Sunday, December 20, 2015

THE DAY TIME ENDED (1979)




Running time: 79 minutes
Rated PG

Directed by: John "Bud" Cardos - previous credits include Kingdom of the Spiders and The Dark.

Starring:

Jim Davis as "Grant" - previous credits include Dracula vs. Frankenstein.
Chris Mitchum as "Richard" - previous credits include Chinese Commandos and American Commandos.
Dorothy Malone as "Ana" - previous credits include The Being.
Marcy Lafferty as "Beth" - previous credits include Kingdom of the Spiders and Airplane II: The Sequel.

The Day Time Ended begins with narration from Grant, who is played by Jim Davis. The narration tells us that he doesn't know where he is or what time he is in. Well, Grant, now you know exactly how we all feel after seeing this movie unfold. Did I say unfold? I shouldn't say that because I don't know what the hell just happened. 

Grant and Richard are picking up their family at the airport, having just spent several months in the desert completing construction of their new solar-powered home. Damn hippies! Family include Grant's wife Ana (Malone), their son Steve (Scott Kolden), their daughter Beth (Lafferty) who is also Richard's wife, and little Jenny (Natasha Ryan), Richard and Beth's daughter. Unbeknownst to any of them, during the night before, the home was visited by some strange lights. Jenny immediately takes a liking to the strange green-glowing triangular-shaped contraption behind the stable, so attached that she gives it a hug. This is why kids always take candy from strangers, because they're gullible. She tries to explain to her family what she saw, but of course they chalk it up to a child's imagination plus the damn thing has disappeared anyway, leaving behind a little glowing miniature that Jenny stuffs in her pocket. Richard has to say goodbye to the family as he leaves on business. 

Later that night, strange things start happening. Little green dancing men visit Jenny, along with a menacing looking flying Dirt Devil. Grant and Ana see a UFO in the night sky but they can't be too concerned with that because they just head on back to the kitchen for a glass of milk. After what appears to be an earthquake shakes them up a little more, they get a sense of creepiness and decide to leave. That's when the evil flying Dirt Devil reappears, stopping their bullets in mid-air and disintegrating them while burning holes through bedroom doors. Large monsters appear outside and start fighting one another. The special effects for the creatures are out of the Ray Harryhausen book but nowhere near as credible. Still, cheesy special effects are what you look for in this film so I had no issue with this. 

Richard is worried when he can't make phone contact with the house and decides to head back, all the while listening to the radio about strange phenomena from the sky. He runs off the road when two UFO's scare the crap out of him, then decides he needs to walk back.....in the desert.....miles from home. Meanwhile, little Jenny and her mom disappear into some vortex prompting Grant to proclaim: "You know what this is, don't you Steve? It's a time-space warp." Quote of the year, Grant. Eventually, things settle down and families are happily reunited. Yet they end up somewhere else, in a time they know not when and they are so quick to accept their fate, like where they end up is immediately infinitely better than where they were. Lesson: Solar-powered homes are a detriment to one's mental health. TEAR THEM ALL DOWN!!

So obviously, dear reader, the plot to this film made little sense. At no time did I know what was going on and the reason behind it. There was no explanation provided other than Grant letting us know he thought it was a time-space warp. I'm all for plots with holes in it, but this plot had a hole burned in it bigger than what the evil flying Dirt Devil created in that bedroom door. Speaking of which, we still don't know what that thing was, or who the little dancing green man was. The special effects were bad, yes; that was one of the few endearing things about this film. The acting and dialogue was also charmingly poor. Chris Mitchum, as we all know, would go on to bigger and better b-movies (The Executioner Part II, anyone?). However, that plot!! Oy!

I can't fully recommend this one, unless you want to smoke some desert peyote and try and see if you can make sense out of this. Score: 2/5.




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