• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Time Barbarians

TITLE: Time Barbarians

YEAR: 1990

GENRE: Fantasy

Troma Studios is famous for their own movies such as The Toxic Avenger, Sgt. Kabukiman: NYPD, and Class Of Nuke ‘Em High, but the truth of the matter is that most of their catalog is licensed products from other smaller studios and one-shot productions. Some of these are the more loved items in the Troma catalog such as Cannibal: The Musical, Redneck Zombies, and Surf Nazis Must Die, but most of these licensed tiles are disregarded trash and forgotten relics. Although not a complete waste of time, Troma distributed Time Barbarians is a forgettable example of early 1990’s straight to VHS trash that lacks substance in just about every category.

Doran (played by Deron McBee) is the king of a tribe of barbarian warriors who have possession of a magical amulet under their care from a wizard (Ingrid Vold). When enchanted ruffian Mandrak (Daniel Martine) steals the amulet for his own evil uses he also kills Doran’s wife Lystra (Joann Ayers), Mourning combined with rage makes Doran vow to kill Mandrak, but Mandrak has used his magical skills to flee into another time to hide from Doran’s wrath. Doran finds a way to travel in time to find his wife’s killer, and discovers a moment and place that is more foreign to him than any enchanted forest: Los Angeles circa 1990. Doran finds television reporter Penny Price (Ayers) and cameraman Brice Porter (Michael Ferraro) to help lead him through this strange land to find his wife’s murderer and to deliver some barbarian-style justice.

Time Barbarians has a significant amount of flaws throughout the production. The most noticeable issue with the production is the terrible sound mix as most of the character conversations are mixed way too low compared to the booming and militaristic soundtrack. The acting is about as bad as one would expect from a B-grade barbarian film and the story has enough plot holes to deserve some permanent “under construction” signs. Some of the swordplay is acceptable at times although most is about the quality one would expect at the county renaissance fair. In addition, nobody seems to suffer any bleeding wounds throughout the film despite numerous people getting stabbed by swords or shot with handguns. On the exploitative side, the muscle-bound men and buxom beauties in the barbarian world wear as few clothes as humanly possible and several women end up topless in a convenient group bathing scene. There are some funny moments in Time Barbarians that deserve a few chuckles, mostly during a gang fight scene where three bangers display their switchblades just before Doran draws his huge magical sword and states “Your swords match your manhood”. Unfortunately, most of the laughs are at times when the film makers did not plan for any chuckles and Time Barbarians comes across as pathetic rather than campy or sincere.

This is a product from executive producer Jerry Feifer, who brought to the world the Witchcraft straight to video series that has produced thirteen films in the franchise between 1988 and 2008. I would not expect a sequel to Time Barbarians anytime soon as it was considered a lousy piece of trash in its release time and unfortunately has not aged well at all. It is sad when the best parts of a film are some select nude scenes and unintentionally comical parts, but that is the legacy that Time Barbarians has to offer. Fans of Z-grade trash with lots of skin may enjoy a viewing but the rest of us should stay far, far away from this enchanted world.

* 1/2

–Mark

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