Sunday, March 6, 2011

Not on DVD Week: Time Walker (1982)

Like many, "Mystery Science Theater 3000" played an integral part of my teen years and beyond. A show about a man who, along with two robots, must sit through and rip apart the cheesiest and often times worst B-Movie garbage imaginable, MST3K helped shape my sense of humor and in some cases, what B-Movies I should and shouldn't bother with. There are of course, conundrums to this: 1.) That any guy could immediately think they are as bright as the creators when it comes to ripping on movies, and 2.) When you happen to come across a movie the guys watched without them. Well, that's what happened to me when I saw Tom Kennedy's 1982 alien/mummy hybrid flick "Time Walker" (shown on the show as "Being From Another World") for Not on DVD Week. The things I do sometimes...

Prof. Douglas McCadden (Ben Murphy) has unveiled a special something at a college campus: a 3'000 year old mummy found in King Tut's tomb. However, due to x-rays and student technician Peter Sharpe (Ken Brophy) stealing the mummy's crystals, the mummy awakens and causes murderous havoc to get them back, alien fungus spreading be damned? "Alien fungus" you say? Well, this mummy isn't of human origin.

Though sporting a far fetched but amusing and original premise and a sequence in an elevator that's kinda neat, "Time Walker" should have been called "Sleep Walker", because it's so bad and dull. The acting from many B-Movie vets is uninspired, especially Murphy. The actor had success on the TV show "Alias Smith and Jones", but you can tell watching this why he wasn't that successful in the movie world. Even "Return of the Living Dead" actor James Karen can't do anything worth a damn here. It also doesn't help that, while the film cost at least $750,000 to make, most of the budget seems to have been centered on effects work that looks dated even by the standards of the time (the big reveal at the end is laughable) and an overabundance on fog machine.

Then there's the script. Not only is all of the dialogue given to the actors bad, but it doesn't seem to know what kind of movie it is. It tries to be a mix of things-alien monster movie, mummy flick, wacky college comedy, killer on the loose movie, etc.-but it suffers from this, becoming a case of putting too many eggs in one basket. The whole thing-no matter if there's brief moments of things like female nudity-isn't worth watching whatsoever, unless Joel and the Bots are tearing it to shreds.

As of now, "Time Walker" is unavailable on DVD. I could see someone like Troma or Code Red giving it a DVD release, but the most likely one is making it on one of those budget DVD packs with shitty public domain fodder.

Rating: 2/10

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