TIME WALKER (1982) Reviews and overview

 

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Time Walker is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by Tom Kennedy from a screenplay written by Tom Friedman and Karen Levitt.

The movie stars Ben Murphy, Nina Axelrod, Kevin Brophy, James Karen, Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Antoinette Bower, Sam Chew Jr., Shari Belafonte and Jack Olson.

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Plot:

While California University of the Sciences professor Douglas McCadden (Ben Murphy) explores the tomb of the ancient Egyptian king Tutankhamun, an earthquake causes a wall in the tomb to collapse, revealing a hidden chamber. Inside, McCadden finds a mummy in a sarcophagus.

Unbeknownst to McCadden, the “mummy” is not the body of a dead Egyptian, but an extraterrestrial alien in suspended animation, being wrapped up and buried alive thousands of years before and covered with a dormant, green fungus.

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The body is brought back to California and McCadden has it examined by Doctor Ken Melrose (Austin Stoker) and X-rayed by student Peter Sharpe (Kevin Brophy) before a big press conference about the discovery.

While reviewing the X-rays, Sharpe notices there are five crystals around the “mummy’s” head. Sharpe steals the crystals and makes new X-rays to cover up his theft. He sells four of the crystals to students who are unaware of their origin. The second set of X-rays overdose the body with radiation. This causes the fungus to re-activate and the alien to awaken from suspended animation…

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Reviews:

“An ambitious but at times confusing mix of sci-fi and horror, Time Walker comes off as a slicker Don Dohler movie […] There’s an interesting enough looking traditional mummy (with a shiny jewel incrusted in its torso) and a few somewhat gory killings and brief nudity despite the PG rating.” DVD Drive-In

” …Time Walker is a naively charming low-budget horror and sci-fi thriller, a real throwback to a more innocent time.” DVD Talk

“It’s one of those movies with a fairly straightforward story that ends up degenerating into confusion due to a combination of poor screenwriting, muddled editing, an overabundance of minor characters, and a tendency to fall into the doldrums at every opportunity.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“It’s compellingly silly enough to be enjoyable as a bad movie, but I can’t figure out what the filmmakers were going for here, because it’s a PG-rated horror flick with very little gore and a modest body count […] The cinematography is mostly unremarkable, with only a few spooky movie tropes in use here.” Groovy Doom

“I like the mummy bits and the fact that it takes place on a college campus, and that it has a costume party near the end (always a plus!) and I thought the professor’s student/girlfriend was quite pretty! And also, even though it’s rated PG, it has a lady with no shirt on!” Ha ha, It’s Burl!

” …it’s tendency to bite off more than it can chew to try and bolster the slasher movie’s flagging fortunes means that it never really succeeds as either a horror movie or a sci-fi one. It perhaps doesn’t help that the mummy turns out to be a cute-faced extraterrestrial than didn’t mean to hurt anyone (a concept quite in vogue in 1982!).” Hysteria Lives

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Time Walker is disappointingly dull and sedate. The pace moves at a plod, the plot lacks any interesting ideas or twists. All that we get is the mummy wandering around the campus killing various people. Even then, the film fails to offer up any of the usual horror effects of people being bloodily slaughtered…” Moria

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In a movie called Time Walker, the title character doesn’t walk at all, nor does it do anything involving time (besides waste it, maybe). I did like how it made use of its hovering ability to peep in on a naked girl, though. In one of the few inspired directing choices, the mummy is largely unseen for a while, and we instead see the world through his eyes, which seem to be filtered with a lime green Jello mold.” Oh, the Horror!

“There is some very mild nudity, a shower scene which shows very little, frat parties, a mysterious relic […] Okay, it’s very familiar, almost by the numbers territory, but it plays out with a certain hokey fun, an inspired moment or two and a few grotesque horror shots of bodies being dissolved by a nasty green fungus.” Rivets on the Poster

“It gets some points for at least trying something different, you’ve got to give it credit for that, but no one in the cast seems particularly committed to their role and the way in which the script throws together frat boy comedy and killer mummy elements results in a pretty inconsistent tone and pace.” Rock! Shock! Pop!

“The film was co-written and co-produced by Flesh Gordon himself, Jason Williams. He also has a small role too. However, he isn’t to blame for the sluggish pacing and the overall dreariness of the flick. That blame lay squarely on the shoulders of director Tom Kennedy, who thankfully didn’t direct another picture.” The Video Vacuum

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Choice dialogue:

“That’s enough radiation for one night! Just deliver those damned plates to my office.”

Suzie: “Well, maybe you’ve found the first civilisation to use polyester?”

Cast and characters:

Ben Murphy … Prof. Douglas McCadden
Nina Axelrod … Susie Fuller
Kevin Brophy … Peter Sharpe
Robert Random … Jack Parker
James Karen … Dr Wendell J. Rossmore
Sam Chew Jr. … Dr Bruce Serrano
Melissa Prophet … Jennie
Austin Stoker … Doctor Ken Melrose
Gerard Prendergast … Greg Hauser
Shari Belafonte … Linda Flores (as Shari Belafonte-Harper)
Antoinette Bower … Dr Hayworth
Darwin Joston … Lt. Plummer
Greta Blackburn … Sherri
John Lavachielli … Bill Vogler
Clint Young … Capt. Willoughby
Ken Gibbel … Courtney
Gary Dubin … Michael Goldstein
Greta Stapf … Ellen Winters
Royce Alexander … Frat Boy #1
Michelle Avonne … Sarah
Annie Barbieri … Coed #1
Vanna Bonta … Student in Lab
Marie Lamarre … Party Girl #1 (as Marie Briguglio)
Sandy Carey … Coed #2 (as Sandra Carey)
Susan Curtis … Kissing Girl
Warrington Gillette … Stanley
Joy Grdnic … Newswoman
Richard Hoyes … Student at Dock
J. Michael Hunter … Cameraman
Kelly Junkerman … Frat Boy #2
Don LaFontaine … Reporter
Jack Olson … Ankh-Venharis
Alan Rachins … Jeweler
Allene Simmons … Nurse
Hugo Stanger … Janitor (as Hugo L. Stanger)
Alan Stock … Kissing Boy
Diane Terry … Coed #3
Ann Hearn … Coed #4 (as Ann Trussell)
Dimitri Villard … Tall Reporter
Victoria von Voorhees … Party Girl #2
Behrouz Vossoughi … Abdellah
Jason Williams … Jeff
Jeff Yesko … Wrapper

Filming locations:

705 N Sierra Bonita Ave, Los Angeles, California, USA
California State University Northridge, Los Angeles, California, USA

Technical details:

83 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1
Audio: Mono

Fun Facts:

Distributor Roger Corman apparently insisted the running time be reduced to 83 minutes for pacing.