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Anyone who watches Time Guardian expecting it to be like Star Wars because of Carrie Fisher's presence will be disappointed. Not a totally awful film, but the plot is hard to follow and is full of holes, and some of the costumes seem ridiculous. Burlinson and Fisher travel back in time to make sure the City (which can travel through time and space) can land in the late 20th century in the outback of Australia. There, they battle both the Jen Diki (their enemies from the future) and some corrupt outback cops. The movie isn't completely bad, as there are some good battle segments, great footage of the Australian Outback, and fans of Carrie Fisher get to see her in a few good scenes. Overall, however, this is one of those films that spent too much on special effects and not enough on developing the story. It's not a hopeless film, but you quickly forget it after it's over.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Starring Carrie Fisher and Dean Stockwell (more or less, because their
scenes look as if they were all filmed in one day). It's kind of a
cross between 'Terminator' and 'Star Wars'. It's an Australian movie,
and somewhere in between the male lead that walks around without his
shirt on, or the female who decides to go swimming (without her top on
and stuff) our plot continues.
The Guy and Carrie, were sent to the past to stop something that wouldn't have happened if they didn't go into the past, I think. To look like they are from the times (he, he) Carrie wears a metallic wonder bra and the Guy wear the same, only a flatter one. They are given proper clothing by Australian natives who know more about what's happening then us.
Meanwhile, Carrie trades an arm band with the REAL female lead, and basically tells her that she should go swimming with the male lead. Which she does, luckily this scene is cut short, as in THE FUTURE, a clone voiced Darth Vader/Robot has a grimy worm stuck up his nose, and yells bloody hell at everyone before going into the past.
Guy and Gal, are mistaken for the death of a trucker killed by robots, the sheriff beats Guy and Gal up and accidentally makes the arm band set off a beeper that makes the robots look around like it was a dog whistle.
Then Dean is very sad, as we cut to our hero who even though is trained by a kung fu master, beats up the blameless Maybury-like sheriff while his entire town blows up. Our hero gleefully yells his "I told you so" speech to the Sheriff for not understanding that Guy was a warrior from the future.
Everyone from the future comes to 1988 and lots of booms go off.
The major sad part of the movie is when Carrie Fisher sacrifices herself by jumping on the half human/half robot thing with crab arms for no reason at all, and gets the jam squeezed out of her.
Then Dean is confused, and speaks some, then smiles, while our hero guy does something to his arms in the space time continuum, and slowly walks towards the trouble as hundreds more people are flung to their deaths by random explosions. He shoots the robots, they disappear, he and the female lead go to the future and crowd the entire screen with an extra big close up of a kiss, as he tries to swallow her entire face.
Tom Burlinson and Carrie Fisher are sent back in time from the 41st century
to late 20th century Australia to thwart their cyborg enemies the Jen
Diki-who are costumed like Vikings and have major nasal congestion problems
into the bargain.Fisher is sidelined early through injury and Burlinson's
main ally becomes a fetching young geologist with whom he develops a
Bags of noisy action but the budget restrictions are all too evident and
Stateside stars Fisher and Stockwell have essentially dispensable roles
too little to do
Only really suitable for die hard science fiction nuts
Sci-fi junkies may derive some entertainment out of the silly time
killer "The Time Guardian". It's often incoherent, and is of no real
substance, but it's amusing often enough, and just clunky enough, to
make it adequately diverting for those with a fondness for cheese.
Those intrigued by the presence of Carrie Fisher ("Star Wars" episodes
IV to VI) and Dean Stockwell ('Quantum Leap') may be rather
disappointed with the overall results, but if one isn't too demanding,
it may put a smile on their faces. The special effects, sets, music,
acting, and action sequences are mostly passable.
It takes place in the Earth of the 41st century when humans are overwhelmed by a new adversary: half organic, half machine villains called Jendiki. Fortunately, some of the humans inhabit an entire city that has the ability to travel through time. The city transports itself back to the Australia of the 1980s in an attempt to change the future, with troopers Ballard (a tough, snarling Tom Burlinson ("Flesh + Blood")) and Petra (Fisher) sent ahead as scouts to ensure that the spot chosen for landing will be safe. Of course, the Jendiki are hot on their trail, and Ballard and Petra have to deal with them as well as with crooked local cops. One good thing for Ballard is that he meets perky young Annie, played by the insanely gorgeous Nikki Coghill of the Aussie TV series 'Neighbours'.
As directed by "Mad Max 2" co-writer Brian Hannant, "The Time Guardian" can't boast any truly memorable set pieces, but it's an easy enough to take bit of fluff. Fisher does what she can with a spunky role, but Stockwell is utterly wasted in his part, the "boss" of the city. Burlinson would have fared better had he played his part with a little more humour. But Coghill is quite charming, and goes topless for a sexy swimming scene. Peter Merrill chews up the scenery as head bad guy Zuryk.
This movie may be a trifle in the end, but it does wrap itself up fairly quickly, clocking in at a brief 88 minutes. Overall it's a fair bit of fun.
Six out of 10.
John Baxter is an absolutely brilliant short story writer and apparently a life-long student of films, so I was very interested to see what his only screenplay was like. I simply could not believe that he came up with such a piece of total crap. There is nothing to recommend in this film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
4039. The human race nears extinction while attempting to elude bestial subhuman robotic creatures hell bent on mankind's destruction. An entire city travels through time and goes back to the past in the 1980's in order to not only change the future forever, but also save the fate of the entire human race as well. Director Brian Hennant, who also co-wrote the silly script by John Baxter, relates the entertainingly dippy story at a steady pace, treats the inane premise with hilariously misguided seriousness, and stages the pitched laser gun battles with reasonable aplomb. The capable cast struggle gamely with the asinine material: Tom Burlinson cuts an impressively rugged figure as hard-nosed take-charge hero Ballard, the insanely cute Nikki Coghill makes a sweet and favorable impression as spunky geologist Annie Lassiter (as a significant bonus, Coghill goes braless quite often, wears a skimpy tank top and panties in one scene, and even briefly bares her tasty small breasts for a gratuitous skinny-dipping sequence), Peter Merrill snarls it up with lip-licking gusto as evil head cyborg Zuryk, and Thye Liew Wan contributes an engaging turn as wise old Asian dude Sun-Wah. Moreover, there are sturdy (if rather minor) supporting contributions from Carrie Fisher as the sharp-tongued Petra and Dean Stockwell as the huffy Boss. The tacky (not so) special effects, laughable dialogue, and choice crummy 80's soft-rock ending credits theme song all greatly enhance this flick's considerable campy'n'chintzy charm. A real kitschy hoot.
If this film didn't end Dean Stockwell's and Carrie Fisher's careers, nothing will. The narrative sequence often contradicts itself, and the plot line gets lost in the stylistic excesses of the direction. Production qualities are laughably amateurish (especially the JenDiki sequences), and some of the most violent scenes serve no structural purpose (do not advance the plot). A notably embarrassing aspect is the star billing given to Dean Stockwell, who obviously phoned in his performance one afternoon. Before seeing this film, I had thought that all major actors had agents who steer them away from career-killing disasters. Because this film is laughably bad, it might be recommended as a satirical send-up of the sci-fi genre, unintentional spoof though it may be.
While "The Time Guardian" is never actively bad enough to annoy or anger viewers, more likely than not viewers will be disappointed with it. The biggest fault is with the script. For one thing, while the story (sort of) makes sense in the beginning, by the end of the movie viewers will be downright confused with the many details that were vague or necessary but simply not there at all. Also, the big stars of the movie, Dean Stockwell and Carrie Fisher, are wasted in minor roles that have no real impact to the rest of the movie. And the major characters aren't that interesting or fleshed out well. But the script is not the only thing to blame. The movie is directed in a manner that sorely lacks urgency and excitement. As it is, the movie just plods along in a casual manner. Is there anything of merit in the movie? Well, for a movie that cost just a fraction of a major Hollywood movie, the sets, costumes, and assorted special effects do look pretty good. But a pretty look does little when you don't care about the characters or story.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'd give it a 4 out of 10, not only because its sci-fi, and made in Australia. But is has a topless scene of Nikki Coghill. Good movies came out in the 80's like Mad Max with Mel Gibson, Turkey Shoot with Lynda Stoner. Time Guardian and these classics came from an era when VCR's were the fashion of the household and watching those science fiction movies, went well with popcorn and beer. This movie was made a number of years after Tom Burlinson's big motion picture role in the movie Phar Lap. I suppose back then production companies in Australia were trying to capitalize on the premise of making loads of money with this new found genre of films.
It has been said that there is a world of difference between a bad
movie and a boring movie. The bad movie be enjoyed for what it is, and
the further it misses it's intended mark, the more likely it is to
become a cult hit. The boring movie is destined for the rubbish bin of
film history, to not rate a second thought from the collective
This movie is not boring, but it is very very bad. And that is gold for the lovers of the kitch, seekers of the worst, those who appreciate the fun to had from the truly bad. This movie is FUN.
You'll continually ask yourself, "What were Carrie Fisher and Dean Stockwell thinking!!", "What overacting school did Tom Burlingson go to, and why is he always angry?", "Where can I buy those costumes?", "What exactly the hell did they spend their $8 million dollar budget on?" Every Australian lover of "unique" film needs to buy a copy of this movie. They then need to show it to at least 10 friends. This NEEDS to be a cult Aussie movie.
In the end this movie is a steamer. But I'll probably watch it many more times than my "Citizen Kane", "Apocolypse Now" or "Casablanca" DVDs.
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