Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Project Shadowchaser 4: The Gates of Time
PROJECT SHADOWCHASER 4: THE GATES OF TIME (aka ORION'S KEY) (1996)
Directed by: Mark Roper
Screenplay by: B.J. Nelson
Starring: Frank Zagarino, Todd Jensen & Jennifer MacDonald
Project Shadowchaser: The Gates Of Time is a very bizarre flick. The first three Project Shadowchasers were entertaining and action packed sci-fi B-movies, with number 2, Night Siege, being the best of the bunch. Number 4 however, abandons all that made the others fun (cool fights, gunplay and lame one liners) for a muddled tale of African tribes, a dying kid, little alien dudes, a mythical elixir, lame action and some Gates Of Time that are never mentioned or seen in the film. Oh, and the psychotic cyborg from Shadowchaser 1-3 shows up too.
After a very odd prologue featuring dancing tribes, aliens and loads of lightening, Frank Zagarino’s flat-topped cyborg is unearthed by two dim-witted archaeologists and is on a quest to find an elixir and something called Orion’s Key (the film’s original title, which makes sense considering it’s said about 20 times during the film). Somehow the archaeologists’ kid and their nefarious boss get involved and it’s down to business, with the killer cyborg chasing everyone in sight. Now that’s all good and bizarre, but the strangest thing is setting all this in Africa. Watching bleach blond, leather clad Zagarino run round the desert causing havoc is very silly indeed. Director, Mark Roper (Warhead) is a South African native and fills proceedings with picturesque shots of the African landscape and its people. One minute it’s a daft sci-fi flick, the next a travelogue of the African countryside. There seems to be an awful lot of tribal dancing for a film about a killer cyborg.
It’s a shame really as The Gates Of Time has decent production values and is fairly well made and shot. More of a bemusing oddity than an entertaining film. However, look out for the creepy opening eyes in the rocks when the heroes are climbing the cliff. Sounds odd, but is eerily effective.
The flick also goes by the title of Alien Chaser.