Cool, clever B grade sci-fi gave rise to one of the more popular cult movie series in existence. It gave comedian Tim Thomerson the role of a lifetime, as a detective of the future named Jack Deth. Deth is sent back in time 300 years to inhabit the body of his ancestor, so he can find and apprehend a villain named Whistler (Michael Stefani). Whistlers' modus operandi is to hypnotize weak minded people into becoming his slaves, the "Trancers" of the title. Deths' faithful sidekick / love interest will be a young woman named Leena (Helen Hunt).
Producer & director Charles Band makes the most out of the situation with this very amusing and entertaining story, concocted by Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo. The futuristic designs are nicely done, so much credit should go to production designer Jeff Staggs, art director Christopher Amy, and cinematographer Mac Ahlberg. There's also a very atmospheric electronic score by Phil Davies and Mark Ryder. One memorable gadget is a "long second" watch that stretches out time for the owner, giving Deth some precious extra moments to escape certain death.
Humour is a definite strong suit in the Bilson and De Meo screenplay, with some very funny lines and moments. Deth is given some choice quips, especially when he puts on some hair gel, and says, "Dry hair is for squids."
A very fine supporting cast is another attraction. Hunt has rarely looked this ravishing. Stefani could have easily had more great bad guy roles, if only in B fare. Thomerson is as cool as can be, and associates of his such as Art La Fleur and Biff Manard contribute a welcome presence. Richard Herd, Anne Seymour, Miguel Fernandez, Telma Hopkins, and Richard Erdman all have nice bits.
Great fun, for any fan of limited budget science-fiction, and it clocks in at a very reasonable 77 minute run time, to boot.
Nine out of 10.
Action / Sci-Fi
Action / Sci-Fi
Jack Deth is a kind of cop/bounty hunter in the bleak Los Angeles of the future. He's become obssessed with chasing Whistler - an evil criminal who uses powerful hypnotic powers to convert people into zombie like creatures known as trancers. Whistler has managed to escape through time travel and is loose in 1980s L.A. but Deth is on his trail.
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November 25, 2014 at 05:45 AM