Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Day Time Ended (1979)

Note:  This is a review that I'm reposting from my Epinions account.

WARNING:  I’m going to give away major details, including the ending.  If you don’t like spoilers, now would be a good time to stop reading.

There are times when I realize that I have no one to blame but myself.  I blame myself for sitting through this entire movie.  You may want to say to me, “I know you‘re going to rag on this movie, but you have to keep in mind that it was made in 1979.”  I was born in 1976 and somehow, I remember the movies of my childhood being better than this.  Even the movies I hated were better than this.  Even the movies made by people that were smoking something were better than this.  I found this movie through; the guy that runs the site gave it the next-to-worst rating.  That’s how bad it is.

I know it’s odd for me to comment on a movie before I describe it, so let me start in on what passes for a plot.  A family is moving into a house that’s run on solar power.  They built it out in the middle of nowhere, but that doesn’t stop someone from trashing their living room.  (The grandfather blames it on biker hooligans or something.)

It doesn’t take long for strange things to start happening.  Light switches don’t work.  Time passes differently on different parts of the property.  The young girl starts talking to a glowing green pyramid.  That sort of stuff.  Oh, and there are these weird little Dustbuster-like spaceships that start attacking the family.  (Anyone around when this movie was released should know what a Dustbuster is.  The rest of you can look it up on that newfangled Wikipedia.)

As if that weren’t bad enough, the family gets thrown around in time, visiting dinosaurs and stuff.  The family gets split up, but they are reunited later in the movie.  It ends with the family finding some sort of sparkling city of the future, where the family knows that they were destined to live.  Everyone presumably lives happily ever after.

Don’t get me wrong.  The concept could work.  You’d just need a coherent script and some actors that are really in to the whole movie.  Add some decent special effects and you could have something.  Instead, it looks like several scripts were merged into one haphazardly.  Once they found a cheap set to rent, they assembled some cast and crew that had nothing better to do one weekend.

The ending is also kind of lame.  It’s like, “Ok.  It’s all over now!  So glad we’re all safe.”  It’s all buildup and no real climax.  I could see this being the setup for a TV series akin to Buck Rogers where the family has to get used to the future.  Instead, it just ends.  This wreaks of low budget.  It’s like someone had some money left over from another movie and decided to make this.  On the plus side, it only runs for 80 minutes.  Any longer, and you’d start to think that this was some sort of cruel experiment or something.  (“Twenty bucks says the audience can watch five more minutes.”)

If you see this on TV, I’d skip it.  If you’re feeling generous, maybe give it until the next commercial break.  Definitely don’t waste money on this.  The only reason I got it was that I could get it through NetFlix.  (In retrospect, I’m not sure why I gave it priority overt the other 200+ movies I have in my queue.)  This is a one-star movie.

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