Trancers ★★★★

TRANCERS (Charles Band, 1985)
Empire Pictures 16mm (Theatrical)

"Security? We've got trouble at the North Pole!" In the year 2247, future cop Jack Deth is closing in on Public Enemy Numero Uno: Martin Whistler, a nefarious dude who can control lesser beings with his mind, turning them into violence-crazed zomboids known as "Trancers." However, before he can be captured, Whistler escapes to the past through his ancestral bloodline, inhabiting the body of a respected detective in 1985 Los Angeles. His plan? To eliminate the forefathers of those pursuing him generations later. Obviously Deth's the only man who can foil the assassinations, but is he ready to take on the '80s?

Easily one of Empire Pictures' best films, TRANCERS weighs heavily on the shoulders of lead Tim Thomerson, and he's more than up to the challenge. Sure, the plot's a little bit BLADE RUNNER (1982) and a little bit THE TERMINATOR (1984), but Thomerson's Jack Deth separates it from its influences; portrayed as a trench coat-wearing, hard boiled antihero, he's full of machismo and one-liners, and is never less than a joy to watch. The supporting cast, including an impossibly cute Helen Hunt as his punk rock girlfriend and Art LaFleur as future boss McNulty, ably assist, and director Band keeps things moving along at a brisk pace, wrapping it all up in a painless 76 minutes. Deth Mosh. Scooter chase, with crash. "The Long Minute," twice. A washed-up baseball player's former skills naturally figure into the climax. Underrated, and definitely recommended. Remember, kids, "Dry hair's for squids." 8/10

Bruce liked these reviews