Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Time Walker

Tom Kennedy | 1982 | 83 mins | USA

This film is about a time traveling mummy. Need I say more? Actually, yes I do, because that thumbnail sketch (exciting though it may sound) doesn't truly do this weird '80s sci-fi horror justice.

An Egyptology department at some miscellaneous university gets a mummy from King Tut's tomb. They begin by X-raying the mummy, which leads one student to discover a stash of crystals buried deep within the sarcophagus. Thinking they might be priceless gems, he tries to pawn them, but when the shop owner declares them to be worthless junk, he sells the five stones to his buddies to give to their girlfriends as gifts.

This careless theft of some ancient artifacts might even have gone unnoticed, if the mummy itself didn't disappear from its resting place the following day. Assuming it was stolen by some frat boys on a dare, campus police (and the university president) approach the investigation as a prank gone too far. Little do they know that the previous day's X-rays woke up the old guy, and he walked out on his own mummified legs.

Of course, campus party animals respond to the mummy "theft" scandal by throwing an Egypt themed party, oblivious to the fact that the mummy is walking around among them, searching for his lost crystals.

The crystals seem to be the only thing our mummy needs in order to complete an elaborate and mysterious machine, some sort of "communication device", our clever investigators eventually figure out. As the mummy's rampage gets more and more dangerous, the professor and his crack team of cops and students get closer to discovering the unbelievable truth about this traveler from another time.

Director Tom Kennedy never directed another film. In fact, other than two or three editing gigs in the '70s, Time Walker was the only film he ever worked in, in any capacity. I can't quite decide whether that fact is significant or not. All I can tell you is, he managed to include the following joke in his masterpiece:

Q: Do you know what happened to the girl who went into King Tut's tomb?
A: She came out nine months later and she was a mummy!

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