Trancers Image


By Michael Talbot-Haynes | January 12, 2022

Like wine, Charles Band‘s vintage sci-fi actioner Trancers has improved mightily with age. In 2247, Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson) quits his job as a law trooper to go snorkeling in Lost Angeles, the city that sank into the ocean after the “big one.” He is called back for one last job by McNulty (Art LaFleur), as the ruling council is in danger. Deth’s arch-enemy, Whistler (Michael Stefani), has escaped and traveled through time to 1985. There, he assassinates one chairman on the council by murdering his ancestor.

The council wants Deth to retrieve Whistler from the past before he murders the remaining council’s ancestors…”

Whistler is a menace who can hypnotize weak-minded people, referred to by Deth as “squids,” and transform them into vicious zombies known as trancers. The council wants Deth to retrieve Whistler from the past before he murders the remaining council’s ancestors in order to have his army take over in 2247. To travel through time, you inject a drug that allows you to possess one of your ancestors in the past. Deth travels back to Los Angeles during Christmas time in 1985. He takes over Phil, his journalist forefather, in the aftermath of a one-night stand with Leena (Helen Hunt).

Leena is a photographer who is getting dressed as Santa’s Helper for her seasonal gig of taking kids’ pictures with Father Christmas. Leena thinks Deth (as Phil) is acting crazy compared to the night before but allows him to drop her off at work. However, while setting up her camera, Santa Claus (Peter Schrum) goes full-blown trancer and attacks Deth in front of the screaming children. Can Deth save 2247 from back in the past? Can Whistler find enough squids in 1985 to control and take over the future? Will Christmas happen in 1985, or will it be replaced with a trancer holiday marked by drooling and causing pain?

Trancers (1984)

Directed: Charles Band

Written: Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo

Starring: Tim Thomerson, Helen Hunt, Michael Stefani, Art LaFleur, Peter Schrum, etc.

Movie score: 9/10

Trancers Image

"…time has elevated the visuals captured to the level of Pop Art."

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