Starring Tim Thomerson, Stacie Randall, Ty Miller, Teri Ivens, Mark Arnold, Clabe Hartley, Alan Oppenheimer, Lochlyn Munro, Jeff Moldovan, Stephen Macht
Directed by David Nutter
On the general scale:
On the B-Movie scale:
Trancers 4 dispenses with most of the series conventions you’re familiar with and places Jack Deth in an entirely new setting, a medieval, Robin Hood-style era of all things. Surprisingly, it works well and makes Trancers 4 very enjoyable for fans of the series. Jack has become the true definition of a time cop, wiping out disturbances as they come up, jumping back in time and killing them at their source. Through narration we learn that Jack actually wiped out all of the Trancers throughout time, so he’s busy helping out with other problems such as Jack’s recently completed mission to kill the Solenoids, a race of vicious plant creatures. Soon, Jack is given another mission, but a Solenoid stowaway jumps him and the timepod rockets off-course. This Solenoid looks great and it’s a shame he only gets a minute or so of screen time.
Shot on location at a castle in Romania, Trancers 4 is easily one of the funniest and enjoyable Trancers, but also the most flawed. The acting is absolutely horrid from just about everyone, with wooden delivery and overacting abounding. One of my favorite moments of bad delivery comes when a female heavy sent to kill the good guys says, “That’s… For sure.” There are literally moments like this throughout the entire film and they are a good reason why the film was so fun to watch. It’s firmly in the “so bad it’s good” category. Tim Thomerson, on the other hand, does well as always, and the addition of multiple uses of the f-word to his dialogue makes his scenes even more fun than usual. The script, written by well-known comic scribe Peter David, hits all the right beats for a Trancers film, even if the dialogue is a little rough. I used to read a lot of comics around the time this film was made and I can easily see this story as a budget Trancers mini-series from that era, with half-assed art that only sci-fi-hungry kids could accept as anything but awful.
If you have enjoyed the series up to this point, Trancers 4 is a worthy addition to the lineup. It remains enjoyable throughout, despite its many, glaring flaws.
The Trancers saga continues next Tuesday with Trancers 5: Sudden Deth, a direct follow-up to the cliffhanger ending of Trancers 4 and Thomerson’s last Trancers film! Be there!