Charles Band has been in the movie business for a pretty long time now. He has been behind some of my favorite films of all time, as well as some of my most hated. The Day Time Ended, directed by John 'Bud' Cardos, is one of Band's earlier projects and it is plagued with the same problems that bring down most of his lesser films. Sure, the film has an interesting premise and has a creative use for time travel, but none of this goes to good use and the film feels like it has no clear direction of where it is going.
The movie centers around a small family who lives in the desert in a home whose exterior reminded me of uncle Owen and aunt Beru's home in A New Hope. Settling in their home isn't going to be easy, because a bunch of aliens land nearby, and a time warp is created and the home this family lives in is subjected to attacks from various creatures from different time periods. Or, to the best of my ability I think that is what is going on in this film.
The Day Time Ended is an extremely confusing film to sit through. Most of the movie I spent saying "What the hell is going on?" I had hopes that by the end of the film, an explanation would arise that would make sense of all of the nonsense this film seemed to be delivering, but that wasn't the case. The Day Time Ended seemed determined to throw in as many crazy situations as it could that this family would have to face, but it never felt the need to give any merit or purpose to any of it.
There is a miniature space craft that terrorizes the family throughout the film, and it has gone on to become a sort of cult icon of bad cinema. I think it has been dubbed the "Vacuum Cleaner of Doom" by people, and that title is very fitting since this thing looks like it would be more interested in sucking up dirt, rather than shooting lasers at people. Also, I find it amazing that these aliens, and their mini space craft, have mastered interstellar travel but lack the ability to shoot through cheap wooden doors. I guess these aliens must have come from the same universe as the aliens in Signs.
The movie features stop motion animation, and me being such a huge fan of this special effects technique I liked its appearance in the film. The creatures were poorly designed though, especially the one that looked like a giant hippo that was walking upright. And the film never puts these creatures in a situation that really worked, or was exciting to watch. Still, the animation was decent and I enjoyed them in the film.
I had to watch the ending to The Day Time Ended twice, just to make sure that it wasn't really an ending at all. I don't like this film, but I can say that it is worth the curious watch simply because of how bad this film is. Along with Laserblast, also an early Charles Band project, The Day Time Ended is one of the best times you could have with a terrible film.