial efforts are few and far between these days, although he is tapped for three films at the moment the crappy looking Bruce Willis feature seems like the most likely to actually get made by him.)
Writers – Tony Puryear – (BMT: Eraser; Notes: An artist as well, he created the campaign poster for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign which is now hanging in the National Portrait Gallery.)
Walon Green – (Known For: WarGames; Dinosaur; The Wild Bunch; Sorcerer; The Border; The Brink’s Job; The Hi-Lo Country; Morituri; Crusoe; BMT: Solarbabies; RoboCop 2; Eraser; Notes: Wrote and produced a ton of Law & Order over the years. Was nominated for an oscar for The Wild Bunch, and won for his documentary The Hellstrom Chronicle)
Michael S. Chernuchin – (BMT: Eraser; Notes: Wrote and produced a bunch of the Law & Order series, including being nominated for 4 Emmys in connection with the series.)
Actors – Arnold Schwarzenegger – (Known For: Predator; Terminator 2: Judgment Day; Terminator: Dark Fate; Total Recall; The Terminator; True Lies; Conan the Barbarian; Commando; The Expendables; Last Action Hero; The Running Man; Escape Plan; Kindergarten Cop; Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; The Expendables 2; Twins; The Long Goodbye; Iron Mask; The Last Stand; The Rundown; Future BMT: Terminator Genisys; End of Days; Collateral Damage; Junior; BMT: Batman & Robin; The Expendables 3; Red Sonja; Conan the Destroyer; Around the World in 80 Days; Eraser; Raw Deal; Sabotage; Jingle All the Way; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 1983 for Conan the Barbarian; in 1994 for Last Action Hero; in 2000 for End of Days; and in 2001 for The 6th Day; Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor in 1998 for Batman & Robin; in 2001 for The 6th Day; in 2005 for Around the World in 80 Days; in 2015 for The Expendables 3; and in 2021 for Tayna pechati drakona; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for The 6th Day in 2001; Notes: Y’all know Arnold. He’s slated to be in a new Twins film and a new Conan film which is exciting. Mr. Olympia from Austria and one of the biggest blockbuster actors ever.)
Vanessa Williams – (Known For: Hannah Montana: The Movie; Shaft; When Marnie Was There; Bad Hair; Soul Food; The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland; The Man from Earth: Holocene; Dance with Me; The Pick-up Artist; Hoodlum; Delhi Safari; He’s Way More Famous Than You; The Legend of Hallowaiian; My Brother; And Then Came Love; Future BMT: Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man; Johnson Family Vacation; Another You; Light It Up; BMT: Eraser; Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor; Notes: Was the first African American Miss America. Nominated for three Emmys for Ugly Betty, and famously married to NBA star (and sometimes actor) Rick Fox.)
James Caan – (Known For: The Godfather; The Godfather: Part II; Rollerball; Misery; Elf; Dogville; Dick Tracy; Get Smart; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; Queen Bees; El Dorado; Detachment; A Bridge Too Far; Thief; Bottle Rocket; 1941; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2; The Tale of The Princess Kaguya; The Program; Henry’s Crime; Future BMT: Bulletproof; BMT: That’s My Boy; Eraser; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for The Godfather. Apparently he lived in the Playboy mansion in the 70s … which is crazy.)
Budget/Gross – $100,000,000 / Domestic: $101,295,562 (Worldwide: $242,295,562)
(Decent return, although I would have expected more domestically. But apparently this is kind of the last hurrah of the classic Arnold blockbusters, so maybe his power was already fading.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (19/50): Eraser’s shoot-’em-up action might show off some cutting edge weaponry, but its rote story is embarrassingly obsolete.
(Hmmmm, so old news … but what is old is new again these days I imagine. As NBC used to say, if you haven’t seen it it’s new to you!)
Reviewer Highlight: The advanced weaponry and nifty scopes notwithstanding, most of the gunplay is pretty standard-issue, with most of the victims being anonymous targets present just to be picked off. – Todd McCarthy, Variety
Poster – Eraser? I Barely Know Her
(Is it weird that I kinda like this? It’s got that subtle green of a security camera, which gives me Enemy of the State vibes, which I like. It’s kind of artistic and I like the green glow behind the otherwise boring font. I don’t know. This is not nearly as bad as it should be. B)
Tagline(s) – He will erase your past to protect your future. (B+)
(A little strange to use the name of the title in the tagline, but it is effective. Nice cadence and pairing of past-future. I find the use of the word “your” mildly amusing… who? Little ol’ me? Anyway, it’s pretty good.)
Keyword(s) – witness-protection
Top 10: Goodfellas (1990), Heat (1995), The Mule (2018), The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017), Legend (2015), The Incredibles (2004), Bad Boys (1995), Game Night (2018), Donnie Brasco (1997), A History of Violence (2005)
Future BMT: 52.0 Madea’s Witness Protection (2012), 42.0 Domestic Disturbance (2001), 38.3 See Spot Run (2001), 31.5 Bird on a Wire (1990), 28.8 15 Minutes (2001), 24.3 The Family (2013), 14.6 Smokin’ Aces (2006), 10.8 Hiding Out (1987)
BMT: Cobra (1986), Eraser (1996), Raw Deal (1986), Hot Pursuit (2015), Mercury Rising (1998), Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009)
Matches: Smokin’ Aces (2006), The Family (2013), Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003), Eraser (1996), Hit and Run (2012), My Blue Heaven (1990), Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009), Route 666 (2001), Night of the Sicario (2021), F/X (1986), Killshot (2008), See Spot Run (2001), Hide in Plain Sight (1980), Nowhere Land (1998), The Secret Pact (1999)
(Kind of amusing that there really aren’t that many true matches that are “good”. The top 10 have some bangers though. And my god, Domestic Disturbance is something to look forward to.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 15) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Arnold Schwarzenegger is No. 1 billed in Eraser and No. 1 billed in Red Sonja, which also stars Brigitte Nielsen (No. 2 billed) who is in Cobra (No. 2 billed) which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in The Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed) which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (1 + 1) + (2 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 15. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 14.
Notes – The company name “Cyrez” was originally “Cyrex”, but the real-life company Cyrix complained. The movie had been shot, but all dialogue was dubbed and company logos were digitally altered during post-production. In one scene where Kruger and Lee review the files on the disc in Donohue’s office, some of the files have names beginning with CYX, indicating Cyrex.
Arnold Schwarzenegger really did free-fall for about sixty-five feet. He was harnessed into a piece of stunt technology called a descender rig. Directly afterwards, Chuck Russell told Schwarzenegger that there had been something wrong with the camera, and the scene had to be repeated. However, this was immediately revealed to be a prank, as to not upset Schwarzenegger any further.
Director Chuck Russell and producer Arnold Kopelson had a rocky relationship during the entire production. The only reason the film was able to go forward and ultimately be completed was that Arnold Schwarzenegger got along with each man separately, and was able to negotiate schedules and logistics at a point where the two men refused to speak to each other.
Cinematographer Adam Greenberg was personally chosen for the job by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had worked with him on the first two Terminator movies. Schwarzenegger assured the production that if they wanted an experienced, professional cameraman who could capture the action on the film’s hectic schedule that Greenberg was the man for the job.
Arnold Schwarzenegger premiered the film at the Olympic Village in Atlanta, Georgia, during the 1996 Summer Games. The Goo Goo Dolls performed a live concert before the film was shown.
Frank Darabont and William Wisher were brought in mid production to revise the screenplay. Wisher co-wrote The Terminator & Terminator 2 Judgement Day.
The movie was mostly filmed on hand-held cameras, to make the audience feel closer to the action. Adam Greenberg sometimes used up to seven cameras at one time.
John Milius did multiple re-writes as a favor to Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Vanessa Williams performed the song “Where Do We Go From Here”, which is heard during the end credits.
At the premiere, Vanessa Williams walked the red carpet puffing one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature cigars.
The movie has a sequel in the form of a video game, an FMV rail shooter with some adventure elements called Eraser – Turnabout (1996).
Two walk-on parts went for $4,500 each at a Planet Hollywood auction in 1995.
A novelization of the film by Robert Tine was published by Signet on August 29, 1996, the 5 year anniversary of Judgement Day from Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) the day that SKYnet took over the earth.
Awards – Nominee for the Oscar for Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing (Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman, 1997)