Trancers (1984)

trancersI first saw Trancers several years ago and went on a bit of a binge watching all the films I could get my hands on. Honestly they all sort of blur together for me now which is why I was so glad to hear that the original film was getting the Blu treatment.

Trancers stars everyone’s favorite Full Moon tough guy Tim Thomerson (who also played Dollman in several films) as a cop from the future named Jack Deth sent to the past (1985 to be exact) to stop a criminal madman who also time traveled to kill the ancestors of his rivals. It’s up to Jack to protect the ancestors and save the future from destruction. He’s sent back to 1985 into the body of his own ancestor who just happens to be having a one night stand with Helen Hunt, who looks like she’s 12 here, whereas Tim looks like an old catcher’s mitt.

Trancers is a 76 minute fun ride of a film. Blending elements of Blade Runner and the Terminator, it’s Full Moon cheese all the way (despite this actually being an Empire film). Directed by Charles Band, edited by Ted Nicolaou (Subspecies, TerrorVision, Dungeonmaster, Bad Channels) and special effects by John Carl Buechler (Cellar Dweller, Ghoulies Dungeonmaster), it’s a Full Moon alumni film. It also has Howard Burger from KNB FX credited as a visual effects supervisor. Tim chews the scenery the entire film and Helen is spunky and cute. Given the short runtime the film is fast paced and filled with action. It’s no wonder the film spawned so many sequels. It’s breazy easy fun. It’s one of those films you might have rented at your local mom & pop and thought, hey that was pretty good I guess I’ll watch the rest. Not nearly as over the top and awesome as Doll Man (directed by cheese king Albert Pyun), it’s still solid fun.

I’ve read that the dvd release of Trancers was an awful vhs dub, not so here. It’s obviously from the original film elements and looks good. The film was shot on a budget so there isn’t tons of detail to be found in the original film stock but the colors are solid and smooth and you can indeed see every wrinkle on Tim’s face. If it’s true that the dvd was a vhs dub then this is a fine upgrade for the film. It also includes interviews, commentary, and a documentary about the film so the extras are good too.