Trancers (Future Cop)

Year: 1985

Production: Lexyn / Empire

Director: Charles Band

Starring: Tim Thomerson, Helen Hunt, Michael Stefani

Screenwriter: Danny Bilson, Paul DeMeo

76 minutes; Color

Band apparently learned from his early, mostly bad movies, for this small film is confident, stylish sf. Future cop Jack Deth (Thomerson) travels back from AD2247 to present-day Los Angeles in search of dangerous mystic Whistler (Stefani), who has fled back in time and now occupies the body of an ancestor. Protected by a number of zombie-like "trancers", Whistler plans to murder the ancestors of his future opposition. Although primarily an action movie, Trancers is packed with sf ideas, and it has an interesting punk look about it. There are astonishing plot resemblances to The Terminator, released in the same year.

The sequel, Trancers 2 (1991), produced and directed by Band, written by Band with Jackson Barr, again stars Thomerson and Hunt. Convolutions of time travel make Jack Deth, 6 years on, a bigamist, his original (dead) wife, played cutely by Megan Ward, being sent back (alive) to the present. Soap-opera elements are played out against further battles with trancers, who use a trendy ecological movement as a front. This returns us to the awfulness of Band's early films. Maybe Trancers was a happy accident. There are another 3 sequels: Trancers 3: Deth Lives (1992), Trancers 4: Jack of Swords (1994), and Trancers 5: Sudden Death (1995).

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

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