Pick it up or be tranced!
Made for very little money in the mid-’80s, this fun low-tech sci-fi movie has a lot to recommend. In the 23rd century, Los Angeles has become Lost Angeles, a city submerged in the ocean after an apocalyptic event. Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson delivering a spot-on, droll, but entertaining performance), a vengeful cop whose wife was killed by Trancers (reprogrammed humans), spends his days diving into the Pacific and exploring the remains of L.A. He’s assigned to go back in time to bring back the creator of the deadly Trancers, Martin Whistler (Michael Stefani), who has devised a way to kill Deth’s ancestors and therefore wipe away his existence from the future. So Deth goes back to 1985 and hooks up with a perky blonde (Helen Hunt) who helps him accomplish his mission.
Tim Thomerson has a lot of fun in his (sort of) career-defining role as a Blade Runner-type of hero, and Charles Band, the director, makes good use of the budget, making it seem that the film is much bigger than it is. It runs less than eighty minutes and spawned a bunch of sequels that took place throughout different time periods. Written by Danny Bilson and Paul Demeo, who both also wrote The Rocketeer. An unofficial short film sequel called Trancers: City of Lost Angels was included on a compilation of films produced by Band and, thanks to a recent Blu-ray release, that short film (which is pretty good) is included as a special feature on the Blu-ray disc. Full Moon’s Blu-ray looks and sounds extremely good in high definition, and it should also be noted that this is the first time the film has been made available in the widescreen format. Also included on the disc is an audio commentary by Thomerson and Band, as well as featurettes and interviews. Pick it up or be tranced!