Trancers III: The Nerfed Llamas Review – Deth Lives!
Sometimes you just want to watch a film that you know that you are going to love, and so that is exactly what I did. The Trancers series has long been a Full Moon Features favorite of mine, and Trancers III: Deth Lives is no exception. For background on my love for the series, read my reviews of Trancers, Trancers: City of Lost Angels, and Trancers II. Needless to say, I’m a huge Trancers geek and finding an excuse to watch another Trancers movie is like finding an excuse to breathe. Get ready for a swell review folks!
Click the following link to keep up to date on this year’s Full Moon Features festivities including film reviews and other articles: 2nd Annual: May is Officially Full Moon Features Month at Nerfed Llamas!
What is Trancers III: You clearly must not be a regular at this blog if I have to answer this question. Trancers III is another fine film in the excellent Trancers sci-fi action movie series. Written and directed by C. Courtney Joyner (The Lurking Fear, Doctor Mordrid), Trancers III: Deth Lives stars Tim Thomerson (Iron Eagle, Uncommon Valor), Helen Hunt (Twister, What Women Want), Melanie Smith (End Game, Seinfeld), Andrew Robinson (Dirty Harry, Mask), Telma Hopkins (Gimme a Break!, Half & Half), Megan Ward (Arcade, Crash & Burn), Stephen Macht (American Dream, Cagney & Lacey), and R.A. Mihailoff (Pumpkinhead II, Death Riders). If you have seen Trancers 1 and 2, then you know the set up. If not, the story follows the adventures of time travelling cop Jack Deth as he hunts down a zombie like army that are called Trancers. In each film he must find whoever is responsible for restarting the program and shut them down before they create an army large enough to conquer the world! This is a great series, and you should be watching it.
What I liked about Trancers III: Do I even have to say it? OK. Yes, I loved Tim Thomerson in this movie, as always. What’s not to love? He is a man of action and wits, which is pretty much the late 80’s early 90’s action movie hero archetype. On top of that, Thomerson still plays Deth as a hard boiled detective from the golden age of cinema, so there is incredible depth to this character. Anytime Thomerson is on screen the magic is happening, plain and simple. C’mon now, I like Thomerson so much that I actually met the guy in the late 90’s and he totally hit on my girlfriend, which you can read all about by clicking here!
Andrew Robinson puts in a spirited performance as the big bad Colonel Daddy Muthuh. He is a crazy, over-the-top kind of villain that this series had never had before. The villains from the first 2 movies were very calm and collected, but Daddy Muthuh is an unhinged psychopath. He has desires and wild mood swings, and Robinson plays the character for all its worth. He entertains every bit as much as he menaces, which helps keep this film thoroughly entertaining even when Jack is not onscreen.
Shark is what this series always needed. It seemed unlikely that Lena could be Jack’s partner for all of his dangerous missions, so adding a hard ass crystal powered mandroid that has just as much an appetite for destruction as Deth does really works well for the series. Shark is great, he is ironically funny and super freaky strong. He adds a new layer to the action and the comedic flow of the movie. A human partner would have potentially been irritating, but a butt ugly mandroid worked out perfectly. Only in b-movies, which is why I love them so much!
What I didn’t like about Trancers III: There are two glaring issues I had with Trancers III, the handling of Lena’s exit from the series, and the length of the movie.
- Lena’s excuse for completely leaving Jack and giving up on him was paper thin, even by b-movie standards. She knew that he was a time traveller, so him disappearing unexpectedly should have been a scenario that she was prepared for. Admittedly, he was gone for years, but to move on to the point that she remarried and had a kid seemed out of character. Lena would have waited for Jack, and easily would have been married to her work to the point that she wouldn’t have had time for anybody else until Jack’s return. I know Helen Hunt was ready to leave the series, so Lena was getting written out one way or the other, but I just felt this could have been handled better.
- The movie clocks in at just 75 minutes, which as way too short. To me, that hardly qualifies as a movie. 90 or more minutes should be the minimum for a b-movie. I know a lot of Full Moon films come in at around 80 minutes, which is close, but 75 minutes, especially when you have Tim Thomerson and Helen Hunt in the cast seems like they didn’t have a completely fleshed out script when they were shooting. This movie could have easily been 15 minutes longer and been all the more better for it.
Bottom Line: Trancers III is a lot of fun, and a few minor gripes aside, I really enjoyed it. It is the end to the Jack & Lena story that makes this film feel like a nice bookend to the trilogy. More movies would be coming in the Trancers series, but this one felt like the end of the traditional Trancers story (you would likely need to see Trancers 4, 5, and 6 for this to make total sense). All in all, Tim Thomerson is great. The addition of Shark is awesome and gives the film a nice buddy cop vibe. They even tie the story into all of the various characters from the previous 2 movies. It is a great addition to your b-movie collection and looks exceptionally good on HD Blu-Ray disc. Trancers III: Deth Lives can be viewed on Full Moon’s Streaming service, or purchased on DVD or HD remastered Blu-Ray from the Full Moon Direct online store.
Also, I still have an amazing script written for Trancers 7, which would bring many of the fan favorite characters back and would close the loop on the Jack Deth story. It is awesome! If Full Moon Features or Charles Band is reading this, get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I’ll send you guys a copy of the script TODAY! Click here to read all about my Trancers 7 movie pitch.
Here is the trailer for Trancers III: Deth Lives, check it out and see if you need to become friends with a punk rock mandroid named Shark too!