1987 / Director. Brian Hannant.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
I LOVE the Australian film industry but with all due respect... Australian audiences SUCK. I often hear people berate Australian films. They usually complain that we only make artsy-fartsy films... and yet there is an entire sub-group of countless Aussie genre flicks that have fallen into obscurity. Director Mark Hartley made a passionate attempt to bring some of these movies to people's attention in his brilliant documentary NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD... and companies like Umbrella Entertainment released as many on DVD as they could (and still do)... but there are so many more. THE TIME GUARDIAN is one of them. The film is a sci-fi adventure, which spans thousands of years. It tells the story of a city, which travels through time. Believed to be Earth's only survivors the city hops through time in a desperate attempt to elude a vicious race of cyborgs. Tom Burlinson and Carrie Fisher star as two soldiers tasked with finding a place to resettle the city. They travel back to 1988 and find themselves in the middle of outback Australia where they enlist the help of a young archaeologist. This is a high concept film, which boasts an impressive design that rivalled its Hollywood counterparts. The story is divided between a typical 1988 Aussie landscape and a futuristic industrial cityscape of 4039 and while the Australian portions of the movie lack a lot of luster, the amazing set design and overall aesthetic of the future world is a feast for the eyes. I think it holds up really well, even in today's standards. As with many local genre films from that era, THE TIME GUARDIAN imported American talent to help broaden its audience. Dean Stockwell and Carrie Fisher are great additions to the film and help widen its appeal. The action is great and the vision was daring for its time. Sadly, as with so many great Aussie genre films, the audience didn't take to it and it has become one of those forgotten classics. I watched it again last night and caught myself smiling like a giddy school boy. This is the type of cinematic world that I live for and I need movies like THE TIME GUARDIAN in my life.
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