ONE MORNING IN 1953, a young woman, Tucker Harding (Terumi Matthews), starts to write a pulp novel called The Sticky Fingers of Time. As she types--one bare foot on the desk, a cigarette burning between her toes--a reporter on TV mumbles something about a recent nuclear bomb test. After knocking out a few turgid sentences, she goes to the store to buy coffee. While walking down a sunny New York street, she spots Isaac (James Urbaniak), a friend/lover/scientist/journalist who, as the morning paper reported, has "mysteriously disappeared." When she approaches him he vanishes again, and she somehow follows him into 1997.

In this future time, there is another young woman, Drew (Nicole Zaray), who is also a writer. But she is not doing so well: She has just deleted her entire novel, broken up with her boyfriend, and is now contemplating suicide. After a brief encounter, the two women are informed by Isaac that the lines of their lives are somehow interconnected. They are reluctant to believe this at first, but then a set of complex events involving an evil dentist, sticky faces, nuclear bombs, a murder, chopped-off fingers, two zombies, and a dreamy woman called Ofelia lead them to accept their impossible fate.

This unusual science fiction film (which could have been called Lovers and Time Travel) boasts the best explanation for time travel I've ever heard: It's described as non-linear, meaning you can jump from one time to another but never be at two places at the same time, and you can't live the same moment twice. This is also a well-made low-budget film--which, as anyone who has recently attended a film festival knows, is a beast that has become as rare as a white tiger. Indeed, over the years, I have seen so many bad low-budget films (hundreds even!) that I forgot what a good one looks like. And now I remember! They are supposed to look like this film, The Sticky Fingers of Time, which is well-written, confidently directed, complex, and above all, entertaining.