85% positive reviews for a Spanish language sci-fi film with no budget?
To be fair the budget was said to be $2.6 million, but that was because
)1) the caterer delivered the 12-inch subs instead of the 6-inch, and (2)
there must have been a payment of $2.5 million to somebody's bookie. So how can a decent Sci-Fi film even
get made with no budget? I might not have
thought of the answer to that puzzling question until I saw this film, but
the writer/director of Time Crimes (Nacho Vigolando, who also plays a
supporting acting role) demonstrated quite ingeniously that it is
possible, given adherence to the following guidelines:
1. Locate the entire story in the present, in some everyday setting.
2. Create the sci-fi element by having the main character travel back
only a few minutes in time, thus creating a situation where two of him
(or more) have to co-exist in the present day.
3. Make the time-travel apparatus low-tech and mostly off camera.
Keep the scientific explanations to a minimum, forcing the audience to
accept the simple fact of time travel, rather than to quibble about the
In the case of this particular Spanish film, "Hector from now"
co-exists with "Hector from an hour in the future" and then later with
still another Hector who is just a few more minutes out of synch. The
explanation is a long story, not really worth detailing. If you want a
complete plot summary,
there is a detailed one at IMDb. If you are intrigued by the concept,
you're better off not reading that plot summary. In fact, the little I
told you is already too much. It would be ideal to watch this movie
without knowing it is a time-travel mystery, but the title sort of spoils
that from the get-go. The satisfaction you will derive from watching this
film is based upon the fact that everything on screen seems utterly
baffling until the layers of the onion are pulled back, at which point the
little pieces seem to fit together, and you are permitted the pleasure of
a hearty "Aha!" The explanation may not really make perfect sense, but it
makes as much sense as anything is ever going to make in a time-travel
movie. The point is that the author does offer an explanation, and it's
fun to see how he gets there.
There have been discussions about remaking the film in English,
presumably with some kind of reasonable budget. Timothy Sexton (Children
of Men) had been enlisted to script it, and the rumor mill had seated
either David Cronenberg or George Romero in the director's chair. I'm not
sure how concrete the remake plans were, but the talk was really heating
up about a year ago, and then cooled off. I have not heard much about it
lately, and I'm not sure what the current status is. IMDb lists it as a
2011 film in development, whatever that means.