Before I get started, you'll want to check out the foreign poster as well:
America, when will you learn?
TRANCERS WEEK begins right here, right now. Trancers combines the two greatest things in the world: Charles Band and Tim Thomerson. When those two worlds collide, the possibilities are endless. And always fucking awesome.
We begin…at the beginning. In the future.
Trancers opens in the future. Our hero JACK DETH (a name they make fun of over and over again in this movie) strolls into a café looking for some coffee…and Trancers. Trancers are zombielike people under the mental control of some dude named Whistler. They look perfectly normal until they’re made out like Carpenter’s The Thing and then they transform into crazy psycho zombie bastards. Well…this happens in the diner and Jack Deth singes that squid. (I love the words in this movie. Everybody’s a squid. I gather it’s like being a square…but worse)
From there we get our plot. Whistler is alive…in 1985. Deth must travel back in time to stop him from killing the head counsel’s descendents. The thing is: You don’t actually go back in time, your consciousness takes over the body of your descendent at that time. (That can’t possibly ruin your own existence in any way) So Deth goes “down the line” and meets up with Helen Hunt, who quickly learns what a Trancer is, and she helps Deth in his quest.
That’s not the whole movie…probably something like the first 20 minutes. The rest is spent hunting Trancers, using cool gadgets, avoiding Whistler, tracking down the counsel’s descendents, and watching Thomerson being a generally cool guy.
Thomerson brings his best in this movie. If you’ve seen him play a tough guy before…nothing has really changed here. He’s just as tough as he ever was and will forever be. I love when he plays this kind of role. You’d see this same persona in Zone Troopers and Dollman and I assume I’ll see it in Trancers 2-5.
Trancers is hackysack insane. DO NOT try to make sense of it. DO NOT try to follow continuity (which really isn’t too terrible), DO NOT try to pick out paradoxes in time travel, because you know what….this movie is full of errors. AND I DON’T CARE! Why? Because I love time travel and I love tough guys doing whatever they feel like. You get both. Jack Deth is so fucking reckless and careless when it comes to the time/space continuum that he would have given Doc Brown a heart attack 10 minutes into the movie.
Jack Deth: Giving exactly ZERO FUCKS about anything.
And the effects! Classic 80’s Charles Band. This is a pre-Full Moon, Empire Pictures film. He put out a lot of crazy stuff and they all had pretty awesome effects. John Buechler did the effects for this movie…as he has done with a lot of Band’s stuff in the 80’s/early 90s. All of it spectacularly practical. It’s pretty cheesy in this movie…but that’s why we love it.
When all is said and done, Trancers is a really fun movie. The one-liners shoot out at you with machine gun pace, the action is overthetop funny, the 80s soundtrack is AMAZING, the tough guy attitude never lets up and never gets old, and there’s fucking TIME TRAVEL! HELL YES! And for some reason Helen Hunt agreed to do this movie (albeit early on in her career but still…Helen Hunt was in this movie…and the next 2 sequels)
The most important thing you can learn from this movie is that demon possessions are bullshit. It’s just a distant relative having a little fun. Fucking squids.