The Time Guardian

Year: 1987
Production Co: Hemdale Film Corpoation
Director: Brian Hannant
Writer: Brian Hannant
Cast: Tom Burlinson, Nikki Coghill, Carrie Fisher, Dean Stockwell
One of the oldest films on my 'to see' list, I remember this being big news in the local media at the time, being a science fiction adventure shot in Australia.

I'm not sure if finally seeing it almost 20 years later was a good thing or not. After it's being so fashionable to bag Star Wars for so long because of it's dramatic deficiencies, you can say one thing for George Lucas' execution of his vision. Watch it in 1977 (or 1997) on the movie screen or in 2007 on DVD, and it still works. It's truly timeless.

The Time Guardian screams 'late 80s' in every frame. Having dated so badly in its effects, story arc, fashions - even the science fiction sensibility - it's completely irrelevant today, no better than something a film student with no writing talent could do on his iMac.

At the time, the novelty of having a sci-fi battle movie with aliens and big laser guns set in the outback would have been enough to gloss over any effects, plotting, characterisation or performance shortfalls. Or maybe it wasn't - I can't remember any more stories about it being a box office triumph.

The story is the worst kind of Saturday morning cartoon plot, complete with evil robot aliens and a time travelling city and Tom Burlinson overacting to a very scary degree. TV soap star of the day Nikki Coghill, Paris, Texas' Dean Stockwell and Carrie Fisher (five or so years after Return of the Jedi and presumably needing money) round out a cast that should still be embarrassed today.

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