As I'm sure many of you yourselves are, I am a big documentary fan. Of the many things I love about them, one is that they often convey a sense of love and appreciation for a huge variety of phenomenon. In this case, said love is expressed for one of the most iconic vehicles in the history of movies - the DeLorean Time Machine from the BACK TO THE FUTURE films. Vehicles in movies can really stand out and stay with us as film fans. Just as the Ecto-1 will always be the GHOSTBUSTERS car (which was even re-worked for the brand new reboot), the DeLorean is inextricably linked to BACK TO THE FUTURE forever. It's easy to see why. It's just a cool looking vehicle.
I must admit that I was never much of a car fan as a kid. I didn't come to appreciate them until later in my life (and honestly since I moved to California - where you can see classic cars all the time). So it should be no surprise that I had never seen a DeLorean before I watched BACK TO THE FUTURE for the first time. I'm sure I'm not alone in this experience and I do believe that was part of what captivated a lot of young people when they saw it in the summer of 1985. I caught the movie at a drive-in actually, so I was surrounded by cars. But like I said, I'd never witnessed anything like the DeLorean before that movie so it was something of a revelation when I saw it. The car is just so cool looking. The stainless steel, the gull-wing doors and the cockpit-like interior were all mesmerizing to me. The DIY external modifications that Doc Brown made to the car only made it look more like a vehicle that came straight out of the future.
Bob Gale and other members of the production team talk specifically about the three different time machines that were built for the movie (the A, B and C cars). The film goes into detail about what happened to the cars after the BACK TO THE FUTURE movies were all shot and done with. The "A" car was the most detailed version of the time machine and the one that was used in subsequent productions like BACK TO THE FUTURE the Ride as well as for the openings and closings of the animated series. But the DeLorean was used for so much more stuff and Universal even hired a character actor to play Doc Brown and drive the car around to special events (and that actor is interviewed in the documentary). As a result of years of use, weather related wear and general fan love, the car started to deteriorate of course. The movies are wonderful because they immortalize hero props like the time machine, but the saddest thing in the world to see is how such props are effected by time. So fast forward to 2011, when Nike put out some cool replica shoes like the ones Marty wore in BACK TO THE FUTURE II. Much attention was focused on BTTF and Universal trotted out the car for press related events. It was then that Bob Gale himself realized how much the car had decayed from it's former glory. He and Universal Studios Hollywood Creative Director John Murdy decided they should really get a team together and work on restoring the DeLorean, especially in light of Universal's 100th Anniversary being right around the corner. A team was assembled to do the restoration. It consisted of engineers, movie prop guys, doctors, rocket scientists and everyday hardcore BTTF fans who wanted nothing more than to see the car returned to its original unforgettable glory. OUTTATIME includes interviews with many big folks that were involved with the film's production (Bob Gale, Claudia Wells) as well as high profile fans (Chris Gore) and tons of people involved with the DeLorean's restoration. We get a look at just how much work went into basically reviving this car from the dead. It was no easy task and the documentary walks us through the process. These are some seriously dedicated people (many of whom already owned their own BTTF DeLorean replicas) and you can't help but get caught up in their nerdy enthusiasm. Now I'm not necessarily a person that gets a big kick out of watching cars being rebuilt and reconstructed, but I was obviously on board for this ride. I just have such a deep emotional connection to those films from my childhood, that it was impossible for that feeling to not carry over. As I watched the team strip down, fix and re-assemble the car - I couldn't help but be moved by it. The amount of time, energy and remarkable attention to detail that the team takes is beyond admirable. Any and all BACK TO THE FUTURE nerds out there need to have a peek at this documentary. It will certainly warm you heart to see the resurrection of one of the single greatest movie props of all-time.
Like the DeLorean itself, this doc is tricked out with some extras for your viewing pleasure.
-Audio Commentary with Director Steve Concotelli and Head of the Restoration Joe Walser.-"OUTATIME World Premiere" (4 mins)
-"Time Machine 101" (5 mins)
-"It Belongs in a Museum" (7 mins)
-"The Legacy of Bob Burns" (4 Mins)
-Deleted Scenes (19 mins)
You can rent/buy OUTATIME on Vimeo (with Special Features) here:
It can also be purchased on Blu-ray here: