Without any new trancers for a while, Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson) is now working as a private eye in old Los Angeles and Leena (Helen Hunt) is looking to divorce him. He’s in a low place, working an adultery case when something strange happens – a lizard looking fella from the future knocks him out and takes him back to his time, a time where another trancer war is in full effect, and a lot of old members of the council have been killed while trying to fend of the new forces. If the fighting continues, the future may not be around for much longer, so they send Deth back to 2005 so he can find and destroy the creators of the trancers and Leena might know who he is.
2005 is thirteen years later for Leena, but it seems like only hours for Jack. Leena’s moved on and now she’s a reporter, and she’s broken a case about an escaped recruit from a trancer project that’s being tested by the military. The recruit, R.J. (Melanie Smith) knows the ins and outs of the trancer project, and she’s joining forces to help Jack stop the origins of the trancers. A military leader by the name of Col. “Daddy” Muthuh is injecting soldiers with the trancer serum. The serum allows Muthuh to control their every thought and action so that they can become ruthless unstoppable killers, and their base is located underneath a strip club. Jack, R.J. and that lizard lookin fella (who’s actually a cyborg named Shark) will have to try to stop Muthuh and his killer trancers before it’s too late.
This is the first Trancer film that I haven’t enjoyed much. While there was never really much of a story to begin with, they change the entire origin of the trancer lore and instead of just squids becoming trancers, anyone can be transformed as long as they get these injections, which really just consist of a wand being held up to their necks and them squirming around a lot. They even drop the method of time travel that was used. In the previous movies the time travel was induced by a drug that sent the agent back into an ancestor’s body, but this time, they travel by some sort of wacked out phone booth (think – a crappy Dr. Who tardis).
Most of the characters from the previous films don’t return, and there is only a few short scenes with the characters other than Jack Deth that do remain. Hell, Jack Deth really isn’t in this movie all that much, most of it revolves around Muthuh (what a stupid name btw) and his crappy troops. Muthuh is such a turd that one of his own operatives (not in the trancer program) tries to kill him. I think I’d probably try to kill him too, his smarmy fake southern accent gets pretty annoying after a while.
The movie departs from really any sci-fi setting, and a lot of the action is gone. What ends up happening is they try to shove too much story into an hour and fourteen minute runtime, and end up totally devolving from anything that made the previous movies as fun as they were. Too much talking, not enough action and not enough Jack Deth makes this Trancers III the low point of the series so far. Trancers III gets 2 Col. “Daddy” Muthuhs out of 5.
Trancers III is available on VHS from Amazon.com