Thrill Seekers (film)

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Thrill Seekers
Thrill Seekers FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Mario Azzopardi
Written by Kurt Inderbitzin
Gay Walch
Starring Casper Van Dien
Catherine Bell
Julian Richings
Music by Fred Mollin
Distributed byTBS
Release date
  • October 17, 1999 (1999-10-17)
CountryUnited States

Thrill Seekers (also known as The Time Shifters) is a 1999 science fiction television film directed by Mario Azzopardi and starring Casper Van Dien, Catherine Bell, Julian Richings and Martin Sheen. The film aired on October 17, 1999 on TBS.

Science fiction film Film genre

Science fiction film is a genre that uses speculative, fictional science-based depictions of phenomena that are not fully accepted by mainstream science, such as extraterrestrial lifeforms, alien worlds, extrasensory perception and time travel, along with futuristic elements such as spacecraft, robots, cyborgs, interstellar travel or other technologies. Science fiction films have often been used to focus on political or social issues, and to explore philosophical issues like the human condition. In many cases, tropes derived from written science fiction may be used by filmmakers ignorant of or at best indifferent to the standards of scientific plausibility and plot logic to which written science fiction is traditionally held.

A television film is a feature-length motion picture that is produced and originally distributed by or to a television network, in contrast to theatrical films made explicitly for initial showing in movie theaters.

Casper Van Dien American actor

Casper Robert Van Dien Jr. is an American actor and producer.


The film was shot in Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. [1]

Hamilton, Ontario City in Ontario, Canada

Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. An industrialized city in the Golden Horseshoe at the west end of Lake Ontario, Hamilton has a population of 536,917, and its metropolitan area, which includes Burlington and Grimsby, has a population of 747,545. The city is about 60 km southwest of Toronto, with which the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) is formed.

Toronto Provincial capital city in Ontario, Canada

Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. Toronto is the anchor of an urban agglomeration, known as the Golden Horseshoe in Southern Ontario, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Ontario Province of Canada

Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada. Located in Central Canada, it is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.


Tom Merrick (Van Dien) is a TV reporter filming a live segment on a fire at a power plant. He spots a creepy-looking man (Richings), causing him to move away from his crew. This accidentally saves his life as the crew is killed in the partial collapse of a building. After the accident, Merrick gives up his job as a reporter and begins working for a magazine.

While researching catastrophes, he finds several pictures of the man from the power plant, who appears to turn up in different disasters (sinking of Titanic, Hindenburg disaster and Hurricane Hugo), but who still looks the same in all the pictures. Merrick's boss Eleanor books him a flight to Washington, D.C. to get the original photographs. On the plane, he spots the man from the power plant and photos and checks his luggage. He finds a flyer and discovers a future enterprise – Thrill Seekers – will make time travel possible in the year 2070 and will sell trips to the past to allow travelers to visit a catastrophe before it occurs, but are able to travel back in time again before they get killed. Merrick finds out that the flight he is on will be involved in a mid-air collision, killing everyone on board.

Sinking of the RMS <i>Titanic</i> 1912 maritime disaster

The RMS Titanic sank in the early morning of 15 April 1912 in the North Atlantic Ocean, four days into the ship's maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. The largest ocean liner in service at the time, Titanic had an estimated 2,224 people on board when she struck an iceberg at around 23:40 on Sunday, 14 April 1912. Her sinking two hours and forty minutes later at 02:20 on Monday, 15 April, resulted in the deaths of more than 1,500 people, making it one of the deadliest peacetime marine disasters in history.

<i>Hindenburg</i> disaster Airship fire, 6 May 1937

The Hindenburg disaster occurred on May 6, 1937, in Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States. The German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed during its attempt to dock with its mooring mast at Naval Air Station Lakehurst. On board were 97 people ; there were 36 fatalities.

Hurricane Hugo Category 5 Atlantic hurricane in 1989

Hurricane Hugo was a powerful Cape Verde hurricane that caused widespread damage and loss of life in Guadeloupe, Saint Croix, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and the Southeast United States. It formed over the eastern Atlantic near the Cape Verde Islands on September 9, 1989. Hugo moved thousands of miles across the Atlantic, rapidly strengthening to briefly attain Category 5 hurricane strength on its journey. It later crossed over Guadeloupe, St. Croix and St. Thomas on September 17 and 18 as a Category 4 hurricane. Weakening slightly more, it passed over Puerto Rico as a strong Category 3 hurricane. Further weakening occurred several hours after re-emerging into the Atlantic, becoming downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane. However, it re-strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane before making landfall just slightly north of Charleston, on Isle of Palms on September 22, with 140 mph sustained winds. Hugo had weakened into a remnant low near Lake Erie by the next day. Hurricane Hugo is the most intense tropical cyclone to strike the East Coast north of Florida since 1898.

Merrick forces the pilots to change course, which saves the plane from crashing. The mysterious man disappears before landing. Merrick is arrested by the FBI on the charge of aircraft hijacking. Agent Baker is sure about the hijacking attempt while his partner, Agent Stanton, believes Merrick's story. The averted disaster causes changes in the future, so Grifasi (Sheen), the head of Thrill Seekers, sends agents Cortez and Felder to the past to stop Merrick. The agents kidnap Merrick, but he is able to escape and hide.

Aircraft hijacking is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group. Dating from the earliest of hijackings, most cases involve the pilot being forced to fly according to the hijackers demands. However, in rare cases, the hijackers have flown the aircraft themselves and used them in suicide attacks; most notably in the September 11 attacks, and in several cases, planes have been seized by the official pilot or co-pilot.

Merrick contacts his colleague Elizabeth (Bell) for help. They head to the Chicago subway where, according to the future itinerary, the next catastrophe will take place. They spot the man from the previous events and board the same train. Merrick confronts the man and takes his time-travel device. The engineer appears unconscious, and the train accelerates uncontrollably. Merrick manages to disconnect the locomotive from the rest of the train, but the time traveler remains behind and is killed. Cortez and Felder are informed by Grifasi that the prevention of the train wreck has had a huge impact on the future. The agents, whose own time lines are protected by a containment field around the time machine in the future, are warned that these changes may even prevent them from returning to their own time.

While checking the time-traveling device, Merrick learns of another catastrophe: a fire at Copps Coliseum that will kill over 11,000 people, including his ex-wife and son. Unable to convince them not to go, Merrick tells the FBI about the coming disaster. While Baker is still suspicious, he decides to be cautious and has firefighters dispatched. They manage to put out a fire in the stadium restaurant which was the probable cause of the disaster.

Felder and Cortez are now informed by Grifasi that the timeline has been severely altered and the world they know no longer exists with millions of people in California being killed when a nuclear reactor melted down 22 years earlier in the new timeline. The agents are also unable to return because they learn that one of the surviving passengers from the averted plane crash killed the inventor of the time travel device in a car crash before he could invent it. The only way to reset the timeline is to make sure the Copps Coliseum fire occurs in order to prevent the timeline from altering too much to be recoverable and then to travel to the past to prevent Merrick from saving the lives of the people who will go on to cause the California disaster in the future.

The agents pursue Merrick and blow up his car with Elisabeth in it, then travel to the stadium and plant multiple explosive devices. The explosions kill Merrick's ex-wife and son. Merrick uses the time-travel device and returns to the time before Elisabeth is killed. Merrick and Elizabeth manage to partially evacuate the stadium before the agents set off the explosions. Felder, who now regrets his actions, kills Cortez but is then killed by falling rubble. As he dies, Felder recognizes Stanton as the inventor of the time machine and tells him not to invent it, but Stanton appears not to understand the warning. Merrick, along with Elizabeth, his ex-wife, and son survive the accident. Merrick and Elizabeth share a kiss while a group of time travelers watch the scene.


See also

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  1. "Internet Movie Database - The Time Shifters (1999 TV Movie) - Filming Locations" . Retrieved 2014-07-03.