Watched Timestalkers (1987)
3/5 (amazon 3.6/5, imdb 5.7/10)
A 1986 history professor, becomes involved with two time travelers from the year 2586 after making a discovery in an 1886 tintype photograph. One of the time travelers is determined to change the course of history, the other to stop him. The professor's fascination with the Old West comes in handy when they all return to 1886.
I've always enjoyed this one, and I've seen William Devane as president in "24" and "Detonator" lately so I thought I'd dig this one up.
Low budget, made for television, mono sound track, a dozen plot holes, nothing is top of the line, not acting, certainly not special effects,
but strangely I really like this film's time travel bits, like going into the past to walk through high security fences before they were built, the perpetual double causal loop, the old artifacts spawning the time chase, future successful killed by killing ancestors, restoration of dead family, effect preceding cause. The western shoot out, and western duel, at the near end are simultaneously unrealistic and satisfying.
This film came out years before Timecop (1994), so it is more original in several of the time plot devices.
Watched River of Death (1989)
1.9/5 (amazon 3.7/5, imdb 4.0/10)
I've been a fan of Alistair MacLean books for decades, and recently started ordering movies of his books that I'd never seen.
An adventurer (Hamilton) decides to go in search of the lost city in the Amazon jungle.
River Of Death tells the story of an adventurer who helps a mysterious man and woman track down a nazi criminal who has been experimenting all kinds of nasty stuff on people and tribal villagers. Along the way there are attacks by natives, lots of martial arts and downbeat ending in this adaption of the novel. River Of Death is actually more well made than the usual Cannon output at the time. Indeed the production values are adequate and Dudikoff makes for a decent rough and tumble hero. However this just isn't very exciting material, which consists of bored performances (Pleasance and Vaughn) which show us the reality that nobody wanted to give anything but the bare minimum of effort. The tribal attacks do make some impact but most of the way through this rather sub-par stuff.
Michael Dudikoff, Robert Vaughn, Donald Pleasence, L.Q. Jones.
Box Office gross: $535,031
Watched Brenda Starr (1989)
1.5/5 (amazon 3.7/5, imdb 4.5/10)
I'd never heard of this, but it came free in a 2-for-1 DVD pack with River Of Death. (DVD: "Madness on the amazon double feature.")
Brooke Shields at her cutest age, and most amazing hair.
The story centers around Mike who is a struggling newspaper comic strip artist, who draws the Brenda Starr comic strip.
Somewhere around the 5 minute mark, the animation version of Brenda Starr ends, and she comes to real human life and sets off on an adventure, and for some reason Mike goes chasing after her around the globe, meeting all sorts of adventures.
Timothy Dalton, fresh off the 007 sets of The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989), shows up as the "he could be a hero" but never actually does anything 007-y.
Brenda Starr on the other hand, is incredible, from bashing small gangs of men with her purse and knocking them out, to escaping another gang using her compact powder case, to picking a lock and doing her nails simultaneously with a nail file, to using her scarf as reigns to water ski alligators, to using her nylons as escape rope, and every other traditionally feminine thing used in an adventury way.
Brenda Starr is talented, fearless, smart and a very snappy dresser -- dozens of really nice outfits acquired from nowhere in wherever middle of hell she happens to be. The only competition she has is from the rival paper's top reporter, the evil Libby Lipscomb.
And a little international espionage, with Russians, Brits, Germans, and a couple other countries, each going after the prize: find a scientist with a secret formula which will create cheap and powerful gas from ordinary water.
The scientist is played by Henry Gibson, most famous for being the top Nazi in The Blues Brothers (1980), and in real life was an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force in the 1950s.
And yes, when they were in the amazon river, Piranha fish make the 1989 typecast appearance.
Overall, not a great film, but I never felt the need to turn it off.