Trancers 2 (1991)

Own it!

review by Scott Hamilton and Chris Holland
See also:


Trancers 3: Deth Lives

Trancers 4: Jack of Swords

Trancers 5: Sudden Deth

Trancers 2

Lava Lamp

Our rating: three LAVA® motion lamps.

This Trancers travesty follows six years after the original Trancers, with Jack Deth, cop from the future, trapped in 1991, and he's married to Helen Hunt, returning as Lena. Boy, his life's hell. Apparently, he's also doing well enough in the money department that he got Helen some much needed oral surgery (see our review of Trancers).

Somehow, the trancers are back. In this film, we have even less of an idea what a trancer is than we did in the first one, and the script does not feel any need to let us in on the secret. To get more conflicting information on what a trancer is, see Trancers 3 and Trancers 4.

Anyhoo, it seems the Council (from the future) has sent Jack Deth's dead first wife, Alice, back in time (from just before her death, natch!) to 1991 where she appeared in the body of a mental patient, therefore making it impossible for her to trigger the beacon for the TCL chamber, a device that will take Jack back to the future.

Luckily for plot expediency, it just so happens that the mental asylum in which Alice Stillwell (Megan Ward) is incarcerated just happens to be owned by Dr. E.D. Wardo, an eco-nutcase who also just happens to be the brother of Whistler, the villain in the original Trancers.

Much is made of the fact that Jack, expertly played Tim Thomerson, now has two wives. This gives Helen Hunt a rare opportunity to display her comedic skills, as she catches Jack kissing Alice, not once, but twice! Hilarious!

When you watch Trancers 2, play this little game: Whenever Jack Deth kisses anyone but his wife Lena, say the words "Cue Helen Hunt." Then bask in the admiring glow of your friends who are stunned to discover that you can actually control the images on the TV.

We would say something here about Megan Ward's acting, but she doesn't do any. To be fair, though, she's in the majority. None of the actors seem to be making an effort at anything besides collecting a paycheck.

Instead let's talk about the only thing really worth watching in this movie disaster: the one-liners. Let's face it, they're the closest thing that Trancers 2 can claim as a raison d'etre.

For example, what other movie could possibly bring you a line such as the following?

"So help me Hap, the next time someone hands you an exploding ham, I'm going to pass the mustard."

That's right! There is no other movie that could get away with that line! And no other actor but Tim Thomerson could deliver it straight-faced. And that's not the only witty rejoinder in this film. There is another one. But on the advice of our lawyer, we now have to tell you that you're going to have to rent Trancers 2 yourself in order to find out what it is.

And while you have that videotape in your house, be sure to watch the Full Moon Video Zone magazine-documentary-wrap party-thingy after the credits. Not only do you get to watch an interview with Thomerson, Hunt, and their co-stars, but you also get the coveted "Trancers 2 Bloopers" clips! Incredible! This is quite a bit more entertaining then the actual movie. Amongst the things we learned (we are not making these up):

Tim Thomerson does one hell of a Mae West impersonation.

Martin Scorsese and Ron Howard only cast their mothers in their films. Charles Band takes nepotism to the next level.

Tim Thomerson's next role is going to be a 'different kind of character for him.' In Dollman he will be playing a wise-cracking cop from the future who is 13'' inches tall. As opposed to his role in Trancers, where he plays a wise-cracking cop from the future who is normal sized.

Albert Pyun, a director and a regular member of the Full Moon stable, seems to be a really nice guy. Unfortunately, we know that he has directed such detestable films as Alien From L.A. and Captain America. Which is sort of the the cinematic equivelent of saying that Jeffrey Dahmer seemed to be a nice guy, but you wouldn't go to his house for dinner.

Various cast and crew members have a lot of deep things to say about Trancers 2, apparently mistaking it for a good movie. In truth, our friend Amy hit the ol' nail right on the head when she said that Trancers 2 was probably "excreted from an orifice unknown to the sun." The last film Amy watched with us was The Lonely Lady. Her opinion of our movies choices is sinking rapidly.

The good news is that you don't actually have to make the mistake we did and embark on the ill-advised quest of watching all the Trancers movies. The bad news is that Trancers 5 is in our future.

Own it!

Review date: 02/20/1997

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