Trancers (1984)

Trancers (1984), produced and directed by Charles Band.


Jack Deth (flipping through TV channels): "What kind of name is Peter Gunn?"

Leena: "What kind of name is Jack Deth?"

Ok, it's the 80s and you're a filmmaker without much money. How to ride the Blade Runner (1982) and Terminator (1984) wave? Time travel, non-human invaders disguised as real people... At least you're already in LA...

What if time travelers from the future temporarily inject their consciousness into an ancestor (which is a clever idea) and hard-boiled cop Jack Deth from 2247 arrives in 1985 pursuing a zombie-master who has also fled from the future, determined to change history. Make it fun, exciting: that could work. There were five sequels.

It's one of those kind-of-stupid but also fun projects from those years. The cast have to make it work and here they do. You must excuse the budget or you'll never enjoy this stuff. I remember it from cable back when and wanted to see it again.

Helen Hunt (age 20) is the gal-pal, action sidekick and romantic interest. Tim Thomerson was 38, the dog. Because his consciousness keeps getting yanked into the future he keeps missing sex with the babe (while conscious). His trench-coated detective from the future is a 1940s sort of guy.

Only 76m long. Dreadful synth score.

Available on Blu-ray from Full Moon, with a happy, uncensored commentary track by Thomerson and Charles Band made 30 years later. The actor has an amazing recall of details, the director not so much. As of 2016 he's produced 271 titles, directed 51 and written a bunch of them, so I guess that's understandable.