“I’m thinking about having my shoulders lengthened. Any problems with narrow doorways?”

In the future when I regain consciousness from my cryo-freezing I’ll easily tell how long I’ve been asleep simply by the size of the shoulder pads people are wearing around me. Seems movies in the 1980’s denoted the future by making everything bigger…bigger hair, bigger cars, brighter neon lights, and huge shoulder pads. The movie Trancers supports my theory.

Jack Deth played by Tim Thomerson is a cop in the future who is tracking an evil crimelord known as Whistler in the remains of Los Angeles after the big quake. Whistler while not exactly sounding like an evil mastermind has the power to convert people into zombie creatures known as Trancers much like the power of an Amway pep rally.

Whistler had transferred his consciousness back to the 1980’s rent-a-cop to kill the ancestor’s of the leaders of the future so he can return and gain control of the city. You can almost hear James Cameron’s lawyer’s warming up their typewriters. Jack is enlisted by the government to get sent back in time to track down Whistler and bring him back to stand trial before he kills all of the line-back inspired fashion leaders of the future.

Jack wakes up in one of his own distant relatives who happens to be dating Helen Hunt and amazingly he’s not turned into Paul Reiser. After defeating a trancified Santa Claus at local mall Helen’s character, Leena reluctantly join Jack on his quest to save future LA. I think if she had seen how lame the future gets, she might have changed her mind. Jack is packin’ heat, wearing raincoats in 90 degree weather, and is equipped with a watch that can freeze time for 10 seconds which also gives the director the added benefit of padding the film. He also can magically make his car stay in the very center of the road while he swings the steering wheel around like a drunk sailor navigating a storm (see video clip sample below.)

Unfortunately the targeted ancestors are getting picked off left and right while Jack is side tracked by Leena who takes him on scooter rides through geriatric apartments, or to punk rave parties, and near death tanning/surf parties. They also end up kidnapping homeless unemployed baseball players and forcing them to take showers. It must be a L.A. thing.

This movie inspired 5 sequels which is an amazing feat of direct-to-video magic even for Full Moon Entertainment whose motto is “we skip the theaters and pass the crap directly onto you.” I say check it and watch out for that crazy looking dude with bad skin sitting across from you. He could be a Trancer…or he just wants to sign you up with Amway. It’s hard to tell the difference.

Keep an eye out for…
– shoulder pads of THE FUTURE!
– middle aged punk ravers
– Santas gone wild
– flame broil settings for tanning booths
– scooter kung-fu
– gratuitous use of neon lights
– drunk underground baseball games
– loose steering convertibles

“the new Trance-o-matic, it dice, it slices, it can make it’s own direct to video sequels.”

rated 6.8 out of 10 for the movie

Check out this amazing clip from “Trancers”