Jack Deth is back, going ‘down the line’ yet again on a new mission to thwart another evil mastermind who has plans for world domination involving those nefarious trancers. But this time he faces a fresh challenge, having to occupy the body of his daughter whose demise he must prevent.
The Trancers movies have become pretty much a test of endurance for those that, entertained by the excellent original, have sat through all episodes. What began with an undeniably low budget but enjoyable film has mutated into a series for which the term diminishing returns could have been coined. The 6th and to date final sequel is predictably no reversal of this decrease in quality.
After the change of style in the 4th and 5th films (seemingly influenced by Sam Raimi's Army Of Darkness with Deth finding himself in a medieval alternate universe) Trancers 6 takes things back to their roots with a return to a contemporary setting for the time travelling future cop. But this promising premise doesn’t last long as the most entertaining element of the movies is missing, namely Tim Thomerson. Only appearing during the opening minutes in a shoddily put together number of clips culled from previous films, the lead role is instead taken by Zette Sullivan as his daughter, Jo Deth.
Despite the absence of the iconic cult actor this idea could have worked. The macho Deth’s comic attempts to come to terms with being in the body of a woman whilst blowing away trancers with a witty quip may well have revitalised the franchise. But after initially setting up her character as the opposite of Jack Deth this opportunity is wasted. Things are not helped by a slapdash central performance devoid of talent that is indicative of the whole film.
Both the direction and script are, for wont of a better word, inept. The action scenes are non existent, resembling school playground fights and the script is a mess, having something to do with a fallen meteorite and a plot to replace those in power with trancers. Seeing as this time round trancers appear to be more like flesh eating zombies from a Romero movie how this would come to fruition is never really dwelled upon.
A pale imitation of the original, Trancers 6 is devoid of anything remotely resembling entertainment. Viewers may find some mild enjoyment in trying to identify the bizarre accents that some of the incompetent supporting actors have but nothing more. The absence of Tim Thomerson is merely one in a long list of flaws in a film that is beyond low budget and the sense that those making the movie don’t really care about what they’re doing is transparently clear. Even the most hardened and dedicated fan of the series should avoid this at all costs.