Sci-Fi Review: Trancers: City of Lost Angels (2013, dir. Charles Band)


vlcsnap-2016-04-11-17h44m24s885

It took me since September 5th of 2015 to finally reach the very last film in this retrospective of the Trancers series, but I’m finally here. This is the lost sequel that was made…why am I explaining this? There is a title card right at the beginning that does it for me.

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-17h43m57s595

Yes, I do have The Evil Clergyman. I will get to it eventually. Pulse Pounders also has a sequel to The Dungeonmaster (1984) in it, but that doesn’t appear to have been released yet.

The movie begins with good old McNulty (Art LaFleur).

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h00m06s854

He is on his way to be briefed about a prisoner in jail who apparently does not like Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson) who is still in the past. He is being briefed by The Warden of the jail…

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h01m07s533

played by actress Grace Zabriskie. Ah, the good old days when I could still play dumb. You of course know Grace from Norma Rae (1979), Galaxy of Terror (1981), An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), Leonard Part 6 (1987), Wild at Heart (1990), My Own Private Idaho (1991), Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), Seinfeld, Big Love, and that little short-lived show called Twin Peaks. Oh how I wish I could have claimed I thought that was some late night cable series from the 90s like the TV Show Red Oaks having a character think The 400 Blows (1959) was porn. I still have the right to make a couple American Sniper rubber baby jokes in future posts. You can’t take that away from me! If you are thinking I’m padding out this review because the movie is really short, then you’d be right.

She takes him to every futuristic hallway from the 80’s to meet the vicious murderer named Edlin Shock (Velvet Rhodes). She only says two words in her time there: Jack Deth. He is the one who brought her in.

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h02m21s493

You can sort of see through the lousy VHS rip this DVD provides that she is being transferred because the movie has to have an excuse for the criminal to escape and they went with this one.

McNulty walks through a door that can conveniently close on him when needed, and she breaks free.

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h02m51s428

She has the cuffs off now that were holding her hands straight up for some reason. Just thought I’d tell you that, cause the movie never explains how that happened. Nor does it explain this.

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h03m26s506

That’s right! She somehow punctured and got through the ceiling. Even Zar in Rock’s Winning Workout Without Weights couldn’t do that!

The best he could do was bonk his head on the ceiling.

Rock's Winning Workout Without Weights (1990)

Rock’s Winning Workout Without Weights (1990)

If you’re thinking they might show her taking someone’s gun that could be used to make that hole, then…um…nope! The best we get is that as she kicked one of the soldiers, he appears to have shot upward once. Blink, and you’ll miss it.

Anyways, The Warden instantly knows she has reached the room where she can go back in time. So of course they go there and find Raines (Thelma Hopkins).

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h04m12s888

She tells him that Edlin forced her to send her down the line. McNulty orders Jack’s body brought out of the vault, and gets Raines to send him down the line. By that I mean Alyson Croft is back to play McNulty as a girl. She’s as good as ever in this. In fact, the majority of the film is made up of Tim Thomerson and Alyson Croft reminding us that they really did give the best performances in any of the Trancers movies.

We now cut to the past of 1986 Los Angeles so that Helen Hunt can make what is basically a cameo appearance as Lena Deth. We first see her throwing dishes.

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h05m32s832

She’s not too happy with the last three years of their time together. Jack tells her they have a great detective agency. However, they have zero clients despite a great newspaper ad that says, “Put your trust in Deth.” Sounds fine to me! A plumbing agency ran that kind of an ad in my city’s local newspaper back in the 50s.

IMG_5501 copy

Then again, this is the same paper that ran a story talking about dogs pissing on the paper while it sat on newsstands. They also wrote an apology for making a typo in a classified ad by making another typo in the apology. Maybe she’s right. By the way, I’m not kidding about the pissing thing. It’s a four paragraph story about how “canines criticize” the paper.

Meanwhile, back in the movie, she chews him out, he uses the long second to give a speech, but after kissing her, she storms off anyways. Now Jack sits down to watch…

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h08m00s659 (1)

what I assume is Peter Gunn? They did make a joke about that show in the first Trancers movie. I’m not knowledgable enough about 50s television. That’s when Alyson Croft, as McNulty’s ancestor, shows up to deliver the message that the crazy killer from the beginning is after him.

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h08m45s181

Along with that, she brings up the fact that it’s a lot easier to protect Jack if he comes back to the future. This is probably the best part of the movie cause they actually bother to bring this next part up. Jack says that if he left now, then Phillip Deth, his ancestor whose body he is in, could be picked off and thus erase his own existence. McNulty says that the bad lady likes to look the person she is going to kill in the eye. That means she’ll follow him back to the future if necessary. However, since they already built this nice apartment set, Jack stays and stops McNulty from shooting him with the back to the future dart. McNulty likes to do that suddenly to Jack. He did it in the first film thus interrupting Jack just before he was going to have sex.

Now a guy fixing the roof shows up because we are only working without about 24 minutes of footage here.

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h10m17s702

Of course Jack lets him go. Now a red herring shows up. Okay, I kid. She’s not a bird, but she is dressed in red!

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h11m35s633

If this is actress Velvet Rhodes, then they sure don’t tell you anywhere in the non-existent credits or on IMDb. If she was, then you’d think he would recognize her, but he doesn’t, and neither does McNulty. I don’t think it is. Although, he certainly is skeptical. It really doesn’t matter what happens here. You are watching this just to see Tim Thomerson and Alyson Croft do their thing. They really are good together.

Oh, and the way you know for sure it’s either red jacket lady or roof guy is that they make sure to tell you that McNulty is lucky he has a genetically aligned ancestor to go back into before sending him down the line. That way you know for sure it’s not the killer posing as McNulty.

After a little bit of drinking, a little bit of interrogating, and red herring changing her clothes, this happens.

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h17m18s164

Yep, roof guy was the one she took over.

A scuffle now ensues, and between Jack and McNulty,…

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h17m51s873

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h17m53s450

she and Jack are sent back to the future.

Now the fight continues in the future.

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h19m47s662

The fight goes to the roof, and she gets knocked off bringing the reason for this plot to exist to an end.

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h22m42s185

Jack and Raines talk a bit. Jack decides to go back to the past, but with one condition. Could she send him back three hours earlier? You know, that way this movie never actually happened. Of course she can so…

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h23m29s985

they can attempt to kiss,…

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h23m43s394

tell McNulty to piss off,…

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h24m08s825

and actually kiss.

Then this happens.

vlcsnap-2016-04-11-18h24m17s822

Thomerson runs across the screen holding some stuff while Helen Hunt dances. Classy, Full Moon Features.

Now you may be asking yourself a question right now. Where were the Trancers in this Trancers movie? You didn’t miss anything. They aren’t here. This is the one and only Trancers movie without any Trancers in it. No mind controlled zombie Trancers from the first one. No drug-induced/mind controlled ones from the second film. No super solider ones from the third one. No vampire ones from four and five. No meteor rock tied into a ray gun that zaps you in the eyes from Trancers 6 either. No Trancers whatsoever. Honestly, I’m glad. I needed a change.

What’s nice about this film is that it really doesn’t break the continuity with the actual Trancers II. If anything, it gives us an early glimpse into how Jack was trying to settle into living in the past. Also, how his and Lena’s relationship was already on the rocks. In the end though, I would only recommend this for real fans of the series.

At the end of this entire look back at the series, the only ones worth seeing are the first one, this one, and the actual second movie. Definitely skip the rest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.