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The Day Time Ended (1979)

PG  |   |  Sci-Fi  |  31 July 1981 (West Germany)
4.2
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Ratings: 4.2/10 from 616 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 21 critic

Aliens visit the solar-powered house of a middle-class family, and the house is suddenly sucked into a time warp that transports it back to prehistoric times.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Grant
...
Richard (as Chris Mitchum)
...
Ana Williams
...
Beth
Natasha Ryan ...
Jenny
Scott C. Kolden ...
Steve (as Scott Kolden)
Roberto Contreras ...
Gas station attendant (as Roberto Contréras)
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Storyline

Aliens visit the solar-powered house of a middle-class family, and the house is suddenly sucked into a time warp that takes it back to prehistoric times. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THEIR LIVES BECAME A LIVING HELL See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 July 1981 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Earth's Final Fury  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jim Davis' final feature film. See more »

Goofs

At various times, the "Vacuum Cleaner of Doom" is partially transparent, revealing items behind it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Grant Williams: [narrating] Hello? Hello? Can you hear me? Can anyone hear me? I don't know where I am. I don't know where I am in time. I don't know what century I'm in. There's a message that must get through if anyone can hear me. When I was out among you, I always believed, as you do, that time exists in a sequential pattern - one day following another; one year after another; each century following the previous one... but it's not like that at all. I can tell you that now, because I know, ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Very Poor Man's "Close Encounters"
22 July 2006 | by (That Parallel Universe Where What I Say Matters) – See all my reviews

I recently returned to this film after having watched it 12 years ago on VHS. (This time, I watched the 4:3 frame DVD included in the Brentwood 4-DVD collection "Time Travelers," which, apparently, is the best of the transfers out there; I've read the standalone transfer isn't as good and contains atrocious artifacts.) Anyway, I remembered originally liking the film for its peppy pacing and its honest intentions. I was pleased to see those elements still intact. The film whipped along a brisk pace, the characters were likable and acted well enough, and the late 1970's "desert house of the future" provides a pretty unique setting.

As is evident by the reviews already listed here on IMDb, it seems you are either a fan of the film or feel compelled to hound it for its technical shortcomings--shortcomings, by the way, which are many. (Let's at least be honest while we temporarily kneel at the alter of director John "Bud" Cardos.) I understand the stop motion prehistoric creatures are animated by none other than icon Dave Allen, and there are precious matte paintings by film artist extraordinaire Jim Danforth, but let's face it. The low budget nature of the flick really shines through (in a bad way) during the effects-heavy scenes—which account for about half the film. As many reviewers have pointed out, "The Day Time Ended" does at times feel like a very-poor-man's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Considering this film was screened 2 years after "Close Encounters," the Spielbergian influences can't be hidden. You've got low-flying, multicolored UFOs whipping down deserted highways that stretch through the mountains. You've got the little child (inevitably kidnapped) who is inexorably drawn to the aliens and their technology, etc. (By the way, if this film reminds anyone of "E.T.," remember you are a few years too soon—that film wouldn't be made for at least another two years after "The Day Time Ended.").

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this film was made on the cusp of the made-for-video revolution (my books say 1979, not 1980), so I'm not certain about its actual theatrical release. The film feels as though it was prepared for a major release—though its short running time just barely makes it full-length. Overall, the production values hint at something larger than later Full Moon-era Richard Band releases (Puppetmaster 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 12) which were clearly made for the video-shelf-small-screen. But like many of Richard Band's releases, the ambidextrous Band does the music himself. His orchestral flourishes really aren't all that bad.

But speaking of bad, something VERY bad happens around the 60-minute mark. The film's plot—what little was established—falls completely to shreds. As the family is attacked by every SPFX artist on the set, the story is, literally, tossed into the vortex. By the end, the family (which has been torn asunder in time and space with much crashing of cymbals and whirling of stars) suddenly and inexplicably reunites at the edge of a crystal city glimmering in the distance. They all sort of shrug their shoulders, hop on their horses, and head to their "new home" (a pretty, futuristic matte painting by none other than Jim Danforth). Problem is, none of the family members seem particularly bothered by any of it. They're not bothered by the fact that their house—indeed their entire world and its civilization—has vanished. Heck, they've got each other, and, who knows, "Maybe this was all meant to happen," as Jim Davis, the family patriarch, says. Yeah, right! In fact, this saccharine reunion takes place so quickly after the family members are separated in the "timespace warp," that the viewer never really gets a chance to worry about what is happening—you end up not caring about their plight, or their new circumstances, at all. Of course, you might say, "What do you expect from a below-B science fiction flick?" The problem is that for the first 60 minutes of the film, the characters are believable, likable, rational folk beset by otherworldly forces, and they react accordingly (most of the time). Unfortunately, those established characters inexplicably evaporate at the end, and the story and characters really fall apart as they mundanely saunter their way into the future. This comes damn, damn close to wrecking the entire film.

Of course, this isn't the first time I've seen John "Bud" Cardos do this kind of thing. Maybe it's his shtick—wrecking a film just during the last few minutes.


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