The Day Time Ended, 40 Years Ago

January 16, 2021 | By

When I started collecting and getting into film soundtracks, one of the major labels I kept tabs on and whose releases I snapped  up was Varese Sarabande, starting with their Twilight Zone series – all five volumes assembling an incredible collection of music from classic episodes.

Varese also deep-mined the catalogues of Decca catalogue, Vee-Jay Records, and many others, and as the label’s focus rapidly grew from classical music and Broadway shows to soundtracks, new scores became part of their annual roster, and among the occasionally represented composers was Richard Band, part of the indie dynasty comprised of brother & director Charles Band, and father Albert Band, a director-producer whose own career went back to the 1950s (I Bury the Living).

The Bands eventually established Empire International Pictures (1983-1988), then Full Moon Features (1989-present), and unlike the self-referential and more outrageous Troma Films, Full Moon’s canon was a quirky mix of low-budget, occasionally-comedic genre efforts in sci-fi & horror, with productions often shot in Italy.


That saucer does appear in the film… for about 1.896 seconds.


The Day Time Ended preceded the Empire years, and was interestingly distributed by Compass International Films, the firm that produced & released John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978).

Day may not have broken box off records (it didn’t) nor influenced the time-travel sub-genre (the various hands involved with the script and production heavily diluted and mish-mashed its original design), but Day did earn a small cult status on home video, albeit in poor full screen transfers which hacked up the original ‘scope framing.

The first DVDs used older video masters, but when the film was being reissued for its 40th anniversary by Full Moon’s online portal, original effects men Wayne Schmidt and Paul Gentry seemed to feel the pull to get the film’s visual effects and colours once and for all right, in terms of the look it was supposed to have, minus the technical flaws from subsequent cost-cutting and tight scheduling.

Day’s actually available on DVD and Blu – I’ve reviewed the DVD – but they’re both sourced from the revised anamorphic transfer which also features Richard Band’s score in true stereo, which is a nice surprise. Yes, the original mono mix should’ve been included (and maybe the original un-tweaked film transfer), but the film looks & sounds pretty good.

Full Moon’s forte was knowing their groove and exploiting it on home video and Pay TV, creating a brand, and assorted merchandise to shore up the entity as a different player in the horror & exploitation genre. The Empire years were also profiled in the upcoming Kickstarter-funded production, Celluloid Wizards in the Video Wasteland: The Saga of Empire Pictures, which I hope will makes its home video debut in the very near future.

Until then, The Day Time Ended is the first of several reviews showcasing the Empire and Full Moon canon.

Yes, I typed canon.

So there.

Thanks for reading,



Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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