1992 / Director. David Twohy.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
David Twohy cut his teeth writing films like CRITTERS 2 and WARLOCK and in 1992 he made his directorial debut with TIMESCAPE (aka GRAND TOUR: DISASTER IN TIME). It was released direct-to-video in most territories but did enjoy a theatrical run in some areas. It tells the story of a group of tourists passing through a small town, who take lodgings with a local B&B. They are unusual people who seem strangely fascinated with ordinary things and keep a shroud of mystery around themselves. -- SPOILERS AHEAD -- with a constant attention to a specific time, the tourists turn out to be time travelers who are part of a Grand Tour program and visit different disasters in history. The owner of the B&B (Jeff Daniels) discovers their secret and when the arrival of the disaster kills his daughter and hundreds of his townspeople he steals one of the Grand Tour passports and jumps back in time to the hours leading to a meteorite obliterating the town. Teaming up with his yesterday-self the two Jeff Daniel's race against time to save their fellow citizens, ignoring the stern warnings from the visitors that a disruption in time would be catastrophic to their existence. In terms of time travel movies TIMESCAPE is a smart contribution to the genre and like others before it, cannot be over-thought. People who are used to fast-paced science fiction might struggle with this one because it does meander and take its time to unravel but once the time travel kicks in, it's a wonderful and understated adventure. Its story feels like a classic episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. From my various interactions with video store customers over the years, few people know about TIMESCAPE. That's a real shame and when I tell them that David Twohy also made the RIDDICK trilogy they usually go ahead and hire it. A few years after TIMESCAPE another movie came along and plagiarized it. Starring Casper Van Dien and Dennis Hopper the movie was called THRILLER SEEKERS. If you come across it, avoid it like the plague and find TIMESCAPE instead.