Monstervision's Joe Bob Briggs Looks At

Timerider (1983)

Plus “Ator” and “Sword & The Sorcerer”

"Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In" for 2/11/83
By Joe Bob Briggs
Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, Texas

movie poster Before Lute Fenwick mashed in the front part of Rhett Beavers' brain and made him look like Mr. Potato Head, Rhett used to say things to me like, "Joe Bob, you dress like you're in the '50s. You need to get hip, trade in your threads for some style. This is the '80s, you know wat I mean?"
And I would always say "What?"
But then I went to the finals of the Quaker State Open last weekend at the Forum in Grand Prairie and Chubb Fricke introduced me to Guppy Troup and I'm telling you I'm a changed man. The reason I'm a changed man is that Chubb didn't know Guppy Troup when he introduced me, so that's the last time I'll ever trust Chubb around the PBA tour. But the main reason is that I found the man with the look for the '80s. I'm talking plaid slacks and shades. Did you see this man in the finals? I mean, the other turkey bowls six straight strikes, right, and it looks like Perfect Game City, three hundredsville, and what does Guppy do? Plaid-slacks him. Flashes those mothers at the peak of his backswing, lets the chandelier beams reflect the red down the land, and the man chokes to death. Guppy watches him miss two spares. Game over. Big checkarooney goes to Guppy. Listen, the man wears shades for a reason. Afterward, Guppy told me the might be moving to the area, since he's down on Jacksonville and he wants a major-league bowling town. I told him he's in the land of bowling fools. I told him the Hunt brothers built the Bronc more than 20 years ago.
He said, "What?"
Chubbs said, "Gimme some slack."
Guppy flashed those mothers again, just for us. I'm telling you, it was the highlight of my life.

I don't have time to visit this week, though, because I got three flicks for you to check out. (I tell you, it's been drive-in heaven lately.) We're talking quality stuff, too. Nitty follows.

Timerider is a biker western sci-fi comedy, probly the best one of the year. It's about this guy who tries to look like Charles Bronson only it never works; his name's Lyle Swann (Fred Ward), which you shouldn't get mixed up with T.J. Swann, which what we call Oak Cliff champagne. He's got a mean bike. One day he's tooling though Baja in a race, and these wimpola scientists from the Reagan administration have their equipment out on the course, and they accidentally zap him back to 1877. Lyle keeps trucking until he comes to this campsite and an old Meskin sees that bike and drops dead. Then Peter Coyote sees the bike and he tells these weird-beard outlaws he wants it, and they go after him. But this fox named Claire with frizzed hair scares away the turkeys and pastes one of them in the schnozz with her pistol. Then--here's the good part--Claire holds the gun on Swann until he takes off his clothes and gets in her sack. Next day: fox gone, bike gone. Swann wants 'em both back, but Peter Coyote has her tied up like a cabrito dinner. So Lyle has to go kill some creepolas if he wants more time with the fox.

movie poster One good motor vehicle and horse chase.
Eleven corpses.
Two breasts.
No creatures.
Heads do not roll.
About three decent jokes and a lot of indecent ones.
Some kung fu, non-pro.
Two and a half stars.
Note: it was originally released in Los Angeles as "The Adventures of Lyle Swann"
Additional cast: Ed Lauter, Richard Masur, L.Q. Jones
Script by producer Michael Nesmith and William Dear, Directed by William Dear [who later directed Harry & The Hendersons, which has someone named John Bloom in the cast, and William Dear first met former Monkee Nesmith when they made the music video "Elephant Parts"].

Numero two-o: Miles O'Keefe has been doing some deltoid work at the gym and he let his hair grow out like a cocker spaniel and they wrapped these fluffies around his ankles like a Clydesdale and gave him a magic shield to wear over his belly button and so now he's Ator, the Fighting Eagle, which is the name of his first talking movie. He made a silent film called "Tarzan the Ape Man" where Bo Derek does all the talking. The only reason anybody ever sat through that turkey was the part where Bo says, "I think I'll take a bath," and everybody wakes up to see her naked. I'm her to tell you: Bo Derek naked is nothing compared to Sabrina Stani; this bleached blonde Amazon bimbo that Miles finds on his way to the Temple of the Spider. Miles has to go there to kill this Tarantula Man who wears gold makeup, and after that he'll get his wife back. I don't really want to go into it, because it's that barbarian stuff again.

One good village massacre, with a lot of baby-killing.
Good scene where the Amazons tie up Miles and fight for the privilege of being his sex object for one night.
One mass zombie attack.
Tarantula torture scene.
Volcanic eruption.
Two breasts, supremo.
Heads roll.
Corpse count in the high double digits.
No kung fu.
Three stars.

Numero three-o, last but not least, the re-release of the season, you saw it last year but you couldn't wait for more. The Sword and the Sorcerer.
We're talking rape.
We're talking pillage.
We're talking Barbarian City.
Highlights: This conqueror guy named Cromwell goes to the end of the world to meet this slime glopola man, but when he gets there he says, "How do we know a toad like you even has the power to aid us?" And the slime glopola man calls this girl into the room and concentrates really hard and makes her heart rip out of her chest by ESP. Later this Nautilus guy named Lee Horsley rescues a bimbo who's about to be raped by some drunks. Then she says, "Is your sword for hire?" and he gets this look on his face like, "I hope so." Same old story: she wants him to get her brother out of prison. He says, "OK, but he gets one night in the sack for that. So the rest of the movie is this guy going through dungeons and getting tortured and being in a rat stamped and getting knocked in the moat and watching this girl get her tongue cut out and seeing a guy get crucified and fight off some snakes--and for what? One night with this bimbo? Not logical. One star off for that.

movie poster At least 90 corpses.
Mucho snakes.
Heads roll.
Minimal kung fu.
One beast.
No motor vehicles.
Magician guy with orange fingernails.
Final line in movie: "There's a battle in the offering! We've got kingdoms to save and women to love!"
Three stars.

© 1983 Joe Bob Briggs. All Rights Reserved

For more of Joe Bob's pre-TNT reviews from Grapevine, Texas, go to his Drive-In Reviews Archive over yonder at www.Joe Bob

"Timerider" is available on video and on DVD

"Sword & The Sorcerer" is available on video and on DVD

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Fast fact: In "Sword & The Sorcerer," stuntman Jack Tyree was killed when he jumped off a cliff and missed his airbags.

Could a low-budget movie this silly lead to a TV-series? Of course! The low-budget British series “Time Riders” only ran four episodes, in 1991, and substituted a Yamaha motorbike. The cast was Haydn Gynne, Clive Merrison and Kerry Swale.

Elvis has left the building, and he took Joe Bob with him.