G.I. SAMURAI; TIME SLIP: THE DAY OF THE APOCALYPSE
Time Slip is the Japanese rejoinder to The Final Countdown in more ways that the obvious debt of inspiration. Where The Final Countdown had the primitive Japanese military forces as the enemy and showed modern American military firepower as all-powerful, Time Slip by contrast has the sheer force of primitive numbers and fights conducted with sticks and stones triumphing over modern military superiority. While The Final Countdown suffered a case of conceptual cowardice when it came to changing history and opted out of the question altogether with a corny plot device, Time Slip knows no such bounds. Sonny Chibas military commander throws out all concerns about changing history and leaps into the midst of battle with gung ho relish. Certainly, his peculiar notion that he will be able to get back to his own time by changing history is not one that seems to have been very well thought out. Nor does the film resolve the thrust of its story in terms of allowing history to be changed and instead goes out with an abrupt and downbeat anticlimax. One suspects that the script was never thought out beyond the initial concept of seeing modern military forces taking on horseback-mounted samurai armies certainly, the film displays no more interest in the concept beyond the battle scenes and the appealing image of modern and feudal forces colliding.
What makes Time Slip entirely watchable is the amazingly brutal, unromanticised and bloodthirsty battle scenes. The films main set-piece is an all-out battle between modern military and samurai armies that goes on for some thirty minutes. It contains some amazing scenes of one modern soldier holding off hundreds of foot-soldiers with a machine-gun, unarmed samurai managing to overwhelm a tank, one lone assassin armed with a knife managing to get aboard and down a helicopter, beheadings, ambush traps bringing down trucks, armies in the hundreds charging over multiple hillsides in the same shot. The ferocity and all-out ruthlessness of the scenes startles. It is surely one of the most amazing of all on-screen battle scenes. It was possibly even more brutal and bloodthirsty in the original Japanese print while the original version runs to 139 minutes screen time, the English-language cinematic version of the film is missing 40 minutes and the US video version an entire 54 minutes.
Time Slip was later remade as Samurai Commando Mission 1549 (2005).