Trancers III: Deth Lives (1992)
AKA Future Cop III, Trancers 2010
Starring Tim Thomerson, Melanie Smith, Andrew Robinson, Telma Hopkins, Megan Ward, Stephen Macht, R.A. Mihailoff, Helen Hunt
Directed by C. Courtney Joyner
Expectations: Moderate. The 2nd was OK.
On the general scale:
On the B-movie scale:
Jack Deth has stooped to new lows. As the film starts, Deth advertises his private investigation business focused on cheating husbands with a low-budget television commercial featuring a bevy of cute girls in Santa’s Helpers costumes and a VHS video camera in hand. The end of the ad is punctuated with a shotgun blast to the TV from a disgruntled liquor store robber. He runs back to the counter trying to get the money from the prerequisite Asian store owner, when suddenly a high-pitched squeal hurts their ears. They are bathed in orange light and a time capsule that kinda looks like a phone booth materializes. A crazy looking alien thing pops out and asks, “Where’s Jack Deth?” The alien promptly tracks Jack down and takes him back to the future with him. Oh no!
The biggest change though is director C. Courtney Joyner. The visual look of the film retains the full-frame composition and color palette from Charles Band’s first two films, but Joyner adds in tons of really well-done moving camera, specifically some pretty good Steadicam work. I’m a big fan of Steadicam and most of the action sequences feature it in Trancers 3. It adds a lot to the energy of the film and makes the short 74-minute runtime fly by at a quick pace.
The acting is about at the same level as previous Trancers films. Thomerson continues to play the hard-boiled future cop with ease. His character is closer to the first Trancers film here, which is a good thing. The villain this time around, Col. Daddy Mother, comes to us courtesy of veteran actor Andrew Robinson, best known for his debut role in Dirty Harry as the Scorpio Killer. He tears up the screen and delights by oozing creepy charm and a commanding presence.
Trancers 3 features a lot more future-tech and science fiction ideas due to all the time travel and repercussions, so I enjoyed it more than part 2. I think it could go either way for most people, though, depending on what they want out of a movie.
Next week, I’m gonna take a break from all the Trancing to bring you a review of 1985’s Zone Troopers. It was made around the same time as the original Trancers and features a good portion of the same cast. Lookin’ forward to it!