Trancer Hunter, Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson), must travel back to the 20th century to capture Whistler a psychic criminal who is behind the creation of the trancers and who plans on killing the ancestors of the Council so that he will be able to return to the 23rd century and rule supreme!
You know those films that are so bad they’re good? ‘Trancers’ is so bad it’s good and then it’s bad again. The plot and script are so simple and filled with cheesy 80’s one-liners. It’s the kind of film you love when you are Eight years old, you find it again when you are 18 and wonder what you were thinking. But then you see it again ten years later and go; “Gee really what was I thinking. This is garbage.”
Jack Deth is a trancer hunter in the 23rd century; a trancer is a zombie-like creature who are all controlled by Whistler (Michael Stefani), who is a psychic criminal bent on ruling over Angel City. Whistler has travelled back in time to the 20th century in order to kill the ancestors of the ruling Council. Deth is sent back to apprehend the Whistler and thus save Angel City.
That’s pretty much it; there are a few complex ideas in there that are never fully explained. Why/how is Whistler able to control these people, why are they/do they become zombie like when they are hypnotised; when a person is turned into a trancer there skin becomes yellow with
The movie gets points for its method of time travel, although highly unscientific and implausible, at least it’s original. A special serum is injected into the time traveller and somehow this sends the individual back through their ancestry, so you end up This is a bit weird and creepy if you ask me.
The sound track is good, very funky electro-eighties style, of course I’m not going to pretend that it makes up for the rest of the film but I’m trying to focus on the good points here before we get into the long, long list of bad stuff.
Helen Hunt is the only competent actor in the film, apart from maybe Richard Herd, who only has a bit part as one of the Councillors. I mean, everything is pretty much over acted or under acted. Obviously the actors haven’t been helped out by the script w I mean imagine seriously naming a character Jack Deth.
There is just no way to salvage this film, how five sequels were made is beyond me, I imagine the demand being created by young kids getting a hold of copies and people who bought the VHS copies ironically.
The sequels of course, just get worse and worse, but it’s kind of addictive, once you’ve watched the train wreck of the original you feel like you have to watch them all, and then you just feel like an idiot.
I could go on here but I won’t, I do feel a bit bad for bagging this film so much, it’s not as bad as “The Day Time Ended” or “S. Darko”. The problem is that it came out during a golden decade for time travel movies and completely ballsed.
As I say it does get an extra point for originality on its method of time travel. But unfortunately in all other areas of production, apart from soundtrack, it loses dozens of points, giving it an overall score of minus Eight out of Five.
If you are the type who enjoys bad ‘80’s films then this is one that you really must watch. But just be warned you may have to then endure another five of these just cause. You have been warned.