Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Trancers - The Definitive Collection|
Actor: Trancers Collection
Director: C. Courtney Joyner;Charles Band;David Nutter
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
THE TRANCERS BOX SET is here! The set is an import (it's NTSC, and plays all regions). The set contains 5 individual DVDS: The Original TRANCERS, TRANCERS 2, TRANCERS 3, TRANCERS 4, and TRANCERS 5. Includes all original vi... more »
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A. Gammill | West Point, MS United States | 03/05/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"During the home video revolution of the mid-to-late 80's, a low-budget film company called Full Moon Entertainment helped usher in a new genre of films: The direct-to-video feature. These are commonplace today, and often are comprised of cheapskate sequels to successful feature films. I'm not sure if Full Moon was the first company to take this approach, but in the late 80's and early 90's, they did it often and did it. . .well, pretty well. And they wore their low-budget suits like a badge of honor--they were certainly among the first companies to pack their VHS releases with exclusive "making-of" documentaries and sneak peeks at upcoming projects.
For the unintiated, the original TRANCERS (1985) was, in fact, released theatrically in the U.S. The film, set in the near future, was an obvious attempt to cash in on the success of THE TERMINATOR. A future cop with the unlikely name of Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson) is sent back through time to protect the ancestors of present-day judges who will sentence a criminal named Whistler to die. Whistler himself pursues Deth, who is befriended by a woman named Lena (a young Helen Hunt). Oh, and Whistler is also creating an army of zombies--"Trancers." It's all done on the cheap, but works surprisingly well. Thomerson is a wry anti-hero--think Kurt Russell's Snake Plisksen if he cared about grooming ("Dry hair is for squids.") and you'll get the picture.
The direct-to-video sequels began in the early 90's, as Full Moon honcho Charles Band was cranking out such cult items as Dollman, Puppet Master and Demonic Toys. TRANCERS 2: THE RETURN OF JACK DETH reunites most of the cast, as Jack struggles to free his thought-to-be-dead wife from a cult. Helen Hunt returns briefly for TRANCERS 3: DETH LIVES, which finds Jack taking on an alien partner named Shark. The back-to-back 4th and 5th installments send Deth and Shark back to medieval times.
Even though I'm a fan of this quirky series, I'll be the first to admit that the quality really decreased with each successive film. The Jack and Lena romance was an integral part of the first 2 films, but of course Helen Hunt was on the verge of real stardom and I'm sure her asking price by 1993 (when TRANCERS 4: Jack of Swords was released) could have financed 2 or 3 complete Full Moon productions. Still, I have fond memories of these films, and eagerly looked forward to the Full Moon "Videozone" bonus materials--which, happily, are preserved for these releases. In fact, these DVD's appear to be direct ports of the VHS versions. It's probably the only DVD release these films will ever get, so if you're a fan, you'll want to go ahead and pick this set up. Most others might like to rent the original film first, and see if you want to invest in this somewhat expensive DVD collection.
Another Great Set from Full Moon
a customer | CA | 05/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love Full Moon films, and bought the set prior to watching any of the movies in the series. Considering the third film is the only down-point, the series did not disappoint.
Trancers--a low-budget, futuristic, science-fiction action film about Jack Deth, a Trancer hunter who is searching for the Trancers' controller, Whistler. Whistler has gone back to 1985 to kill the ancestors of the City Council. Deth is sent to the same time to stop him. Great film, even though the quality of this one is not great. Helen Hunts plays a young woman who Deth meets up with in 1985.
Trancers 2--Megan Ward and Jeffrey Combs (in a very small role) co-star in this sequel! It is now 1991, and Deth and his new wife Lena are surprised to find out that Whistler's brother has picked up where his brother left off six years earlier and has created a "trancer farm". With the help of Deth's dead wife (Ward), they must stop the Trancers. Definitely my favorite of the series.
Trancers 3--Deth (who is living a not-so-happy life in the present) is forced back to the year 2352 to receive his next mission--Stop the new wave of trancers from where they originated. I'm not sure what direction the writer/director was going, but this sequel never came together. The first fifteen minutes were interesting, but once Deth leaves 2352 and we meet the `new' trancers, the movie falls apart. Helen Hunt and Megan Ward have small roles.
Trancers 4 and 5--Deth is accidentally sent to a different dimension in what looks like Medieval Times, where he once again must fight a group of Trancers, led by the evil Lord Calaban. He is aided by a group of rebels called the Tunnel Rats, who think he is a prophet of some sort. These installments have a very made-for-T.V. feel to them; think the 90s T.V. shows Zena: Warrior Princess and Hercules. They are both fun to watch; but, lack the `science-fiction action movie' feel of the first two films.
Each movie, except the first one, includes a `making-of featurette'. The first movie contains bloopers for the second film. I definitely recommend the Trancers Box Set for all Full Moon lovers and fans of futuristic (or medieval) science-fiction movies.
Note: Shop around, you can get this set for much less than $116...I'm pretty sure the 'list price' is less than this. You can even buy it directly from full moon for around $60.
Make It A Trancers Weekend!!
Stanley Runk | Camp North Pines | 12/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Trancers series is fun stuff. It's one of the more top of the line franchises Full Moon has to offer, but make no mistake, it's still cheap!
The first Trancers film was directed by Charles Band before he started Full Moon, so it's not officially a Full Moon film, but it might as well be. It even had a theatrical release, and I believe it did fairly well, but most likely got overshadowed by the bigger budget sci-fi films of the time.
In the future, Trooper Jack Deth is brought before the high council and sent on a mission to find his nemesis, Martin Whistler. Whistler makes and controls, "trancers", which are zombie-like minions under Whistler's control. I'm not quite sure just what their purpose is. They seem to be used mainly as lousy assassins, but most of the time they're just a flat out nuisance(one is a waitress in a diner and another is a mall Santa). Whistler has traveled back to 1985. Why? His plan is to kill the council members by killing their ancestors. So, Jack is sent back to protect the ancestors and capture Whistler to return him to the future for his trial. Whistler is responsible for the death of Jack's wife, so he holds a big grudge.
The time travel gimmick here is similar to the one used in Quantum Leap, as the consciousness of the person travels, but not the physical body. The consciousness must be sent to an ancestor of the traveler(kind of a neat plot device actually). Luckily Jack's ancestor is a cop, and is also played by Tim Thomerson. Whistler's ancestor is the chief of police. Once in 1985, Jack feels his way around with the help of new girlfriend, Lena(Helen Hunt). Soon both are killing Trancers, searching for council ancestors and going after Whistler.
A fun little cult sci-fi film for sure, probably better than it should be. It's clever(one neat doodad is a watch that can slow down time for ten seconds, making it easy to dodge bullets and escape danger.), it's witty and best of all, entertaining.
Trancers 2 manages to get back most of the original cast. It was made 6 years later and also takes place 6 years after the events in Trancers. Jack has been living happily with his wife, Lena(Helen Hunt again) for years until he's tracked down by his old cop buddy from the future(unfortunately his buddy's ancestor is a young girl, adding a bit of comedy) and informed that Whistler's brother, Wardo(yup, it's that old plot device of the evil brother taking center stage, but at least he's played by Richard Lynch) is creating a "trancer farm" under the guise of a radical environmental group called Greenworld. Wardo recruits mental patients for his project(weak willed and simple minded people-"Squids" Jack calls them-are easily "tranced"). Another trancer hunter is brought into the picture-Jack's first wife, Alice(the tasty Megan Ward). Alice was sent back in time on the mission one day before she was killed, so she pops up as Jack's partner. Now Jack must stop Wardo and deal with the awkward situation of having two wives.
Trancers 2 is on par with the first film, it's a lot of fun. Jeffrey Combs even shows up in a small role(too small for him if you ask me). A great way of carrying on the story begun in the first film.
Trancers 3 is where things fall apart a tad. Here the trancers have been removed from the hypnotic zombie assassins they were initially, and are now chemically engineered supersoldiers. The always reliable Andrew Robinson is the military mastermind behind building the trancer army. Jack is sent to 2005 to stop him before his trancer army practically destroys the world and turns the future into a worse hellhole than it was when Jack left it. We've seen the whole engineered supersoldier thing before, and it isn't terribly exciting here. It's not bad, but considering the first two films, it's a bit of a letdown. Megan Ward and Helen Hunt return as Jack's wives, but the roles are pretty much cameos. Jack gets a new woman to fight by his side, a trancer soldier gone AWOL. Plus he has a large android sidekick. All in all it's not too bad.
Trancers 4 and 5 were shot at the same time as they have the exact same cast and sets. In these films, a glitch occurs in the time travel process, hurling Jack into a parallel dimension that resembles the kind of medieval world you'd see in the Hercules/Xena shows. This dimension is ruled by trancers, who are the upper class and royalty. The peasants and farmers want to fight back, and with Jack now on their side, the battle begins! Gotta give them marks for trying to keep the series original, but by this time the series is quite far removed from what it had started out as. 4 and 5 are quite cheap and sorta lame, but they are definitely not without their entertainment value.
What really makes these films work isn't the trancers(who are actually rather boring and nonthreatening), but Tim Thomerson. He makes the whole series. He plays Jack Deth as a hard boiled noirish character like Sam Spade or Phillip Marlowe, only a bit exaggerated and just a little tongue in cheek.
These films are a good time, but are only available in a box set that may be a bit pricey for someone who hasn't seen the films to take a gamble on. However, the first film is available on it's own, so you can at least get a taste of the series(the best one for that matter).
I'm glad I bought it.
A. F. Richards | 01/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you enjoyed them before, you'll still like them. Number 3 is still the low point but 4 and 5 are redeeming."