Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 30th, 2014
BluRay released: November 24th, 2014
Approximate running times: 77 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: LPCM 5.1 English, LPCM Stereo English
BluRay Release: 88 Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: £14.00
Synopsis: A cop from the future named Jack deth is given the task of tacking down a fugitive named Whistler, who has went back in time to erase the ancestry of counsel members who stand in his way of gaining absolute power in the future world from which he came from.
Though there have been numerous films that feature time travel, the way in which it is done in this film puts a unique twist on one of the Sci-Fi genres more familiar themes. In this film one can only travel through time if they have a living ancestor during the time period which they want to visit.
Content wise, this film can best be summed up as a Sci-Fi / Noir hybrid. Besides the aforementioned use of time travel, other elements rooted within the Sci-Fi genre include, laser guns and the use of watches to create time lapses. And it is the look of the film that is firmly entrenched within the style has become synonymous with Noir. With that being said, don’t be surprised if you get that feeling of déjà vu, since this film was clearly influenced by films like Blade Runner and Terminator.
The narrative is well laid out and pacing is never an issues as things move along briskly. All of the characters and their motivations are well defined. From a visual stand point the film far exceeds and then some, its limited budget. And though the special effects look dated, the end result more then gets the job done. And without a doubt the most surprising aspect of this film is its use of humor.
Another area where this film often excels are the performances of its two leads, Tim Thomerson (Fade to Black, Near Dark) in the role of Jack Deth and Helen Hunt (‘Mad About You’, As Good As it Gets) in the role of Leena. These two actors have a tremendous amount of chemistry which makes every scene they are in together a joy to watch. Another performance of note is Michael Stefani in the role of Whistler, an megalomaniac who wants to take over the future world and to help him in his quest are ‘zombie’ like human beings that have been put under his trance. Needless to say, he makes for a formidable villain.
Trancers comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. The source used for this transfer is in great shape, colors look nicely saturated, black and contrast levels look very good and details look crisp. There are no issues with DNR or compression and the image remains stable throughout.
This release comes with two audio options, a LPCM 5.1 mix in English and a LPCM Stereo mix in English. Both audio mixes sound clean, clear and balanced throughout. Also the film’s score and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented. Range wise the stereo mix offers the stronger of the two audio experiences.
Extras for this release include a stills gallery, trailers for Trancers 1-5, a preview for Dungeon Master sequel, Pulse Pounders Show West promo (1 minute 22 seconds), archive interviews with Tim Thomerson, Megan Ward and Helen Hunt (2 minutes 1 second), Flashback Weekend’s ‘Trancers: City of Lost Angels’ Premiere Documentary (7 minutes 16 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a short film titled ‘Trancers: City of Lost Angels’ – originally a segment from the unreleased film Pulse Pounders (24 minutes 41 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), an audio commentary with director Charles Band and actor Tim Thomerson and a featurette titled ‘Cybercrime: The Making of Trancers’ (14 minutes 29 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) with comments from Charles Band, Tim Thomerson, screenwriters Danny Bilson and Paul de Meo.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, cinematographer Mac Ahlberg and his contribution to the look of the film, stunt work, locations and the cast. Topics discussed in the featurette ‘Cybercrime: The Making of Trancers’ the origins of the project, the screenplay and its evolution into what finally appeared onscreen, character development and the cast, locations, working with Charles Band, stunt work, how it fared theatrically and their thoughts on the final product.
Rounding out the extras is a booklet with liner notes written by Calum Waddell, reversible cover art option and 88 Films Trailer Park. Overall Trancers gets a solid release from 88 Films.