Jack and Sam are back in this new installment of Chris Lukeman’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN . . . series. The first was reviewed here. In case you’re unaware, this is not the ‘Seventies you remember. No, in Lukeman’s world, there is a rift in time and space that has opened up over the city (it apparently moves around, not in a fixed location). Every once in a while, the rift spits something from the future out, which is why Jack and Sam have such cool (for the period) toys.
Never mind that something like a rift in time and space wouldn’t be carefully locked down by the government. Such common sense things aren’t important to a tale like this. Story has never been the strong point of these movies. Dialogue and style rule over all.
Anyway, this time out, more robots have descended upon the city, but this time they’re dressed as . . . pimps. That’s right, pimps. And they’re using Bud again as a tool so they can finally succeed in destroying the boys this time. They’ve taken over a disco Jack and Sam hang out at with their girls, and they’re intent on destroying everything.
Or are they? Bud seems to have a list of people who they’re not supposed to kill because they’re important to the future. And then there’s the mad scientist on the roof of the disco. Is he the guy whose hand we saw at the end of ONCE UPON A TIME IN 1972?
Lukeman has not lost his flair for the ‘Seventies. The costumes are perfect. The settings are perfect. Even the mustaches are perfect. The special effects this time out do utilize CGI, but he keeps it in the same tone as the ‘Seventies. There are some great cheesy ray gun effects that will bring you back to the good ol’ days.
The acting is a bit better this time out. Most of the actors are a bit stiff, but it looks like Jonathan Harden is finally comfortable in his role as Jack. The true standout is Thomas Nicol as Sam, though. He’s so laid back and witty, he is the best actor of the flick this time out. Matt Fear is his usual sleazy self as Bud. The Man on the Roof (ie. aforementioned the mad scientist), played by Peter Davis, is outstanding in his calmer moments. He hams it up a bit too much when he acts a little crazy, but when he’s subdued, he’s actually a bit creepy.
Once again, Lukeman hits all the high points with his new film. The last scene, however, is rather chilling. It would seem that he’s going to some very dark places with the next installment. If you haven’t checked out the series yet, you should hop on board now, before things get nasty next time out.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN 1977Written and directed by Chris Lukeman
Produced by Kill Vampire
2013, 27 minutes