The Excellent Eighties: The Day Time Ended (1980)

Sam, the Bossman, gave this a Compass International release a run through back in November 2018, just because, well, we are obsessed with Compass flicks as much as Crown’s crap o’ reels. When this film was included on Mill Creek’s Sci-Fi Invasion set, Dustin Fallon from Horror and Sons came on board for his take on the film in November 2020.

Sigh. But Mill Creek has to “go green” and recycle. So I now have the job of doing a third take for their Excellent Eighties box set. The joy. But it’s not so bad. Again, this is a Compass International flick directed by John “Bud” Cardos and produced by Charles Band. Compass was the distributor for John Carpenter’s Halloween in 1978, and producer Charles Band’s Tourist Trap in 1979, in case you didn’t know.

This is movie is not even close to being as good as either of those films. But John “Bud” Cardos is still the man.

Look at that short — but hit-packed director’s resume: Kingdom of the Spiders. The Dark. Mutant. Gor II: Outlaw of Gor. Well, they’re “hits” for the B&S About Movies lover in your life. Then there’s Bud’s cable and VHS potboilers starring Ernest Borginine, Robert Vaughn, Oliver Reed, and Herbert Lom — in the same movie: Skeleton Coast (1988). Then there’s Act of Piracy (1988) with Gary Busey and Ray Sharkey. Then there’s Bud’s acting resume with Al Adamson and the films Hells Angels on Wheels (1967), Psych-Out (1968), The Road Hustlers (1968), The Savage Seven (1968), Killers Three (1968), Blood of Dracula’s Castle (1969), Satan’s Sadists (1969), Five Bloody Graves (1969), and Hell’s Bloody Devils (1970).

After entering the annals of Bikerdom with his third acting gig in Hells Angels on Wheels (he had support roles in 1965’s Deadwood ’76 and Run Home, Slow), and paying attention on all of those Al Adamson sets and Roger Corman AIP productions, Bud Cardos transitioned behind the lens for the blaxploitation-spaghetti western with The Red, White, and the Blue, aka Soul Soldier (1970).

Then he hooked up with Charles Band. And you thought Compass International’s Catholicism Aliens was nutso. Now we’ve got a hippy-dippy Eco-friendly film about aliens and solar power. It’s Laserblast and End of the World rolled into one . . . uh, a film that exists. Yeah, David Schmoeller (the director of Tourist Trap and the Puppet Master franchise) and Ted Nicolaou (Terrorvision and the Subspecies franchise) are on board to help out, so all is well.

Well, not really. Let the extraterrestrial shenanigans, begin.

Jim Davis, who probably expected his stardom on TV’s nighttime drama Dallas to net him better film roles, stars as Grant, the patriarch of the Williams family. He’s moved them lock, stock and barrel to the desert to get away from it all. Grant’s wife, Ana, is Dorothy Malone, who won a Best Supporting Actress for Written on the Wind . . . then was so hard up, she had to take a Corman car flick, The Fast and the Furious. Their son is Chris Mitchum, who probably sees this as a career high point — after the like of The Serpent Warriors. Then there’s his Ed Wood School of Awful Acting wife Beth, and their equally annoying kids, Steve and Jenny — who we wished ended up as xenomorph vittles in the first act to “wrap them” and get them the fuck off the set because they’re interfering with the Jim Danforth and Dave Allen SFX that we came for in the first place.

So . . . back to the plot:

The world is enthralled by an expositional, deep space, triple-super supernova.

Said supernova opens a black hole.

Aliens and UFOs — of all shapes and sizes — and stop-motion lizards — all of it stocked out of other Band boondoggles, such as Laserblast and End of the World, show up. But some of it is new — again, Jim Danforth and Dave Allen made them. So, all is well (not really).

There’s “atmospheric interference” and “electrical storms” and the car won’t star to get the Williams family out of there.

Then, we go into our “Night of the Living Dead” phase as everyone hides in the barn. Only with aliens and not zombies.

The family is “beamed up” to a UFO. They time travel to the future. They’re going to live in a domed city on some alien world because “time ended” back on Earth. Or something.

Yeah, you can order it from Full Moon, which issued it as Blu-ray in 2019. But why buy the cow when we found the milk for free, over on You Tube.

About the Author: You can read the music and film reviews of R.D Francis on Medium and learn more about his work on Facebook.

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