Sunday, February 7, 2010

Year in Review: Trancers Quintology

As we approach the 20th, we near the 1 year anniversary of Mondo Bizarro.  A big change is coming down the pipe, but, until then, enjoy this look back at what my little hands and eyes have accomplished.

Back in July, I did the first Quintology review.  For those not 'in the know,' this is a review of a 5-Part movie series.  I started off with a little Full Moon film called Trancers.

Trancers: This sets up the tale of Jack Deth being sent to the past to stop the murders of the ancestors of the future's ruling council.  The whole thing is built around time travel via body possession of one's ancestors.  He meets up with a cute blonde (Helen Hunt), who would play a big role in his life in the future.  This movie is fun fluff that apes crime noir and sci-fi at the same time.  It's no Blade Runner, but it has its charm.

Trancers 2: This sequel hits a lot of the right notes, but definitely has some issues.  It is one of the rare sequels that actually addresses the gap of time between the films being made (this time, 6 years).  The plot gets screwy and has a couple of holes that you could drive a Prius through.  That said- it features genre actors Jeffrey Combs and Richard Lynch, which is always a plus.  It also started a bad trend in the series...

Trancers 3: Another good movie, but more bottom-heavy than the others.  There is one giant action scene that runs about ten minutes or so at the end, which is a lot for a movie that's about 65 minutes long.  The problem: the series was hemmoraging actors.  They lost Helen Hunt with this one, as well as a couple other supporting players.  The film has a good actor playing the villain, which helps the film out a lot.  Still a weak entry in a series that was not getting better.

Trancers 4: The series went a new direction with this film, but not really a good one.  Basically, the film dumps more characters (including Jack's new sidekick who was supposed to be a recurring character) and changes the setting early on to that of a fantasy world called Orpheus.  As I said at the time, your like or dislike of the film will be based a lot on how many sword-and-sorcery films you have seen vs. how many bad sci-fi films you have seen.  By the way, this movie is written by longtime comic scribe and novelist Peter David...not that you can tell.

Trancers 5: This is the big finish now, so let's enjoy it.  Basically, Full Moon made two films back-to-back: Part 4 and 5.  The movie picks up where the last one ended- with Jack stranded in the dimension.  He goes off seeking some magical McGuffin and runs into the villain from before, who is back to life via a painting.  Don't expect this to make much sense.  They try to force a message of acceptance in here, which is out of place since every Trancer save for one has been evil.  Maybe he should distrust them, guys!  The film is padded to the brim too, stuffing about fifteen minutes of re-used footage in via flashbacks and recaps.

In fairness, there is a Trancers 6, but it was made about seven years after the last one and is an in-name-only sequel.  Basically, they re-used old footage of Tim Thomerson in 'the future' and have him jump into a female body.  For those who are really curious, I will cover it in the next installment of 'Great Moments in Stock Footage.'

I hope that this proves helpful for all of those who have not been following this page since the beginning.

Next on the agenda, a look back at a British/Canadian alien series that has almost nothing in common.  Want to know the 'how' and the 'why?'  Stay tuned...

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