NEMESIS 3: Time Lapse (1995) is surprisingly an improvement on Nemesis 2, even if it’s still just a Terminator reworking. Tim Thomerson reprises a role from the original film as the ruthless cyborg hunting Alex (Sue Price again), with the help of more non-faceless cyborgs (in contrast to the boring armored brute of the original), who’s trying to find one of the other mutants sent back through time from her dystopia. Still stupid (the constant references to Alex as a “DNA mutant”—as opposed to what kind?), but a superior level of mindless action. “Your brain is a mess, son. Your brain is a toilet.”
SUPER ERUPTION (2013) doesn’t rise above the level of SyFy’s other disaster movies, but it doesn’t fall below it (which can’t be said of the rest of this week’s crop). A vulcanologist and a park ranger battling the most terrifying eruption of all time (“I’m not talking about evacuating Yellowstone, I’m talking about evacuating North America.”) get tactical advice from their future selves (the eruption is so massive, it’s magnetic side-effects are warping time!) in a future where nothing they tried worked. Appendix material, but it does qualify for that much (all rights to image with current holder). “You forgot to take into account the increased carbon dioxide from the eruption of the caldera.”
TIME RUNNER (1993) would actually qualify for Screen Enemies of the American Way as it portrays America being covertly infiltrated by alien invaders, including the sinister politician Neila (read it backwards). Mark Hamill travels back to the present from 2022, when the aliens are winning, and sets about changing history with the help of turncoat invader Rae Dawn Chong (whose switching sides is never explained). Humdrum. “Don’t you presume to know what is the greater good.”
BACK TO THE JURASSIC (2012) has three kids accidentally time-jump to the Cretaceous (despite the title) where it turns out dinosaurs are intelligent speaking creatures so instead of getting eaten, the kids get adopted (in the best touch, neither side ever learns to speak the others’ language). Mediocre kidvid (the bratty lead is more annoying than impishly charming) that would double-bill well with Hot Tub Time Machine, as spilling soda is the key to time travel in both. “Is the tar pit too hot for you?”
ROMAN SCANDALS (1933) stars Eddie Cantor as a handyman in the town of West Rome who dreams himself back in Ancient Rome helping a heroic general fight corrupt emperor Eddie Arnold (surprisingly although he’s fighting corruption in the present too, there’s a different actor as the villain). A musical with numbers by Busby Berkeley, but the contemporary bits works much better than the Roman (particularly an Ancient Roman Blackface Number) “The one without the parsley is the one without the poison.”
CRYPTIC (2009) is an oddly titled entry in the Time Traveling Communications sub-subgenre, as a sullen teenager discovers the phone her late mother gave her enables her to talk to her childhood self. Unfortunately in the efforts to avert her mother’s accidental death, she discovers her mother’s death was not, in fact, an accident … This isn’t bad, but suffers from a very inadequate cast. “We all just exist in one big gloop between matter, energy and matter.”
A STRANGER IN TIME (1995) has a young girl from 1890 hurled into 1989, where she learns about pizza and friendship before heading home. This is another one that fails because of the acting as the running time is taken up almost entirely with the talentless child actors having fun. “She established the city’s first fire department”
BEASTIES (1991) is a Critters knockoff in which tiny alien monsters chew up teenagers, disrupting a war zone between Mohawked punks and normal kids. This was apparently a literal amateur effort (shot originally on Super8) that wound up preserved on video. Very, very feeble, but the fact the alien ship is actually traveling through time and not space qualifies it for the appendix.