As The Terminator (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) Arnold Schwarzenegger is perfect casting as a huge deadly cyborg who has been transported from the future (a bleak "War of the Worlds" landscape) to stalk his unlikely prey, a scatterbrained waitress (Linda Hamilton), who just happens to be the key to the survival of future generations. The Terminator is sleek, fast and ingenious but ultimately empty in its extreme violence.
Even though Marilyn: The Untold Story (Channel 11 Monday at 8 p.m.) is a standard TV movie biography of a Hollywood legend, it nevertheless packs a wallop, thanks to writer Dalene Young's insightful characterization of Marilyn Monroe and to Catherine Hicks' astonishingly persuasive portrayal of the tragic sex symbol. This 1980 TV production launches a week of some of Monroe's best films on Channel 11's 8 p.m. movie slot. They are Niagara (Tuesday), The Seven Year Itch (Wednesday), The Misfits (Thursday) and Some Like It Hot (Friday).
Yor, the Hunter from the Future (Channel 13 Monday at 8 p.m.) is a post-atomic holocaust potboiler that plays like "One Million B.C." In the title role, husky Reb Brown battles the usual plaster dinosaurs and Neanderthal types, survives ordeals by fire and flood and pursues fair maidens. Dubbed dialogue just makes it funnier.
Assault and Matrimony (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.) is a new TV movie starring Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker as a married couple plotting each other's murders.
Proud Men (ABC Thursday at 9 p.m.) is a new TV movie in which Charlton Heston plays a dying cattle rancher and World War II veteran who is reunited with his expatriate son (Peter Strauss) who deserted in Vietnam 15 years before.
Stanley Kramer's The Domino Principle (Channel 13 Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 10 p.m.) is a murky, occasionally diverting thriller in which convict Gene Hackman is offered his freedom and a new identity when he agrees to become a political assassin for a mysterious organization. The film touches upon the paranoia of our times and deals with those areas of undercover activity where the distinction between legality and criminality becomes impossible to ascertain. Candice Bergen and Richard Widmark co-star.
Never Cry Wolf (Channel 5 Saturday at 6 p.m.), Carroll Ballard's stunningly seductive film of Farley Mowat's autobiographical story of a young biologist sent on his own to study Arctic wolves, stars Charles Martin Smith, who's dumped unceremoniously in the middle of frozen God knows where. Such is the evocative power of this film that Smith changes before our very eyes from an amiable Everyman to a man intimately attuned to this alien world. Subtle and complex, the film is part saga, part preservationist's meditation.
One of Brian De Palma's lesser efforts, the flashy, credibility-defying Blow Out (Channel 9 Saturday at 8 p.m.) stars John Travolta as a sound-effects man who accidentally records a car accident that turns out to be an assassination.
Selected evening cable fare: Bronco Billy (HBO and Z Sunday at 7); To Forget Venice (Bravo Sunday at 8:30); The Turning Point (Showtime Monday at 6); Reds (SelecTV Monday at 7); Night After Night (Z Monday at 7:30); Only When I Laugh (Cinemax Monday at 8); Men (Bravo Monday at 10); Desert Bloom (Cinemax Tuesday at 6); Dreamchild (Z Tuesday at 6:30, SelecTV Thursday at 9); Goin' to Town (Z Tuesday at 7:30); The Dresser (Movie Channel Tuesday at 9); Mishima (SelecTV Tuesday at 9); The Europeans (Bravo Wednesday at 7); Roseland (Bravo Wednesday at 8:30); Burn (Z Wednesday at 9); An Almost Perfect Affair (Lifetime Thursday at 7); Baby Doll (Z Thursday at 7); The Godfather (Cinemax Thursday at 8); The Courtesans of Bombay (Bravo Thursday at 9); The Godfather, Part II (Cinemax Friday at 8); Shakespeare Wallah (Bravo Friday at 8:30); The Name of the Rose (Z Friday at 9, HBO Saturday at 9:30); Obsession (HBO Saturday at 6); Stand By Me (HBO Saturday at 8); My Beautiful Laundrette (Z Saturday at 8); Blue Velvet (Movie Channel Saturday at 9).