Considering it was made on a low budget, THE DAY TIME ENDED manages to make the most of its budget with some surprisingly good special effects work.
The story involves a family who are about to move into their solar-powered home in an isolated part of the Mojave Desert in southwestern California, only to find it trashed–by motorcycle vandals, they think. But their youngest daughter (Natasha Ryan) has begun to see mysterious things–a green pyramid, strange humanoid figures, etc. And only recently, the light from a trinary star explosion has caused extremely unusual auroras to show up in the desert skies. Thus the family, led by Jim Davis and Dorothy Malone, finds themselves face-to-face with strange alien forces who have put them in a time-and-space warp.
Mixing in elements of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, THE DAY TIME ENDED, despite its obvious flaws and uneven acting, remains interesting due to the superb special effects work of David Allen. The desert setting is very appropriate for this film’s close encounters; and while the movie cannot really be compared with either Kubrick’s or Spielberg’s films, THE DAY TIME ENDED is much better than many other 2001/CLOSE ENCOUNTERS knock-offs. I give credit to director John ‘Bud’ Cardos, whose 1977 thriller KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS made for an interesting precursor to ARACHNOPHOBIA, for at least trying–and on that basis, I give THE DAY TIME ENDED a 7 out of 10.