The Grease 2 – Terminator 2 Connection, Part 2

Both the Cool Rider AND the T-1000 weigh in on my crazy theory of a link between "Grease 2" and "Terminator 2"

A few months ago, I half-jokingly came up with the theory that the T-1000 from Terminator 2 was partly inspired by the Cool Rider from Grease 2My evidence at the time consisted of the visual similarities between the Cool Rider and the T-1000 in his motorcycle cop stage: they’re both wearing similar headgear and reflective eyewear, and they both have scenes where they appear to be frosted and surrounded by billowing clouds of gas.

Exhibit A:


Exhibit B:


At the time I posted this, I was pretty sure this was just an odd visual coincidence, but I couldn’t quite let go of the small possibility that it was something more than that. So I enlisted our readers in a combined campaign of research and outreach to members of the Terminator 2 production team to get to the bottom of this.

Gary Davis, stunt coordinator for "Grease 2" and second unit director for "Terminator 2."

Gary Davis, stunt coordinator for “Grease 2” and second unit director for “Terminator 2.”

The first tip exceeded even my wildest expectations. Reader Jamas Enright discovered that the stunt motorcyclist for Grease 2, Gary Davis, was credited on IMDB as stunt coordinator on Terminator 2. 

Holy crap.

At this moment, I let myself believe that this might actually be something more than a coincidence. I was even tempted to let this odd discovery be the end of this investigation and leave it on an ambiguous yet hopeful note. But then Belinkie managed to find contact information for Gary Davis. I knew I had no choice but to ask the Cool Rider himself.

I sent a message through a website’s contact form and braced myself for the reply. About a week later, it showed up in the from of a comment on the original post. My heart began to race. Would he validate my theory? Would we share in a great moment of discovery of Terminator (and Grease) Lore? Or would he dismantle my theory and dash my hopes?

Gary Davis on Nov 20th, 2012:

Well Hello Lee,

Yes it is true that I was the stunt double for Maxwell in Grease 2, and the Stunt coordinator and Director of 2nd unit on T2, but to the best of my knowledge, there was no planned similar character traits. First of all James Cameron is, in my opinion, the most creative and forward seeing director ever. He was easy for me to serve under because he was very particular about what he wanted to see in my footage. I was very proud of my footage, because it cut so well with his. He chose the look, and without any influence I’m sure.

Grease 2, which we did something like 10 years earlier, was just good old fashion fun. I got to design with Jim Arnett a sort of motorcycle ballet outside the bowling alley to “Who’s That Guy”. We blasted the music at every practice and rehearsal. It was great fun to get bikes to crash on ‘down beats’ etc. I have a great poster that Pat Birch, our Director, signed and wrote “To the original Cool Rider.” It hangs proudly in my motorcycle museum. On a side note, we didn’t use a stunt double for Michelle Pfeiffer on the bike with me.She sat behind me, then I lifted her around to where she straddled me, and then we wheelie’d away. She was wonderful the whole time.

Good Luck Lee,

Gary Davis

My first reaction was one of disappointment. Gary Davis, the crucial link between Grease 2 and Terminator 2, denied that there was any connection between the Cool Rider and the T-1000. There goes the theory. There goes the dream.

And yet.

My second reaction was one of stubborn defiance. Irrational defiance. Gary Davis may have said that James Cameron “chose the look, and without any influence,” but James Cameron didn’t say that. Gary Davis may have drastically decreased the chances that the G2-T2 connection was anything more than a coincidence, but there was only person who could definitively disprove the connection. James Cameron, the King of the World himself.

Unfortunately, this and other outreach attempts on Twitter went unanswered. Months passed, and the G2-T2 quest gave way to more pressing priorities.

Recently, though, I noticed that another relevant member of the Terminator 2 production was active on Twitter, and far more likely to interact with fans than the Big JC: Robert Patrick, the actor who played the T-1000.

I asked him to weigh in on the theory. This was his response:

At this point, the Cool Rider (or at least his stunt double) and the T-1000 have both denied any connection between Grease 2 and Terminator 2. And at this point, any sane, rational observer would agree and say that the connection is just coincidence. I am not a sane, rational observer, though, and I still haven’t completely given up on the idea that James Cameron actually did take some inspiration for the T-1000 from Grease 2 and that he never let this on to either Gary Davis or Robert Patrick.

There is no strange obsession but what we make for ourselves. I’m still trying to reach James Cameron on Twitter…

…and I’m also trying to reach Arnold Schwarzenegger, naturally…

…but I’d love to hear any other ideas for reaching James Cameron and getting him to put this matter to rest.

So that I can move on with my life, or at least find something else about Terminator to obsess over!