The 1994 film Time Chasers rightfully belongs in the “so bad it’s good” cinema Hall Of Fame. The independently made low-budget sci-fi film probably would have disappeared without a trace were it not for its 1997 appearance on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Since then, the film has become a cult classic, and rightly so. Even though it’s not a great film, it’s a fun one, and has held up surprisingly well on its own. We were surprised to learn that Burger Records had reissued the soundtrack, so we simply had to check it out. We were thus surprised to learn something quite extraordinary: this soundtrack is fantastic!
As for the film, the plot is simple. A young scientist invents a time machine. He sees a late-night television ad for a shady patent company, and he calls them. He demonstrates the time machine ability and forms a partnership. Unfortunately for protagonist Nick, he doesn’t pick up on the evil of his new partner. The company sells the patent to the Pentagon, and Nick only learns of this when he revisits the future and discovers a society in ruins. Thus begins a chase through time between Nick and the evil corporation head, whilst Nick decides to go back to the immediate future and warn his past self of the dangers of his invention.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that one shouldn’t necessarily judge a soundtrack or score based upon the quality of the film. If we did, we’d be dismissing a hell of a lot of fantastic Tangerine Dream and Goblin records! We specifically reference those two bands here, because they serve as great points of comparison. Alice Damon Kinzie and Bill Kinzie are rather obscure; a Discogs search finds nothing for Alice (though there exists an Alice Damon in the private press New Age circles, and even then with very obscure credits) and membership in a world music band for Bill. Yet that’s perhaps fitting considering the overall obscurity of Time Chasers.
Buried beneath the films low-budget production and somewhat amateurish plot beats a rather sophisticated score. The sixteen tracks here are somewhat typical of the late 80s/early 90s ambient sci-fi score; at 34 minutes, most pieces are more impressionistic slices than complete thoughts. A shame, as one would love to hear “Flashback” for more than 1:45. Then again, consider the track that follows, “Time Chasing”. Though it runs less than a minute, the duo pack enough meat into the piece, and it feels much more substantial. “Fantasy,” with its cheesy similarity to a number of light rock hits, deserved mocking by the Satellite of Love crew. Yet presented here, it comes off as charming. (The only weak moment here belongs to the one new piece of music, the reggae-minded “Selling The Truth,” which appeared in a deleted scene.)
Though Time Chasers won’t rank as high quality cinema, it’s still a fun watch. The soundtrack is equally a delight; it stands on its own, a rare jewel hidden away in plain sight.
Purchase Alice Damon Kinzie & Bill Kenzie Time Chasers: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Burger Records