Sci-Fi December: Timestalkers

Timestalkers Illustration by Jeff Schwartzbauer

Timestalkers – 1987

Dir: Michael Shultz | Starring: William Devane, Klaus Kinski, Lauren Hutton, John Ratzenberger
Year: 1986 & 1886
Review: Blechh! This stunk. I didn’t realise it was a CBS Movie of the Week before I started watching, but I sure had my suspicions as the film moved along. The plot may sound interesting, but believe me, its delivered in as dry and bland of way possible. Two time travelers are heading to the past, one to change history in his favor by ensuring a wild west shootout has a different result, while another traveler from farther in the future tries to stop him and it entangles a History teacher who uncovers an error made in the past. Most of the characters are dopes and Klaus Kinski as the villain is always a distraction. He’s supposed to be sneaking around in the wild west undercover – but he has this thick german accent, ugly mug, and long shiny grey hair – and all the 1886 towns folks just say, “You must be from out east, eh?”. Watching this movie in the year 2012 is a very different experience than I bet it was in 1987 because half of the conflicts they have would be solved by Google searches. Despite the time travelers being from hundreds of years in the future – they did zero research and need to look things up at libraries in 1986. There are these transitions from scenes taking place in 1886 to those in 1986 that are always met with this lightning effect screen-wipe that scrolls across the screen with this loud electrical shorting sound – every time – its really irritating and dumb, as if the appearance of horseback riders in dusters and cowboy hats rather than people driving cars or using a computer wouldn’t be suggestion enough. The dialogue is terrible: when the lead character is made aware of what’s happening it features one of the worst conversations I have heard  in a long time:–Time traveler Laura Hutton appears in a flash of lightning within an old barn in front of History teacher, Devane –Devane: Hey lady, what’s going on here?Laura Hutton: Well, I suppose you’re as ready as you’re going to be. I’m living proof that you aren’t crazy, Prof McKinzie. I’m a flesh and blood human being with one interesting quirk – I was born 600 years from now.D: 600 years from now?

LH: I’ve come all the way from 2586.

D: 2586?

LH: I’m one of your time travelers.

D: One of my time travelers?
Ugh, awful. This movie is a turd.

There is no trailer I can find for this film, but I was lead to believe this movie could be a tad cooler based on the VHS Cover.

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