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  Time Walker One Spaced Out Mummy
Year: 1982
Director: Tom Kennedy
Stars: Ben Murphy, Nina Axelrod, Kevin Brophy, Robert Random, James Karen, Sam Chew Jr, Melissa Prophet, Austin Stoker, Gerard Prendergast, Shari Belafonte, Antoinette Bower, Darwin Joston, Greta Blackburn, John Lavachielli, Clint Young
Genre: Horror, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: There has been a valuable find in the tomb of Tutankhamen, a sarcophagus that is surrounded by dead bodies millennia old. Who could this person have been, as there are few clues to his identity? To find out, the coffin is shipped to this Californian university to offer Professor Douglas McCadden (Ben Murphy) and his team a chance to examine it and solve the mystery. However, when it arrives if anything it brings up yet more puzzles, for when they open it there is a curious green mould growing on the inside - and the X-ray machine reveals even more...

Not sure they should have tried the X-ray machine on it in light of what occurs during the following hour and a bit, for it appears to revitalise the mummy and kick off the mayhem. Of course, calling it mayhem implies that this might be more exciting than it is, as what it looks like is a TV movie, with not much violence for a horror flick, no bad language, and about two nanoseconds of nudity. It harked back to the classic (or vintage, at any rate) Mummy movies that were made by Universal back in the thirties and forties by making its villain a bandage-wrapped shambler, except that we hardly ever got to see it.

And when we did it was kept in shadow so that its glowing crystal heart could be spotted in the darkness, in a move towards atmosphere and artistry by the one-time director Tom Kennedy, a former editor here making his sole attempt at helming a movie. He kept things moving along, it was just that what we had was so derivative of so much going on in genre cinema at the time that it really needed to be far more full-blooded than what he ended up with, as the results were tame for what was supposed to be a horror. But there was another aspect to Time Walker that you would notice, and that was its science fiction concepts, indicated by the title and the montage of photographs of heavenly bodies under the credits.

They keep it from the characters until the last moment, but we work out early on our visitor is not a Ancient Egyptian, nope, he's a space alien and he wants the crystals back that have been nicked by one of the students, Pete (Kevin Brophy), for monetary purposes. These crystals end up as jewelry offering your traditional "menace the actress" sequences when our mummy shows up and takes them back - oh, and you shouldn't touch him either because he carries an infectious fungal disease. He's superstrong too, as we see when he chases the Professor's student girlfriend Susie (Nina Axelrod) and manages to climb up a lift shaft.

Smashes up the floor of the compartment too - what was he standing on? So you might think this figure has no redeeming qualities, which doesn't quite explain the ending where things go all Close Encounters of the Third Kind and has the cheek to end with the caption "To Be Continued", a promise that was never fulfilled. There may be some viewers who have suffered the odd sleepless night wondering whatever happened to the Professor, but chances are you'll be filled with indifference. It's a nice enough idea to give the Mummy genre a shot in the arm with space alien based innovation, but you didn't need to be Stephen Sommers to notice they were simply replacing some hoary old clichés of one style with some hoary old clichés of another. Still, some of the cast hold an "oh, it's whatsisface off of thingmy" appeal. Music by Richard Band.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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