BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
King Tut, how’d you get so funky? Comedian Steve Martin certainly knew the reasons why. Famed B-movie producer Roger Corman thought he knew why and offered this slow-moving excavation of the 18th dynasty pharaoh’s tomb to Dimitri Villard to oversee. The PG rated results might challenge “the mummy vs students” vibe you want this slasher to be, but there’s enough here to make it worthy of a revisit.
Time Walker presents us with an interesting spin on Egyptology and all the other horror films that attempt to frighten us with pharaoh lore. It is The Mummy meets Alien by way of Corman that provides its cult status. We get a mysterious sarcophagus full of diamond-like crystals and fungus residual that threatens to transform any surface into a searing pile of goo. Of course, all of this occurs on a much smaller budget than those two films, but that’s part of this film’s charm.
Directed by Tom Kennedy, Time Walker – once the sarcophagus is opened to reveal that the mummy inside is gone – builds its loopy mystery into a widespread hunt for the missing body…which is very much alive. The wandering alien – who was trapped inside the tomb – is now on the prowl to reclaim the five stolen diamonds and hunt down the college students who have them. California University of the Sciences professor Douglas McCadden (Ben Murphy) doesn’t quite understand what he is dealing with, but knows enough to know that this being is beyond dangerous.
But it still makes 86-minutes seem like an eternity.
Co-starring Nina Axelrod, Kevin Brophy, James Karen, and Austin Stoker, Time Walker doesn’t try to do much but deliver a beginning and an end. It’s a languid film that doesn’t dwell much on the events in the picture, which means that there’s a lot we can poke fun of along the way. Mystery Science Theater 3000 has roasted it. There’s a lot of shrugging in between the hovering window peeping, which makes it all feel so very naïve. But the ending – in which all is confirmed – is a good lift to end on, even if it does “promise” the slasher will continue.
The science is flawed. The science fiction is even worse, yet the B-movie makes what it can from what Corman budgeted. When one of the college students – who look hilariously NOTHING like students of science – discovers the diamonds in a hidden compartment within the sarcophagus, he quickly sells them to pay off his debts to other students. You know, he suggests, they’d make perfect gifts for your girlfriend. Little does he know that their owner will kill to get them back.
Time Walker has a score by Richard Band. It also features an interestingly charged performance from Shari Belafonte, the singer’s daughter, as a photographer and a DJ, possibly lifting a couple of elements from John Carpenter’s The Fog. It’s all good, though. As the alien stalks the females in possession of the diamonds needed to phone hom, all he need do is touch them to kill them. No knives. No blood. Just some good ol’ stranger danger stalking.
Not many slashers can brag that their killer being an alien. In this way, Time Walker wins. The movie is now available on blu-ray through Scream Factory, but is limited to 1000 copies. Act quickly or the only chance to own this New World Pictures-released title will be entombed forever.
MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime: 83 mins
Director: Tom Kennedy
Writer: Tom Friedman & Karen Levitt
Cast: Ben Murphy, Nina Axelrod, Kevin Brophy
Tagline: Nothing can stop him. Not even time.
Memorable Movie Quote: "The crystals could be used as transmitters."
Theatrical Distributor: New World Pictures.
Release Date: November, 1982
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: September 27, 2016
Synopsis: An alien, buried in King Tut's tomb, terrorizes a college campus.
ShoutFactory.com Exclusive - Limited to 1,000 copies
Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray - September 27, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc
Region Encoding: Region A
Released on 1080p (with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1) by Scream Factory, Time Walker isn’t exactly the best looking upgrade to grace your television sets. I bet you won’t mind either. There is, in some certain location shoots at sunset, a heavy layer of grain. Now, this doesn’t bother me. I like grain. Grain works, but if you are expecting a low budget knockoff to look better some number of years AFTER its release date, then you will be disappointed by this restoration. They did what they could to get the new transfer from the best possible sources. Black levels are good, but never impressive. Some of the effects shots, while dated, are pretty solid with good execution…even if we know the monster isn’t real. The sound is presented in a basic DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track.
The film’s producer, Dimitri Villard talks about the making of the movie and the fact that it was his first film to produce. He discusses his relationship with Corman, who told him to cut 10 minutes so that they could get the movie into more theaters one one reel instead of two. Brophy, who played the same rebel teen in a million of these films, talks about his work in the film and the genre. This release is only available from Scream Factory and is limited to 1000 copies.
- Interview with Producer Dimitri Villard
- Interview with Actor Kevin Brophy
- Theatrical Trailer