Thrill Seekers (1999) (DVD film review).

Let’s say I was curious. ‘Thrill Seekers’ is a cheap time travel story in terms of you not seeing much time travel where reading up on it sounded like it borrowed from ‘12 Monkeys’ turns out there are more liberal doses from the films ‘Timescape’/’Somewhere In Time’ and ‘Millennium’. For something that has an apparent TV budget, there are some spectacular effects scenes including the derailment of a subway train and the demolition of a sports arena, all done in 1999.


Reporter Tom Merrick (actor Casper Van Dien) has returned to his job and getting to griped with an unfamiliar computer system, left by researcher Elizabeth Wintern (actress Catherine Bell), on three historical pictures while writing a feature on major disasters he finds the same person in them. Told to investigate by his editor, this same person Murray Trevor (actor Julian Richings) is spotted on the plane and he puts things together. While Trevor is elsewhere. Merrick goes through his baggage and reads his clippings for other and events and steal the man’s gun before he disappears. At gunpoint, Merrick orders the pilots to land, correcting himself and gets the pilots to go higher and they miss another aeroplane. Once on the ground, Merrick is interrogated by the FBI who obviously don’t believe his story. He uses his phone call to get Elizabeth to look at a file on the computer and to bring to photos to the FBI to clear him.

However, two time agents, Cortez (actress Theresa Saldana) and Felder (Peter Outerbridge), try to abduct him but Merrick escapes and together with the arriving Elizabeth flee to the local tube, where he knows is the next disaster. They find Trevor on the tube and find out it’s going to crash. Keeping Trevor’s time book and discovering the driver dead at the wheel (so much for the dead man’s handle), they unhook the engine but Trevor can’t jump to the carriages.

The two time agents have to stop him because all the lives Merrick is saving is changing their future and if they stop him, they can jump back to the point before things changed and get home. Of course, the next place to have a natural disaster is to be a sports arena where Merrick’s ex-wife and son are attending. From here you’re on your own as there’s too many spoilers.

Despite having his presence on the box cover, Martin Sheen playing Grifasi has the smallest screen time. His role could have been played by anyone. The film has some real edge of the pants moments even though it includes the expected time travel elements where when things happen, you know that there is a chance for a reset. There’s even an interesting time loop connection.

‘Thrill Seekers’ might be more thriller than SF but those elements are used effectively when needed and some of it is darn right chilling. Don’t do things by the book.

GF Willmetts

May 2016

(region 2 DVD: pub: ITV Studios Home Entertainment. 88 minute film. Price: about £ 2.00 (UK). ASIN: 3711532513)

cast: Casper Van Dien, Catherine Bell, Theresa Saldana, Peter Outerbridge and Julian Richings


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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