Promotional poster for Time Chasers
|Directed by||David Giancola|
|Produced by||Peter Beckwith|
|Written by||David Giancola|
|Music by||Alice Damon Kinzie
|Edited by||Ace Giancola
Time Chasers (aka Tangents) is a 1994 science fiction film directed by David Giancola and starring Matthew Bruch, George Woodard, and Bonnie Pritchard. During a limited release in 1993, it opened on 12 screens. The film follows the adventures of an amateur inventor who goes through time with his female accomplice to stop an evil megacorporation intent on changing history for profit. The film was lampooned on Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 1997 and by Rifftrax in a live event broadcast on May 5, 2016.
Physics teacher and amateur pilot Nick Miller (Matthew Bruch) has finally completed his quest of enabling time travel, via a Commodore 64 and his small airplane. After being inspired by a television commercial for GenCorp, he uses a ruse to bring out both a GenCorp executive and a reporter from a local paper. To Nick's surprise, the reporter is Lisa Hansen (Bonnie Pritchard), an old high school flame. One trip to 2041 later and Gencorp's executive, Matthew Paul (Peter Harrington), quickly arranges Nick a meeting with CEO J.K. Robertson (George Woodard). Impressed by the potential of time travel, Robertson offers Nick a licensing agreement on the technology.
The following week, Nick and Lisa meet at the supermarket and go on a date to the 1950s. However, another trip to 2041 reveals that GenCorp abused Nick's time travel technology, creating a dystopian future. In an attempt to tell J.K. about how GenCorp inadvertently ruined the future. J.K. dismisses the eventuality, and states that there's enough time to worry about how to fix it before it happens. J.K. sees Nick as a threat to GenCorp, and due to the association with the U.S. Government, considers Nick's actions as treason. Nick and Lisa escape GenCorp and spend the remainder of the film trying to reverse the damage to the future. When J.K. finds out about this, he and Matt try to shoot down Nick's plane, killing Lisa in the process while Nick jumps out before the plane crashes. This ultimately culminates in a fight in 1777 during the American Revolution, the deaths of the present Nick and Robertson, and the destruction of the time machine before the original demo, thus ensuring that the majority of the film's events never happen in the first place. The film ends with the now current Nick (now aware of the danger of his time machine) sabotaging his demonstration, and doing a pitch of how an elderly skydiver would be a better ad campaign for J.K.'s company. Furious about being misled, J.K. fires Matt. Nick deletes the eight 5¼" floppy disks that make time travel possible. At the end of the film, Nick talks to Lisa in the supermarket as he did in the previous timeline.
- Matthew Bruch as Nick Miller
- Bonnie Pritchard as Lisa Henson
- Peter Harrington as Matthew Paul
- George Woodard as J.K. Robertson
- Jason Smiley as Future Inhabitant
The production was shot in the Rutland, Vermont area in summer 1990, though it has a distinctive assortment of mid-1980s cultural artifacts, sets, and props. It was made on a $150,000 budget by 20-year-old director David Giancola and his company Edgewood Studios. The film initially lost money, but licensing fees for its 1997 Mystery Science Theater 3000 appearance took its earnings out of the red. The lead, Matthew Bruch, was also the Stunt Coordinator. There are a few of Giancola's relatives who also worked on the film, two of whom were Executive Producers of the film.
Some sources claim that the GenCorp executive's desk is actually at the top of the stairs at Castleton State College near Rutland, but other sources claim it was filmed at the Rutland Opera House; director David Giancola says that "[i]t was a combination of both the offices and studios of radio station WJJR 98.1 and The Howard Bank." When heckling it, the MST3K crew lampooned it as being in a public library and featuring a "giant circus mirror." The grocery store scene was shot inside Martins, an actual grocery chain which eventually rebranded and has since moved its Rutland location (twice). The former Martins site (formerly the Rutland Mall) is now where Big Lots exists, inside the Home Depot complex. The exteriors were of the local power utility, VELCO." Scenes of the dystopic future were filmed at the Howe Center which Giancola's family was then renovating. A few scenes were shot in the Burlington area; the undisturbed future were shot by the Papa Gino's in what was then the Burlington Square Mall and the 1950s diner was Libby's Blue Line Diner (now Athens Diner) by I-89 Exit 16.
For the showing on MST3K, the cast and crew had a reunion party to view the lampooning. MST3K star Michael J. Nelson claims that some at the party were not happy at the mocking, in particular Peter Harrington. Director Giancola said they all "laughed their asses off," but also admitted that some people at the time "took it a bit too seriously."
A stray comment on the MST3K version led to this film incorrectly appearing on the IMDB profile for Lisa Kudrow for a number of years. The role of "worshipful one" is actually played by Vicky A. Bourn, in her one and only film role.
In 2004, when asked if he was considering a sequel, Giancola said: "We don't have any plans for a sequel, there have been so many time travel films since covering the same material, I don't feel I have anything new to add."
In 2008, a new "Special Anniversary Edition" of the film was released with deleted scenes, new audio commentary and in depth humorous interviews, including "Memories In Time" by filmmaker Andrew Gannon.
- Dunne, Susan. "Cheesy Classic 'Timechasers' Gets RiffTrax Treatment". Retrieved 7 May 2016.
- "RiffTrax takes on cult classic 'Time Chasers'". Retrieved 7 May 2016.
- "Time Chasers at Daddy-O's Drive-In Dirt". mst3kinfo.com.