Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Time Guardian (1987)

So what do you want to do with your weekend evening? Do you want to go out in your mom's car, shoot down the strip and pick up some easy chicks? Sounds pretty lame. Get drunk with the boys? Where's the fun in that? May I make a suggestion?......

.......VIDEO STORE!!!







The sci-fi section has way too many good ones to choose from, but I came across this little nugget of awesome:




"Time is just about the only thing he won't waste." Oh man, there's going to be wasting! Cool. Check out the laser show on this box art; plenty of fire, and the guy front and center is blowing stuff away while keeping his sunglasses on. The credits say Carrie Fisher is in it, so it must be excellent. WE'RE RENTING THIS ONE!

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The Time Guardian is an Australian film released in 1987, and distributed by MGM. It was directed by Brian Hannant, the director of Mad Max 2 aka The Road Warrior. I'm sorry, did I say he was the director? He was actually the second unit director. I guess he had too much directorial talent to waste on such a piece of dreck as The Road Warrior (please don't bombard me with comments stating the greatness of The Road Warrior as I am being sarcastic). Top billing for this film goes to Australian great Tom Burlinson as "Ballard". That's pronounced Buh-LARD, not BAL-urd. It's Australian, remember? They talk all funny. Nikki Coghill stars as "Annie". At the time, she was best known for various roles on Australian television. She shows her boobs in this movie, so I believe she was trying to get more work. As mentioned, Carrie Fisher also appears in this film, as "Petra". She basically spends the majority of the movie recuperating from an injury, requiring Ms. Fisher to sit down a lot, and lie on her back quite often. Around these parts, we call that "getting paid". There is also a role for Mr. Dean Stockwell, he of "Quantum Leap" fame (as Al the holograph). So, you know the players, let's get to the plot.

As the narrator so helpfully informs us, the year is 4039 and an alien race called the Jen-Diki are attempting to eradicate all human life forms. The Jen-Diki are a clunky cross between Stormtroopers and Terminators. The humans live in a city that can, get this.....travel through time. The humans move with the city through various points in time, with the Jen-Diki following them trying to wipe them out. Ballard and Petra are sent back to the 20th century (1988, specifically) to scout ahead for a landing point, hoping to evade their alien enemies. Upon landing in 1988, Petra is injured, so Ballard must go out into the Australian outback alone to seek help for their mission. He happens upon Annie (Coghill), who believes his tale of time travel quite easily, so one can assume that she has been very lonely in the outback. I mean, she doesn't even say "Get the fuck out of here" or anything like that. Along the way, Ballard and Annie run into some bad cops who only irritate things, rather than foul them up. The Jen-Diki arrive ahead of the city, attempting to keep Ballard from completing his mission of prepping the landing area for the city. Of course, in the end, we get one big laser battle and our heroes must find a way to come out on top.

Nothing about this movie should work. The villains were one-dimensional and barely mobile; the hero was adequate, although his "bad-ass" voice was really more like a growl. There is a whole backstory to this film about being over-budget and re-writes requested by the producers, and the director leaving the film. The film itself has the elements in place for a better movie, and it is charming in it's own goofy way. That closing credits theme song, though. "This Time I Know" by Angry Anderson is a mid-80's power pop ballad that is horribly misplaced here, which of course, makes it awesomely bad. If you're looking at this film from a serious critical perspective, it's a huge dud; with b-movie love in our eyes, I give it **1/2. What can I say? It came *this close* to winning me over based on it's own sheer will power.

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