10 Of My Favorite Bad Movies – #5 Time Rider
In this little foray into bad cinema, I’ve mainly stuck to some very familiar movies, well maybe with the exception of Infra-Man. But for the most part, the majority of these films are familiar to the public at large. So what happens when you come across a movie that is so bad, ii never even got aired on the Sci-Fi Network? Hell I don’t even think it will get shown on SyFy Network!
AH! But such a movie does exist! A movie that isn’t even Howard The Duck!
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Time Rider: The Adventure Of Lyle Swann, a movie that features another well-loved actor in Fred Ward. Sure our man Fred was in Remo Williams The Adventure Begins (ironically named since the adventure ended in the first movie), but as much fun as that movie was it didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Sure our man Fred decided to let Joel Grey teach him martial arts… No I’m not joking, go watch Remo Williams and marvel as Joel Grey, Mr. Velkom Bienvenue, tries to pass himself off as a Chinese martial artist. I can’t make that shit up, it is on film! There is HARD EVIDENCE~!
Ok back on subject, Time Rider is a magnificently bad piece of sci-fi cinema. I mean it involves time travel, so you know something is going to go wrong and fuck up the timestream. I mean there has never been and I mean NEVER been a book, movie or TV series where time travel is the one of the main themes and the timestream stays normal. It just doesn’t work that way. Once a science fiction element like time travel is introduced in a story, the audience expects shit to get messed up in time. Hell, it is pretty much why people have paid money to see a time travel movie in the first place and with a tag line like “He is an Off-Road Raceer Who Is Way, Way Off The Road!”. Shit, with a tagline like that I’d be confused to know if I was watching a comedy or a bad sci-fi movie? Is it supposed to be both? Can anyone help me decipher Time Rider: The Adventure Of Lyle Swann? CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT?
Amazingly enough, people have actually paid money to see Time Rider: The Adventure Of Lyle Swann! Sweet Christ! There even might be people that have actually watched it more than once. Maybe it is worshipped overseas as some brilliant farce. Maybe they speak of Time Rider:The Adventure Of Lyle Swann in France with the same reverance that they speak of Jerry Lewis. Maybe this movie is actually some deep discourse on existentialism. Could this be the movie Camus wish he had been able to make?
Fuck no! No matter how you slice it, it is a movie about a motocross chamion that travels back in time. There is no hidden meaning in it. This isn’t Terminator 2, a sci-fi movie with a hidden message of Predestination and resinging yourself to fate v. Self-Actualization and fighting against it. No, this is Time Rider and THIS IS ONE STUPID MOVIE!
The breakdown is this… Lyle Swann is a champion off road dirtbike racer. See our man Lyle has a rep as a great moto-cross type guy but is always adding new tech to his bike to stay ahead of the competition. So when Swann accidentally rides off course one day and finds himself in the middle of a time travel experiment things… wait for it… GO WRONG! Swann finds himself transported back to the year 1877. Of course Swann is a dipshit and unaware that he has travelled back through time and decides to head on back to civilazation. Lyle Swann, as demonstrated by the misshap of driving off a motocross course and into a time travel experiment, is
fucking dumber than a box of rocks not a bright man. He really doesn’t help himself out by riding into a small village inhabited by local Mexicans, who see him in his RED motocross suit and motorcycle and deduce that he is the devil.
Luckily he meets a woman named Claire who is pretty handy with a gun. They become fast friends and she eventually
rapes seduces him at gunpoint. I mean it isn’t like Swann isn’t up for it, he is a man, she is a woman so why not make some time for the Boom-Boom?
During their time together he gives her his backstory and begins to get friendly with the locals (remember kids, glowsticks will impress anyone). Of course Swann can’t be lucky enough to just stay in the past with his new woman and have hot sex at gunpoint whenever he wants, no there is a raping gang of thieves and murderers out there led by outlaw Porter Reese. Reese got a look at Swann’s “Mechanical Horse” and wants it for himself. After a series of mishaps Reese actually gets the damn bike and can’t even begin to really figure the damn thing out. Luckily Swann gets help from a local posse trying to hunt Reese and this leads to a good old showdown.
Reese gets the upper hand and looks to finish our man Swann off but stops short as a helicopter, sent by the scientists in 1982, shows up. Reese falls off the plateau he and Swann were fighting on, as the roto blades cut him off at the shins, leaving just a bloody pair of boots behind. Swann GETS TO ZE CHOPPER but poor Claire doesn’t. However in her last desperate grab for Swann, she snatches the necklace around his neck as a keepsake. See the necklace is the Swann family heirloom handed down from Swann’s great-great-grandfather. The puzzle slides into place now for our man Lyle Swann, as he realizes he is his own great-great-grandfather and thus he has created a predestination time-loop. Mind you he doesn’t say this outloud or anything. I mean that would be kind of fucking awkward wouldn’t it? “Holy shit crazy time travelling scientists! That chick back there I totally fucked? Now she is barefoot and pregnant with my great grandad! I’m my own family tree!”. Holy fuck, this movie IS philosophical, It is almost Howardian in its themes of Civilization v. Barbarism and how in such cases Barbarism must prevail!
NAH! I’m fucking with you, seriously, this is Time Rider: The Adventure Of Lyle Swann and this is one immense turd of a movie floating in the toilet bowl of cinema!
Oh I could stop here my friends but it just gets worse, because even if the movie is over, finding out who is responsible for this unintentional comedy is the most painful blow of all. Ladies and gentleman, your writer, producer and soundtrack composer of Time Rider: The Adventure Of Lyle Swann is none other than… MIKE NESMITH! Yes, former Monkee Mike Nesmith couldn’t just sit at home waiting for all his Liquid Paper to dry. He had to take a stab at writing bad science fiction. Once you realize Nesmith is involved, all the comedy between the action scenes kind of fall into a new perspective. That new perspective? THIS FUCKING MOVIE IS ALL MIKE NESMITH’S FUCKING FAULT! I had to watch Lyle Swann give an old man from the frontier a heartattack because Mike Nesmith had to be creative? Fuck! I mean seriously, I love The Monkees and Nesmith’s music but… FUCK! If I ever meet Nesmith I’m going to shake his hand and say “Thank you so much, your music has meant so much to me over the years but…” then I’ll punch him as hard as I can in the amr and say “BUT THAT’S FOR TIME RIDER MOTHERFUCKER~!”.
So in summation, Time Rider: The Adventure Of Lyle Swann is just as bad as the name of the movie might imply. Watch it once and then try to fidn someway to UNSEE it. If you have already seen he movie and I’ve dredged up unpleasant memories for you… well find Mike Nesmith and punch him in the arm. You’ll feel better!