The Time Guardian (1987)

Tom Burlinson, Nikki Coghill, Dean Stockwell, Carrie Fisher,
In the distant future, the human race nears extinction and a new race of beast-like creatures rule the earth. The few surviving people live in the City, a huge protected construction with the ability to travel in both space and time.
  • 4.3 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • John Baxter, Writer:
  • Brian Hannant, Director:
  • Robert Lagettie, Norm Wilkinson, Producer:

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6 / 10

Minor but enjoyable.

Sci-fi junkies may derive some entertainment out of the silly time killer "The Time Guardian". It's often incoherent, and is of no real substance, but it's amusing often enough, and just clunky enough, to make it adequately diverting for those with a fondness for cheese. Those intrigued by the presence of Carrie Fisher ("Star Wars" episodes IV to VI) and Dean Stockwell ('Quantum Leap') may be rather disappointed with the overall results, but if one isn't too demanding, it may put a smile on their faces. The special effects, sets, music, acting, and action sequences are mostly passable.

It takes place in the Earth of the 41st century when humans are overwhelmed by a new adversary: half organic, half machine villains called Jendiki. Fortunately, some of the humans inhabit an entire city that has the ability to travel through time. The city transports itself back to the Australia of the 1980s in an attempt to change the future, with troopers Ballard (a tough, snarling Tom Burlinson ("Flesh + Blood")) and Petra (Fisher) sent ahead as scouts to ensure that the spot chosen for landing will be safe. Of course, the Jendiki are hot on their trail, and Ballard and Petra have to deal with them as well as with crooked local cops. One good thing for Ballard is that he meets perky young Annie, played by the insanely gorgeous Nikki Coghill of the Aussie TV series 'Neighbours'.

As directed by "Mad Max 2" co-writer Brian Hannant, "The Time Guardian" can't boast any truly memorable set pieces, but it's an easy enough to take bit of fluff. Fisher does what she can with a spunky role, but Stockwell is utterly wasted in his part, the "boss" of the city. Burlinson would have fared better had he played his part with a little more humour. But Coghill is quite charming, and goes topless for a sexy swimming scene. Peter Merrill chews up the scenery as head bad guy Zuryk.

This movie may be a trifle in the end, but it does wrap itself up fairly quickly, clocking in at a brief 88 minutes. Overall it's a fair bit of fun.

Six out of 10.

4 / 10

Okay, but nothing close to Star Wars

Anyone who watches Time Guardian expecting it to be like Star Wars because of Carrie Fisher's presence will be disappointed. Not a totally awful film, but the plot is hard to follow and is full of holes, and some of the costumes seem ridiculous. Burlinson and Fisher travel back in time to make sure the City (which can travel through time and space) can land in the late 20th century in the outback of Australia. There, they battle both the Jen Diki (their enemies from the future) and some corrupt outback cops. The movie isn't completely bad, as there are some good battle segments, great footage of the Australian Outback, and fans of Carrie Fisher get to see her in a few good scenes. Overall, however, this is one of those films that spent too much on special effects and not enough on developing the story. It's not a hopeless film, but you quickly forget it after it's over.

7 / 10

Incredibly disappointing

John Baxter is an absolutely brilliant short story writer and apparently a life-long student of films, so I was very interested to see what his only screenplay was like. I simply could not believe that he came up with such a piece of total crap. There is nothing to recommend in this film.

7 / 10

Fantastic

I have seen Star Wars, I have seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, I have seen The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The Things... But I can not safely say that I had seen a movie until I saw the Australian epic, Time Guardian. I can truly vouch for this movie, it was simply phenomenal. I had heard it recommended by dignitaries, ambassadors, presidents, kings, dukes, squires, magistrates, C.E.O.s and of course associates and cronies, but was skeptical until I finally sat down and was swept away by the electric brilliance of this mind boggling, golden film. With an all star cast including Carrie Fisher and some blonde Aussy chick and Peter Merrill, it leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. You will dump your pants. The actors from this film, "Aren't just plumbers that you can bribe to fix your bathroom overnight, they kill to live!!!" and if you don't like this movie, you can't run a DVD player, and, "you probably can't even run a hot bath!" Watch this or your life is a failure!

1 / 10

Almost uniformly dreadful

If this film didn't end Dean Stockwell's and Carrie Fisher's careers, nothing will. The narrative sequence often contradicts itself, and the plot line gets lost in the stylistic excesses of the direction. Production qualities are laughably amateurish (especially the JenDiki sequences), and some of the most violent scenes serve no structural purpose (do not advance the plot). A notably embarrassing aspect is the star billing given to Dean Stockwell, who obviously phoned in his performance one afternoon. Before seeing this film, I had thought that all major actors had agents who steer them away from career-killing disasters. Because this film is laughably bad, it might be recommended as a satirical send-up of the sci-fi genre, unintentional spoof though it may be.