Time Travel Film Reviews
Directed by Peter Manoogian
The Basic Plot
Abbott Reeves (Roy Dotrice) is an evil scientist who develops time travel and plans to return to Roman era to establish himself as a god on earth. After testing his time travel device using a cyborg he created, he gives orders to have the cyborg dismantled. The cyborg, called Mandroid, is saved by one of the scientist's underlings who help him escape and get word to Col. Hunter, a former protégé of Reeves.
Teaming up with Col. Nora Hunter (Denise Crosby) and her pet robot S.P.O.T they set off to discover Reeves compound in the Mexican jungle. Along the way they are joined by riverboat guide Harry Fontana and eventually a ninja named Kuji, whom is the son of one the scientists killed by Reeves.
I accepted the fact going into this movie that it was going to be B Grade science fiction at its worst, but I had no idea how bad it could be. From the stock characters to the cheesy dialogue to the abysmal special effects it all added up to a formulaic movie that almost felt like it was created using randomly selected characters and plot devices.
As far as the time travel elements of the movie are involved, the time travel plays such a minor role in the plot it's barely worth mentioning. I think I may need to develop a new category of time travel movies on my web site. A category to identify those movies like Lost In Space, Galaxy Quest, and Sphere where time travel is involved but only as a very minor plot device.
In Eliminators, beside the opening sequence where the cyborg is sent back to the Roman era to test the machine the only other occurrence of time travel in the movie is at the very end when the evil scientist uses it to escape.
With many B movies a tactic often employed by the writers is to disarm the critics by poking fun at themselves and pointing out the obvious. Eliminators attempts this strategy unsuccessfully by having the characters spout such bad dialogue as the riverboat guide during one sequence "What are we a goddamn comic book? We've got cavemen, a robot and kung fu…"
The curious thing is that this movie precedes Robocop (1987) by about a year and covers a lot of the same territory. The cyborgs in both are unwilling participants who have been made machines against their will and whose memories have both been erased. Threatened with extinction, they both take the law into their own hands.
It's a sad fact when one of the redeeming qualities of this movie is a scene with Denise Crosby (Lt. Tasha Yar of Star Trek: TNG) in a wet t-shirt. Unfortunately its not nearly enough to recommend the movie in my opinion.
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