Timelock (1996)


Directed by Robert Munic

Written by Joseph Barmettler

Run Time: 90 long minutes

Tagline: There’s no going back

Summary: A sub-par “Escape From Prison Planet” snore fest.

Before I begin, I want to reiterate that I know that the folks that make films like ‘Timelock’ aren’t expecting Academy Awards for their efforts; so I’m not out to criticize films like this based on high expectations.

But hell, that’s why you’re here right? You like to make fun of bad movies. You like to beat up on hapless film fodder and watch it squirm. You have an itch that the Monster Shack scratches for you. I’ve actually gotten a few emails in the past from people who have appeared or worked on these movies, some were indignant, some took it all with a grain of salt.
So look, all you film makers and actors out there who might have stumbled across this tiny, moist, Internet niche: Could I do any better? Probably not. Can I make a movie? No. Do I know anything about movie making? Not really. But I’m still going to have fun, so let’s get started.

(In case you’re wondering, I was contacted by a guy who made one of the movies featured in the Blurbs section who was a good sport about the whole thing. I also received email from the guy who plays the mute barbarian dude, Kai, in Robot Holocaust. He seemed a little peeved that I picked on the film, I wrote him back but he never responded.)

Anyway, back to Timelock:

The action takes place exclusively on the prison planet A4, a snow-swept ball of rock where “the worst are cryogenically suspended”. Actually, most of the prisoners are literally suspended by chains on a mountain side where they are presumably held forever. But why? Why?! The government pays to ship these violent criminals to a super-max planet so they can be hung out like Beef Jerky for all eternity? What’s the freaking point? Are they serving their sentence this way? If so, that’s not much of a punishment if you’re put into suspended animation for the duration of your term and then “thawed out” when it’s over. Who knows. I guess the writers thought it conveyed what a cruel, harsh system the future has in store for us.

Cut to shuttle pilot Captain Jessie Teegs, a no-nonsense female prison employee that shuttles convicted prisons from Earth to A4 for incarceration. “It’s below zero out there, 24-7,” the copilot informs the viewer since the tabletop model made of clay and scattered with soap flakes just doesn’t look that cold. Also, after living in Norway for nearly 10 years I’m just not terrible awe-struck by hearing about day-round below zero temperatures. That’s pretty much 4 months of the year here.

Meet our hero, Jack Riley, a wimpy, computer hacker and embezzler caught stealing a shitload of “neo-Dollars”, who was supposed to be transported to the minimum-security A1 planet, but was accidentally shipped to A4 instead. What a hoot! I love ‘Fish out of Water’ stories. Har har. Let the games begin.

The action starts pretty quickly when lead Bad Guy, Villum, kills a pair of guards and uploads a computer virus via a memory stick he had hidden in his tooth. (!) Naturally, the computer virus instantly disables all the security measures on the planet and the prisoners run amok killing every guard in site. (It helps that all prison cells consist of 3 walls and a force field. Why? So the prisoners can escape when the virus disables the force field on the fourth wall. Stupid movie.)

Sooooo….Captain Teegs runs around trying to make her way back to her ship to escape. Riley runs around trying to hide from the maniacal convicts. Oh, boy, will they meet and fall in love? Ack.

After a long, boring second act, one of the newly thawed out cryo-prisoners, McMasters, (described as “perverse and brilliant”…just like my web site) threatens to blow up the planet by exploding the prison’s nuclear reactor with wads of C-52, which I guess is 48 times better than C-4. (Yes, this movie is really is that dumb.)

Anyway, the escape ship won’t fly without its command program, which is stored on a 3 1/4 inch floppy disk (!)…wow. Advanced technology. So Teegs and Riley have to find it and I have to admit this movie has put me in an odd confused-angry-bored state right now, so I’m not really sure what’s happening here.

Ok, it looks like Teegs finally reaches the escape shuttle with the magical disk, while Riley catchs up with her after dispatching Villum in a Samurai sword fight! (Yes, that really happened; I’m not dreaming this.) Oh, wait a minute, I forgot that the planet was wired to detonate. Don’t worry, Riley defuses the bomb by pulling out a red wire. Now THAT was an exciting scene.

Blah, blah. Lot’s of things blow up, bad guys dies, good guys laugh.

Cut to Riley and Teegs in a hotel bed when Villum walks through the door and gives them new towels…WTF!!!!!?????

The End.

No kidding.

9 comments to Timelock (1996)

  • Sean

    New towels?!? Can I get some?

  • guts3d

    I hesitate to ask, but why towels? Did they “exercize” that much? Shudder…

  • guts3d

    I meant to add: They have a tooth sized flash drive, but still use floppy disks? Shades of Space Mutiny! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096149/

  • Regarding the towels…let’s not go there.

  • Sean

    OK. We won’t go there – but you owe me!

  • Fine with me. I promise that the next time a supposed-to-be-dead character delivers a pile of new towels to an impossible pair who have just copulated in a hotel room in a shitty prison-planet-escape-movie that I will open the scene up to further discussion just for you 🙂

  • guts3d

    Seems like a equitable compromise!

  • I figured that 🙂

  • David

    I am going insane searching the web trying to find out how Villum gets set on fire early on by an exploding gas cylinder, rolls around screaming in the background for 58 seconds (00:52:00 to 00:52:58), then just gets up without a single singed hair or charred clothing.

    What did I miss?

    I will not sleep for a week.

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