Time Walker (1982)
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Sluggishly paced, woodenly acted, poorly written, and flatly directed, "Time Walker" follows the basic pattern of many other then fashionable academia-set kill-the-collegians slash'n'gash movies. Boasting plenty of classically cruddy dialogue ("Listen you pervert -- if you don't get out of here I'll kick your bandaged butt!"), this wonderfully wretched stinker starts out pretty silly and becomes more increasingly ridiculous as it goes along, reaching an uproarious apex of all-out stultifying stupidity during its absurdly overwrought and sentimental conclusion. The cast reads like a veritable who's who of 80's exploitation cinema: "Motel Hell" 's Nina Axelrod, "Chained Heat" 's Greta Blackburn, Allene Simmons (she's one of the luscious ladies being eyeballed in the infamous shower sequence in "Porky's"), "Hell Night" 's Kevin Brophy as the dumb greedy X-ray technician who steals the mummy's hot rocks and accidentally revives it by over-amping the radiation; "Invasion U.S.A." 's Melissa Prophet (who does a brief topless scene and gets attacked by the mummy while taking a shower), and "Prom Night" 's Antoinette Bower. "Assault on Precinct 13" survivors Darwin Joston and Austin Stoker are reunited here as a diligent, no-nonsense police lieutenant and a wise pathologist, respectively. James "The Pathmark Man" Karen grumbles his way through the thankless role of the cranky college dean. Robert A. Burns (the titular psychotic white trash lunatic in the grimy, flesh-crawling "Confessions of A Serial Killer") was one of the set designers. Jason "Flesh Gordon" WIlliams not only co-wrote the story and co-produced the flick, but also has a small part as an overaged jerk frat boy. Prolific B-pic composer Richard Band supplies a surprisingly good creeped-out gloom-doom orchestral score. Robbie Goldberg's delectably cheesy cinematography goes overboard on the slipshod, would-be state-of-the-art fancy-pants visual flourishes: vertical wipes, shaky hand-held camera-work, green-tinted POV shots of the murderous mummy on the prowl, and some especially strenuous drawn-out slow motion. Bad to the point were it borders on the unbelievable, "Time Walker" serves as a potent reminder that sloppy, supremely ill-advised attempts at handy-dandy multi-genre combos can indeed be a surefire formula for superior shoddy schlock at its most entertainingly awful.
The plot is this: A priceless sarcophagus has been recovered in King Tut's tomb. Of course, it's taken to a small college in California where bumbling students can manhandle it and screw up X-raying it, instead of, oh, say, a museum. One loathsome, video-game loving student steals some diamond-type-thingees from the sarcophagus, sending the mummy on a poorly planned killing spree to get them back. For some reason, no one can catch a glimpse of the slow-moving, glowing mummy as it lumbers from killing to killing on the college campus.
This movie isn't very good. Not much happenens, except for some funny scenes where teens touch some radioactive goo on the mummy and start to get fungus growing all over them. The party scene with a bunch of obnoxious students dressed as mummys is also grating, and all James Karen does is mope and yell at Ben Murphy.
Pathmark means savings!
In this crappy serving of Murphy's Law(that the more serious a movie with Murphy in it is supposed to be, the worse and more cheesy that movie will be)Murphy plays an anthropologist(yeah, right!) who finds a sarcophagus in King Tut's tomb. In it is a peculiar mummy who was a visitor to Tut's kingdom three thousand years ago. Apparently this mysterious visitor made people sick(literally), because he had some kind of weird fungus growing on him..Or something.
One of Murphy's idiot students touches the fungus, which got accidentally irradiated by another of his idiot students. It ate the moron student's hand faster than the flesh eating virus. Meanwhile, the mummy disappeared from his coffin(he felt the need to party. Well, it had been three thousand years, after all!) and started lurching around off camera looking for some ridiculous looking crystals that the idiot student who had irradiated the sarcophagus stole from it(larcenous as well as stupid.Did Murphy hand pick these guys?). The crystals glowed whenever the mummy got near them, becoming tiny disco balls. Welcome to the seventies, everyone! All that was missing was seeing the mummy do the Hustle.
Murphy discovers that the mummy is actually the body of an alien visitor. It is trying to retrieve the stupid looking crystals so that it can phone home. Apparently the alien was in a state of suspended animation or something, which is why the zap of radiation brought it back to life. Never mind that that deserves a big fat HUH? since this movie is so groovy and with it that it doesn't really have to make sense. In the end, the mummy retrieves its tacky jewelry and is about to beam itself up(to what, we'll never know, since I doubt the mother ship actually hung around waiting for it to return for three thousand years)when a security guard tries to shoot it. Murphy plays the hero and hurls himself onto the bullet(thank you, movie!) and then is beamed up with the alien. Good riddance, Murphy, and I hope you enjoy the anal probe.
Still, I have to say I liked the movie, even if it is just late night video fare. The story was original, and it was a surprise to find out at the end what the mummy really is.
In California, a university acquires a sealed sarcophagus found in the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankamon. The mummy is under the responsibility of Prof. Doug McCadden (Ben Murphy), and will be presented to the public in a big opening party in the campus. After many x-rays of the coffin and the mummy for study, the operator Pete Sharpe (Kevin Brophy) finds five hidden jewels in a compartment in the bottom. He hides the finding and steals the jewels, selling and giving them to other persons in the campus, including his girlfriend. Meanwhile, the x-rays revive the mummy and it vanishes, looking for the five jewels and leaving a weird green substance in the empty casket. A student touches it and the fungus eats his arm. A further investigation reveals that the fungus is activated by x-rays and eats human flesh. When the news about the disappearance of the mummy is disclosed, the students decide to have a thematic party about Egypt, including costumes of mummies. Meanwhile, Prof. McCadden realizes that the mummy is indeed an extraterrestrial being and the jewels are crystals for a communicating apparatus. This B-movie is not so bad as IMDB User Rating indicates: it has a good story, a bad cast and poor special effects. The greatest problem is the `To be continued' instead of `The End'. The sequel has not been released and there is a kind of frustration due to the lack of conclusion of the plot. With better actors, actresses and director, and some improvements in the screenplay, it could be a great movie. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): `Time Walker'
I would however, like to see if the sequel has been produced, by Video Guild - apparently they have bought the rights to this one. Any word of this being produced. Let me know.
The story has people discovering a mummy and bringing it back to a college where the head of the university is strongly in favor of using it to get more money or something. The man who discovered it, wishes to take a slower approach and considering the guy who discovered it is Ben Murphy and the hero, you know he is right. Well, a strange fungus is found with the mummy and an idiot who finds a secret compartment of things that look like diamonds and steals them. He X-rays the mummy a couple of times and this awakens the fungus which is very deadly to the touch and the most interesting aspect of said film. It really does a wicked number on anyone who touches it! The mummy wants those gems and the head of the school's sidekick wants to frame Ben Murphy who thinks the mummy is an alien and his girl gets one of those diamonds as a gift and soon gets targeted by the mummy who doesn't mean her any harm, but he sure meant to harm that dude he threw into the wall!
This made for a pretty good episode of MST3K. I found it a bit absurd when Tom Servo suggested that this film was worse than many of the films they had viewed up to said point. This was not worse by a long shot, in fact, it had some things working for it. I thought the way the fungus got people was cool, but they ditched that aspect, probably because it was too costly an effect. There is also a lot of point of view monster going on here with green light. It is not a good film I guess, but to say it is worse than some of the crap they had riffed is absurd.
So not a good film, but it had some points in it that were interesting. I would like to see an unedited version of the film just to see if they showed more of the fungus as it may have been something they cut out because it was too graphic. I do think the college setting and some of the plot points kind of doomed this one. We did not need to have a kid trying to sell the stones nor did we really need to see the head of the college and his sidekick trying to frame Ben Murphy as both of these things were just filler. You had an entire campus to kill, and you go really light on the kills. I guess because they wanted that really cheesy ending that just kind of halts the film and brings it to a complete stop.
The main problems with Time Walker is the slow pace and lack of gore. The film just seems to trundle along really slowly, as the mummy stalks around looking for his crystals. There's a few cool scenes such as when the mummy attacks a woman and pushes her against a wall, and throws a man in the air. If some gore scenes had been added, it would have been a lot more entertaining. The POV shots of the mummy are quite cool and reminded me of a slasher film called The Lamp. The ending is very cheesy, as the mummy reveals himself to actually be an alien (someone wearing a ridiculous mask) and then disappears to the stars, and the fateful words "To be continued..." appear on the screen.
Overall, I can't rate this film too highly as it really was boring, but I do love the storyline and it's a shame it wasn't properly executed.
There are some IMDb users that have said this is a *good* movie. I try, but I fail to comprehend this. See, I agree that there are *some* movies that, although bad, could actually be sort of interesting to watch if you take away Joel and the bots.
But this film isn't one of them. Perhaps it's that I watch Doctor Who and these people don't. Even a really *bad* Doctor Who episode is better than this film.
Summary: This is a really, *really* bad movie. The worst aspects of this movie are: the acting, the manner in which they attempt to create suspense and tension (but only achieve boredom and apathy), and the incidental music.
Close after in "badness" are the special effects and the plot. To my knowledge, there are *no* really good aspects to this film...
Oh wait, I got one: the "TV's Frank Home Shopping Network" at the end of the Mystie episode wouldn't have been possible if it had not been inspired by the artifact in the movie.
A mummy gets dug up in King Tut's tomb and transferred to an American University. A student finds 5 diamonds hidden in the sarcophagus and steals them. The next day, the mummy is gone too. I'll just stop describing the story now. But if you want to know how a mummy, ancient diamonds, green dust that turns into flesh-devouring fungus, a blue-skinned alien with big black eyes and a college campus tie in all together, then you might want to consider watching TIME WALKER. But be warned, most people might generally classify this as a bad movie, and I don't even have much arguments to compete with that. The acting is just tolerable and the directing isn't top notch either. What had me chuckling most, were many inserted reaction shots of certain actors, just standing there looking for a second, not saying anything, or just giving a short stupid reply. But here's an interesting contradiction: Not much really happens in this movie, but still there's a lot going on (just remember the previous things I mentioned). Everything ties in together nicely, but it's all very predictable. The mummy prowling the campus provides a couple of nice and creepy shots, but his green-colored POV vision was a bit cheesy. Of course he kills a couple of people (not just randomly, I might add), but the kills themselves aren't much to write home about. On the other hand, the murderous mummy encounters a topless female student on one of his escapades and most of his kills are filmed in shocking slow-motion. The movie builds up towards a nice twist-conclusion too, but sadly when you know the tagline to this movie, or just take a glimpse at the front or back cover art, you already know what's going to happen. Also, the story severely lacks a climax at the end.
TIME WALKER tries really hard, remains an offbeat, weird gem, but in the end doesn't succeed in what it sets out to do. There's plenty of interesting elements, but they are rigged together in a below average sci-fi/horror flick with a conclusion that leaves a lot to be desired. Given the nostalgia feelings I treasure for this one, it is with grief I have to flunk this baby. But don't let that discourage you to check it out if you should ever stumble upon it. And then come around some day and blame me for having watched a bad movie.
Ben Murphy was fine as the lead.The rest of the acting was so so.But if your a fan of 80's horror movies like me,especially slasher movies,then you should have no problem looking past that.I wonder what the planned sequel was.They must have had one in mind since they ended it with that ambiguous to be continued ending.
Nevertheless, it got some names in it that were famous back then, Ben Murphy (Prof. Douglas McCadden) came from the series Alias Smith and Jones (1971-1973) and went further to Gemini Man (1976). Nina Axelrod (Susie Fuller) is more common towards horror buffs due her role in Critters 3 (1991) and the blockbuster Cobra (1986). Kevin Brophy (Peter Sharpe) can be seen in Hell Night (1981) one year earlier than this flick together with Linda Blair.
But it fails due the script itself. The mummy do attacks but really in a stupid way. And the editing itself is roughly done with full of mistakes. When a girl is running in corridors you see the POV from the mummy running behind her but when they shoot before the girls you can't see any mummy running behind her. And there is even a microphone to spot. There is one shot with a small nudity and the shower scene also looked laughable. But the movie never moves further and due some really bad acting it becomes a turkey. Easy to see that it was a low budget B-flick. Maybe for some it's a collectible due the cheesy situations but many will find it a waist of time.
Gore 1/5 Nudity 0,5/5 Effects 1/5 Story 2/5 Comedy 0/5
Poor Ben Murphy slogs along as best he can here, trying to make the audience (all 4 or us) believe that he is an archaeologist. I'll give him this; even in a snooze like this movie, where all the close-ups are held too long and every scene has the drama and pacing of a drivers' ed training film, he remains amiable and likable. God only knows how hard "Time Walker" would have been to watch if he hadn't at least given the movie his agreeable screen presence. People make fun of him, and he is a light-weight, but I've always liked the guy; I hope he made a million dollars and retired happily somewhere.
The rest of the cast comes off as somewhere between "unlikeable" and "despicable", (I have no idea what they are like in real life, so please don't take this as character assassination), so you actually sort of enjoy it (instead of being horrified) when the mummy kills them. Of course, that may have been the intention of the movie, but in that case, the director could at least have made the deaths a little more memorable. I saw better staged monster attacks in the infamous "Pod People" - the victim's death-scenes here are like watching hamsters getting squished with a giant clown hammer. And Belafonte-Harper actually has some on camera charisma, but the movie doesn't seem to know what to do with her - she seems to be in, but not of, the film. It's as if she wanted the exposure, but she couldn't bear to actually be involved in the plot.
The movie ends with Murphy's character teleporting off with the mummy to an unknown fate (good riddance) and the dean's assistant screaming into the camera as left-over space slime eats his hand. I think this was meant to leave us with a feeling of mystery and wonder and horror, but it left me with a profound feeling of relief that this bag of creaky dramatic devices was finally done. Not the worst or most incompetent movie I've ever seen, but definitely pretty useless.
What a lifeless, unenthusiastic mess this film is. Everyone looks half asleep and not particularly interested in the stupid film they were making. Horror enthusiasts might appreciate the presence of horror veteran James Karen and "Motel Hell" heroine Nina Axelrod is here too, playing the soggy, vapid love interest. Other than that, there is really no reason whatsoever to see this movie. It's boring, repetitive and ugly.
The only actor that I recognized at the time was a TV actor from a rip-off of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. His performance seemed forced, like somebody was pointing a shotgun off-camera with a sign that said "act or else." I strongly recommend this to anyone constructing a "worst movie" list.
In all fairness to the crew who put this together, I hold no ill will. It takes a lot to make a movie and get it into the theater. For that they deserve some credit. However, it still was a terrible movie.
MST3K roasts this movie till it's well done, and that's the only way to watch it. This is my favorite MST3K episode; the Pete Duel and "Alias Smith and Jones" jokes fly as Ben Murphy and his college students are chased by a "mummy" looking for the magical crystals stolen from his sarcophagus.
The movie itself is written and acted in a way that would put anyone or thing into a catatonic state for 3,000 years. Watch the MST3K version, if you value your sanity.