10 Things You Didn’t Know About Timerider
Hollywood has produced a wide range of time travel themed movies over the years including Back to the Future, Timecop, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Looper, Hot Tub Time Machine and The Terminator. But there is one time travel movie that once you’ve seen it, will always stand out from the crowd and that movie is the 1982 film, Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann.
The Shout Factory Blu-Ray release of Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann included a commentary track with the movie’s director William Dear. Dear also co-wrote the movie along with Michael Nesmith (you may remember him from The Monkees). I recently sat down and re-watched Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann but this time with Dear’s commentary. If there are any aspiring filmmakers reading this, I’d suggest picking up this Blu-ray as Dear provides a lot of insight and tips on shooting a movie, especially shooting one outdoors. He also gives a lot of behind the scenes insights and now I will share some of the interesting Timerider tidbits I picked up as I present…
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann
1. The story of Timerider evolved from idea William Dear had for a movie titled The Bike.
2. The movie was shot in 25 days with a budget of one million dollars.
3. Fred Ward was not how co-writer Michael Nesmith envisioned the character of Lyle Swann. Nesmith’s vision was that Swann was a California surfer dude type. William Dear was a big fan of Ward’s in the movie Escape from Alcatraz and liked the combination of innocence and ruggedness that Ward brought to the Swann character.
4. The guns used in the film are known as “dust guns”. Dust Guns are air guns that shoot dust pellets.
5. Due to the movie’s limited budget, some of the dresses worn by the female extras in the town of San Marcos were made from table cloths stolen from the Hilton. Also the perimeter markers used for the time travel experiment was actually a piece of junk that William Dear picked up at a flea market.
6. When Lyle Swann travels back in time, he is purposely the only character wearing red (the only other red used in the film at that point is the blood). This was done so he would really stand out and give him the aura of being El Diablo.
7. Director William Dear’s all-time favorite western was Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch. Richard Masur and Tracey Walter’s characters The Dorsett Brothers were inspired by characters in the movie The Wild Bunch and L.Q. Jones, who plays U.S. marshall Ben Potter in Timerider, also starred in The Wild Bunch.
8. A flash flood destroyed the cabin the crew built for Peter Coyote’s character, Porter Reese. Fortunately all the necessary scenes involving Reese’s cabin were shot just hours before the flash flood hit.
9. Timerider was the first film role for Miguel Sandoval. Sandoval would go on to star in such movies as Death Wish V: The Face of Death with Charles Bronson, Clear and Present Danger with Harrison Ford and Collateral Damage with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
10. When Claire (Belinda Bauer) shoots off the nose of Carl Dorsett (Tracey Walter) the Wilhelm scream is used. The Wilhelm scream is a stock sound effect that has been used in over 225 movies and tv shows over the years beginning with the 1951 movie, Distant Drums, starring Gary Cooper.