Directed by: Rob Taylor
Written by: Nic Costa, Rob Taylor
Cast: Rob Taylor, Nic Costa, Matt Zak, Jordana Ansley
Swift shot: What the hell was that? I mean, really, what in the actual Seven Hells did I just watch there? A crazy sci-fi comedy action flick that has good old fashioned T n A, plenty of violence, decent special effects for its budget, there were puppets, there was singing, there was David Ogden Stiers and Walter Koenig, the original Chekov, for those that don’t know. And, truth be told, I haven’t been this challenged writing a review since Hit Team! All I can say for sure is Neil Stryker and The Tyrant of Time is original, and it has an uncanny Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog timbre to it, with a bit of Buckaroo Banzai absurdity peppered in.
Neil Stryker (Taylor) is a member of the futuristic Elite Forces Agency and when the film starts he gets suspended for killing someone he was supposed to bring in alive. Stryker’s the kind of badass who prefers to work alone and when he is saddled with a partner, Veronica (Ansley) he grumbles in the usual way about it to his less than usual boss, Commander Fred (Stephen Lisk). Stryker’s then forced to take on an entire team of fresh idiots for a suicide mission to capture a mad scientist who has managed to escape a mental ward and kidnap a nurse (Bryna Smith), for some reason.
Imagine Beetlejuice was transported into the future and became a mad scientist after discovering the secret of time travel. That’s essentially who “The Mad Scientist” is in Neil Stryker and The Tyrant of Time. It actually took me longer than I would like to admit to figure out that Mad Scientist was played by the same guy as Stryker. The voice should have been more of a clue, as Stryker used that stupid Batman growl the whole movie and Mad Scientist used a similar cartoonish growl.
In fact, that’s almost what this film was, an adult cartoon, like a story out of “Heavy Metal” magazine. Not that there was anything wrong with that, in fact, it can be refreshing to let your brain shut off for a bit and enjoy some cerebral cotton candy.
The story is actually fairly straight-forward when you think about it, there’s a bad guy that this team of misfits has to capture. That’s about the only “normal” thing about Neil Stryker and The Tyrant of Time. After that has been established, literally anything can (and does) happen. As I said before, there was singing and puppets and boobs and violence galore . . . and special robots. There is nothing at all cliche about this film, quite the opposite in fact. Probably its biggest criticism is that it understands this hook and “goes there” many times throughout its 97 minute run-time.
Still, I can’t say I hated it, I am not sure I loved it either, but Director Taylor did a decent job with what he had to work with and never lets the film become serious in any way. I also really liked the Daryl character played by writer Costa, he was sympathetic and even symphonic. I can see a lot of progression ahead for Costa and Taylor, as they miraculously mustered up some classic talent to star in this bizarre action sci-fi. Since they never really take anything seriously in the film, I almost feel stupid for trying to write a serious review about it. It was just a sci-fi comedy that should be enjoyed with friends that appreciate ridiculous films.
If you are seeking something completely off-the-wall and unpredictable, Neil Stryker and The Tyrant of Time is a safe bet. I guarantee it is like nothing else you have ever seen before, and there are puppets.