Three teenagers in a small Arizona town transport their high school building into a time warp where they do battle with everything from a neanderthal man to post-apocalyptic mutants.
The screenplay is so disorganised that it seems more a collection of random scenes than a finished work. The time-tripping of Back To The Future and The Heavenly Kid is mixed with the special effects of Weird Science with a touch of Rambo-style violence thrown in for good measure in the finale.
Even the title is misleading, despite an elaborate buildup that introduces the young husky-voiced protagonist Michael (John Stockwell, who looks a bit long in the tooth to be a high school student) as a mechanical whizz who is being bullied by his teacher into completing an imaginative class project.
When the magic moment comes, the super-powerful engine which creates the time warp is not his own creation at all, but something he finds in a government junkyard (seems the gizmo was conveniently left behind by aliens who visited earth in 1957 – another plot element that has no relationship to anything else in the film.
There are fairly standard performances from the rest of the cast, including Danielle von Zerneck as the class wallflower, Fisher Stevens as the class cutup and Raphael Sbarge as the class nerd.
1960s icon Dennis Hopper appears as the science teacher who thinks the time machine is the best tripping device since LSD. Sadly, the film’s only potentially interesting sequence – in which Hopper enters the warp for a whirlwind tour of his favourite decade, including Beatles concerts and Woodstock – is merely talked about and not seen.
Danielle von Zerneck
Detective Isadore Nulty
Jonathan R. Betuel