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March 17, 2006

The Day Time Ended

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John "Bud" Cardos - 1980
Full Moon DVD

For your St. Patrick's Day viewing pleasure, here is a film that needs to be seen with a Guinness or three. John "Bud" Cardos made this film not long after the releases of Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The film's heart seems more in the Fifties, when science fiction usually meant low budget silliness with more weight on the fiction than on the science. The Day Time Ended has some of the ambition of a Steven Spielberg, with a budget only Ed Wood, Jr. would envy.

The action takes place over the course of one day when aliens decide that the desert house of Jim Davis would be the perfect site for a rumble. Prior to this, Davis' perpetually cheerful grand-daughter makes friends with a little green alien who lands in a much larger green pyramid. Later that night, Davis and his wife, Dorothy Malone spot two U.F.O.s that look kind of like French doughnuts. Just when everyone thought it was safe to be inside, there's a knock on the door. Even if one of the battling space creatures appears for no logical reason, it at least has the etiquette to announce its presence. While the little green alien made me think of George Pal's puppetoons, I'm sure that the guys who created the space monsters were trying their darndest to equal Ray Harryhausen.

Living in a house powered by solar energy apparently gives Davis the authority to declare near the end of the film that the night's events were caused by a "time-space warp". Davis even figures out that his daughter and grand-daughter have disappeared into a "vortex", although no one seems that upset about this turn of events. The characters are hardly surprised to see a futuristic city in the distance, with Davis doggedly stating something to the effect that this turn of events was inevitable. I may have made a mistake watching this film sober because if I have to choose between drunk and stupid, I'd rather be drunk.

Posted by peter at March 17, 2006 12:56 PM