Grindhouse 2: The Day Time Ended (1979) DVD Review

daytimeended1Grindhouse 2: The Day Time Ended (1979)

Dir: John ‘Bud’ Cardos 79 mins

Extras: Trailer, stills gallery

Available on DVD now

88 Films UK

 

Though it’s also known as ‘Time Warp’, ‘The Day Time Ended’ has absolutely nothing to do with the beloved ‘Rocky Horror’ dance routine, nor is it half as much fun, but it is silly, ridiculous and diverting enough to occupy less than an hour and a half of one’s time. It also boasts some bad ass claymation aliens, which are, genuinely, worth the DVD price alone.

The film concerns the extended Williams family, who live in a modern, eco-friendly, solar-powered house in the deserts of California, which looks suspiciously like Uncle Ben’s farm. As they get settled, the youngest charge, Jenny (Natasha Ryan) notices a glowing, green object that seems to be able to suck things, and indeed people, into it.

It’s not long before little claymation aliens are turning up to visit her and cause all sorts of mischief, including repairing a broken mirror – the horror! – and sucking the house, and family, into a time-space warp, which also heralds the arrival of some awesomely squidgy, stop motion, prehistoric creatures.

tdte2It’s all very silly, but its campy sensibilities, coupled with some seriously hammy acting, are what make ‘The Day Time Ended’ kind of impossible to hate. The story makes zero sense, the script is terrible, the score swells and screeches far too often, and it all looks a bit rubbish.

However, the claymation monsters are quite wonderfully realised, and it’s no surprise that they come courtesy of Dave Allen, who worked on the similarly-themed ‘Laserblast’, alongside several notable horror sequels, including ‘Ghoulies 2’ and ‘Ghostbusters 2’. His creations are incredible, and they ensure the film remains in so-bad-it’s-good territory, saving it from being truly woeful.

Their presence as villains is wasted, of course, because the family simply stand around, watching them attack each other, so they are never truly a threat to them, but we can’t really blame them, because it is so cool to see them moving about and hitting each other. Though they are by no means realistic, they still look a hell of a lot better than the fuzzy, CGI “creations” to which we have now, sadly, become accustomed.

The legendary Jim Davis’s turn as the stoic grandfather is also a joy. Delivering ridiculous lines like “It’s a time space warp” and “It was just that solar-powered thing!” with deadpan seriousness takes a huge amount of skill and, although everybody else’s performances verge on shrill, his keeps the action moving along at a steady pace, making the ludicrous events unfolding onscreen seem almost plausible (but still not quite).

DayTimeEndedThe ending, though ridiculous in the extreme, is also oddly brave for a pseudo-sci fi film of this nature, but Davis’s acceptance of it is possibly the only reason why it doesn’t sink the film entirely. The DVD boasts just two extras, a trailer and a stills gallery, which is a shame because what is sorely lacking here is a closer look at Dave Allen’s monstrous claymation creations.

 

Perhaps something will surface on the film’s fortieth, or fiftieth, anniversary, but for now, ‘The Day Time Ended’ remains an entertaining, yet inescapably stupid, piece of sci-fi madness that is worth spending time with, ideally alongside ‘Laserblast’, for its awesome SFX alone.

Verdict: 5/10

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