The Time Traveller (1984)

aka The Next One
Article 4658 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 10-18-2014
Directed by Nico Mastorakis
Featuring Keir Dullea, Adrienne Barbeau, Peter Hobbs
Country: USA / Greece
What it is: Odd SF/mystical drama

After a strange electrical storm, a woman and her son find an amnesiac stranger with a number on his back washed up on the beach. He eventually claims to be a time traveller, but she fears he may be an escaped child killer.

The above plot description makes this one seem as if it might turn into a thriller of sorts, but the plot point is really nothing more than a set-up for an event that happens much later in the movie. I’m clarifying that now, because I would hate for someone to go into this one expecting something other than what it is – a leisurely drama/art film with one of the most blatantly self-conscious Christ-figures in cinema history. To be honest, I’m not quite sure how I feel about this movie; on a certain level, I admire what it’s trying to do, and the lovely Greek locations make it pretty to look at. I do think, however, that it would have made for a more interesting movie if it had kept its themes under the surface rather than out in the open; I would have liked it better if it had left me with a sense of mystery. As it is, it’s one of those movies that leaves me with the feeling that there’s less here than meets the eye. I also don’t care for the ending, which seems to court outrageous coincidence for no good purpose and opens up a can of worms that the movie blithely ignores.


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