The Day Time Ended
Review by Annie Riordan
aka: Earth’s Final Fury, (let’s do the) Time Warp (again), Vortex, Black Thunder & День, когда закончилось время which, according to Google Translate, means “The Day the Time is Over.”
Year released: 1979
Starring: William Shatner’s ex, the little girl from The Amityville Horror, a pony, some horsies, a Jello jiggler, a lot of green light, and a supporting cast of really shitty Charles Band play-doh puppets.
Admit it, most of you clicked on the “Look At My Crotch” banner thinking you were going to get lady dick pics, you pervy bastards. Well joke’s on you – we don’t even have dicks. As a matter of fact, I have a stainless steel Badger 15SS garbage disposal where my vagina should be. So ha-ha all over you.
Nope, this column shall henceforth be a shrine dedicated to all things MST3k. Offerings of cheese, Mexican stoplight candy, and beer on the sun may be left at the foot of the Sampo every next Sunday A.D. and in return, you shall be blessed with a monthly article, in which I dissect the hell out of one shitty MST3k movie, chosen at random, and tell you things about it that you don’t need to know and won’t care about anyway.
Now, as any good, hardcore, lifelong MSTie knows, the new season of Mystery Science Theater: The Return dropped on Netflix on Thanksgiving Day this year. Nicknamed “The Gauntlet” it’s a cool 12-hour marathon featuring six abysmally shitty movies. I will not be reviewing any of the 220 episodes of MST in any sort of order, but since Season 12’s debut coincided nicely with our sites launch, I thought I’d reel you all in with some fresh bait. So let’s start with episode 4, The Day Time Ended, won’t we?
The Movie: Cowboy Grandpa and his Playboy Bunny/retired Stewardess-wife build the world’s ugliest fucking house in the middle of the Gobi -fucking – desert and invite their family to live with them in it. Family consists of two sons, older son’s wife, and their young daughter Jenny. On the day of the move, a triple supernova rips a hole in the space/time continuum, a spectacular cosmic event that Grandpa and Older Son hear about on the car radio and totally ignore. Cherubic daughter Jenny encounters an Aztec outhouse that communicates with her telepathically and gifts her with a miniature replica, which she pockets. Later that night, Grandpa and Wife go for a walk in the treeless, colorless desert and see some UFO’s hotrodding it over the horizon. This is also ignored and never mentioned. A naked fairy shows up in Jenny’s bedroom, dances around for three minutes and disappears, never to be seen again.
Suddenly, out of fucking nowhere, a demonic dustbuster shows up and starts pew-pewing all over the place. Lumpy monsters appear for no reason, try to eat the family, fail, and then kill each other. The cameraman jostles his tripod about violently while the cast throw themselves back and forth on a totally still set, pretending an earthquake is taking place. Giant sparklers kidnap Jenny and her mom, then zoom around the house like Tinkerbell on crack. Morning finally comes and Jenny’s mom shows up, smiling placidly like a Stepford Wife on a shitload of Valium, and leads the entire family into a prog album cover from the 70s. Everyone is very dreamy, and stoned, and live happily ever after, or some such shit.
The Cast: The chick who plays Jenny’s mom was William Shatner’s real-life wife at the time, which explains the glassy eyes and the permanent look on her face that eternally mumbles: “What the hell happened?” Cherubic daughter Jenny was played by Natasha Ryan, who also played the cherubic Missy in The Amityville Horror and the cherubic Julie in The Entity. Natasha Ryan eventually outgrew her cherubicness and became a normal person. It should also be noted that both Natasha and her screen mother Mrs. Shatner also starred together as mother and daughter in 1977’s Kingdom of the Spiders, directed by the same guy who did this pile of shit, and starring William Fucking Shatner as a guy with the improbable name of Rack.
The Crew: This is a Charles Band production. Any horror fan worth their salt should know the name Charles Band. Were it not for Band, we might not have films such as the Subspecies series, the Puppet Master films and 1985’s untouchable classic Re-Animator. I fucking love Charles Band. But this movie sucks. Hard. Like, industrial shop vac in a black hole hard. I think of The Day Time Ended as the Empire Strikes Back entry in Band’s trilogy of turds, bookended by 1978’s Laserblast (which was also featured on MST3k and which I will eventually get around to) and 1992’s Doctor Mordrid, which Band actually directed. All of them feature the worst stop-motion claymation monsters ever shat out of the ass of the FX machine. I mean, at least Mordridhad the saving grace of starring Jeffrey Combs, but there’s nothing here in The Day Time Ended to hook anyone. Except for the fact that Jonah and the ‘bots make it bearable with their unrelenting riffing.
The Nutshell: If there was a point to this movie, I missed it. It makes no sense, has no solid antagonists, and no real story to tell. It’s like the filmmakers had some leftover footage from Laserblast and Battlestar Galactica laying around and tried to tape it together into a movie.
Best Riffs: Little Jenny gets up in the middle of the night to pee off camera. Crow, noticing the glowing green mini Aztec pyramid on Jenny’s nightstand: “Tiny teepee saw you pee pee.”
Tom, watching Grandpa Cowboy saunter slowly of out the house: “Does this man have any other movement settings other than “mosey?”