Movies I Never Get Tired Of: Trancers


You know the way it is - you have time on your hands and it's pissing rain outside, the Galaxy looks like it's gonna be okay for a couple of hours, so you decide to kick back with a beer and a movie, but which one? Which one?

Ordinarily it's be a Sam Adams, but my local store has discontinued it, so it'll have to be something else.

As for the movie...

Today I'm in a shitty sort of humour (never mind why), and the first thing that leapt out at me was Trancers, a 1984 Charles Band production starring Tim Thomerson and Helen Hunt and a supporting cast of Hollywood stalwarts including Richard Herd and Anne Seymour.

The tagline for this movie when it was released on video was

"Jack Deth is back - and he's never even been here before!"

Good enough back then for me to give it a look, and when it finally made it to DVD, I added it to the collection.

In a sort of Terminator meets Blade Runner sort of way, Thomerson plays Jack Deth, a 23rd-Century cop from Angel City who's tasked with hunting down Trancers, zombie-like people influenced by evil mastermind Martin Whistler.

The movie opens with Deth, in voice-over, explaining how he'd finally caught Whistler in January on one of the outer rim planets, and was now mopping up the remnants of his Trancer army.

"It's July now, and I'm tired..."

After some initial action where Deth is attacked by, and 'singes' (code for terminating) a Trancer, he's summoned by the Council of Angel City, who explain that Whistler has escaped, through time, to the 20th Century where, in the body of his ancestor, a police officer, he's hunting and killing the ancestors of the Council members, so that they will never exist. With one down and two to go, Deth is sent 'down the line' to 1985 Los Angeles to find Whistler and return him to 2247.

Before leaving, Deth disintegrates Whistler's body so he'll have no host to return to, then embarks upon his mission.

He's downloaded into the body of an ancestor, Phil (also played by Thomerson) and with the help of a local girl, Lena (Helen Hunt), sets off upon his quest.

Lena: "But Phil - "

Jack: "It's Jack. Phil stepped out."

After some initial setbacks, Jack has to focus upon an alcoholic, washed-up, ex-baseball player as the hope of mankind, and protect him from Whistler's people.

Although low-budget, this is a decent movie with an original central device, ie, the drug-assisted time-travel. At 82 minutes in length, it's bigger than a violin, smaller than a cello, and well worth a look.

It spawned several sequels, each less watchable than the one before. I'd go no further than Trancers II unless you enjoy throwing popcorn at your TV, but that's just me.

I'm off to watch the rest of the golf now, but there'll be more later...

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