Funny Fight Scenes: 8/10
Accurate Cover Art: 0/10
It’s a beautiful day outside, the sun is shining, and I just discovered that I have an orange tree in my backyard. Don’t ask me why I didn’t know until recently….I just didn’t. What better way to celebrate my abundance of free citrus than to sit back and enjoy another great film written by the wonderful Danny Bilson(see Zone Troopers). Guest appearances by Art LaFleur and Biff Manard? I think it’s a definite possibility! And if you’re sitting there asking yourself who those people are(and how I could possibly start a sentence with the word “and”), then you are in serious need of a break from being a useless human being, and I have just the movie for you: Trancers.
In the year 2247, a madman by the name of Whistler is hypnotizing people and turning them in to things called “trancers”. Once someone becomes a trancer, they obey Whistler without question, and fight anyone who gets in their way. If you kill them, they dissolve in a flash of red light(for, like, no reason). There is one catch: his Jedi mind tricks only work on the weak-minded, so not everyone can become a trancer. That’s where police detective Jack Deth (pronounced “Death”) comes in to play. He’s pissed at Whistler for killing his wife, and will stop at nothing to get his revenge. To Jack, every trancer is already dead, so killing them is no big deal, and our first experience with this philosophy comes when Jack beats up an old lady in a diner and shoots her with a laser in the boob. Justice.
Jack finds out that Whistler has gone back in time to 1985, when L.A. wasn’t completely sunken under water, and plans to kill the ancestors of the current leaders of his city, Angel City. Since I guess there is a time lag and the effects of the time travel don’t occur instantaneously, the powers-that-be send Jack back in time to stop him. In order to do that, Jack must possess the body of his only living ancestor in L.A. who just happens to look exactly like him. He meets Leena (Helen Hunt), and runs in to his first trancer at the mall who is masquerading as a Santa Claus. Jack kills the mall Santa, and then tries to convince Leena that he is not crazy, but really a cop from the future(my typical first date story). She reluctantly agrees to help him, and when he fails to stop the murder of the first ancestor he is supposed to protect, she realizes that his story checks out(magical objects from the future appearing out of nowhere and bodies disappearing tend to be pretty convincing events).
They hide out in Chinatown while they try to work out their next move, and somehow find the time to fall in love. On a hunch, they ask some homeless people if they know the last ancestor that Jack is supposed to protect, and (after the payment of some M&Ms) the three hobos tell them that Ol’ Highball can be found at the old paper mill. Apparently, Whistler is also aware of the location, so the race is on! Jack and Leena steal some mopeds (lame…) and head out to save Ashby, the homeless man whose genitals hold the key to the future. When they arrive, they beat Whistler by a minute or two, and manage to take Ashby back to their hide-out. Once he is filled in and fed, he agrees to help them trick Whistler in to coming out of the shadows. They draw him out on a rooftop, and while Jack is busy saving Leena from falling off of the building, Ashby saves the day by throwing empty whiskey bottles (that he personally emptied) at Whistler. Jack sends Whistler’s consciousness back to the future (where Jack already destroyed his body), and Jack stays behind to get it on with Leena. All in a good days work.
Let me say that Danny Bilson is a fun writer, but there are so many plot holes that I lost count. I won’t get in to them, but I will say that you need to define what exactly you can and cannot send back in time in a movie like this. The cast was excellent, however, and the idea of only being able to go back in time by possessing an ancestor is interesting(albeit extremely flawed). There were some cool gadgets, like a watch that could stop time for ten seconds, and the plot was to the point and eventful. At a run time of 75 minutes, they couldn’t really afford to muck around. I say watch it, and then you can check out the 4 sequels that follow! Happy hunting.
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you all keep watching those bad movies. If you’d like to suggest a movie for me to watch, just drop me a comment on here or the Bob’s Bad Movie Blog Facebook Page, and I’ll get to it if I feel like it. Now go learn something useful.