Blu-ray Movie Review – Trancers 2: The Return of Jack Deth (1991)

Trancers 2: The Return of Jack Deth
Directed by Charles Band
Courtesy of Full Moon Features
Original Release Date: 1991
Blu-ray Release Date: December 15, 2014


Last year, I had the pleasure of reviewing one of Full Moon’s science fiction classics on Blu-ray, TRANCERS. This was a real treat because I had never seen the movie prior to reviewing it, and I got to enjoy all of its glory in HD. Now, Full Moon has opened the vault once again and released the sequel, TRANCERS 2: THE RETURN OF JACK DETH. And while I honestly didn’t enjoy it as much as its predecessor, it is still a great film and a lot of fun.

If you are not familiar with TRANCERS 2: THE RETURN OF JACK DETH, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Full Moon:

The Deth Saga Continues in High Definition!

Los Angeles, 1991. It’s been six years since Jack Deth wiped out the last of the Trancers – those zombie-like creatures whose mission is murder. Jack has rebuilt his life in the present with his new wife Lena. He’s also got a new job in commodities dealing with his old buddy, Hap Ashby, an ex-baseball hero. Now Jack’s got a strange feeling in his gut – the kind you get when Trancers are around. Jack’s sixth sense proves him right when he discovers a Trancer at Hap’s place, ready to go in for the kill. But Jack hasn’t lost his touch, and in a flash he eliminates the first of many Trancers to come. If that’s not enough, Jack learns that another special agent, Alice Stillwell, has been sent back “down the line” to the present to help fight the new wave of Trancers. Problem is, she’s Jack’s former wife, whom he thought dead, and she’s lost somewhere in Los Angeles. So Jack’s vacation is over. He’s back to his Trancer-hunting ways and must find and destroy the source of the new killer-zombies. They are actually led by Dr. Wardo, the brother of Whistler whom Jack killed five years ago. He must also find the missing Alice and decide whether to go back “up the line” with her, or stay in the present with Lena. Get ready for the ride of your life. TRANCERS II…it’s the sequel that makes history.

I really like the whole TRANCERS concept, especially how the series handles time travel. So many movies fail because they try to address the paradoxical aspects of time travel, only to muck it up by creating more paradoxes. TRACERS doesn’t really bother messing with it, instead focusing on the here-and-now of the film. This works well, too, because the viewer then doesn’t have to exert a lot of mental energy trying to sort things out.

TRANCERS 2: THE RETURN OF JACK DETH is shot fairly well and looks pretty good from a production standpoint, but it doesn’t have the darker, gritty feel like the first one. This might stem from the fact the sequel was made roughly seven years after the first, and Band probably had a more modest budget. More money equals a cleaner looking film. This isn’t a negative, but more of an observation.

The acting is just as solid, with Tim Thomerson reprising his role as the titular hero and Helen Hunt portraying his now-wife. They are joined this time by Megan Ward, who plays Deth’s wife from the future, and Alyson Croft, who portrays the ancestor of McNulty. The primary cast does a great job…however the extras all leave something to be desired. This is to be expected, however, given the low budget of the movie. Screen vets and horror icons Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton also have nice cameos, which helps to round out the cast.

My sole complaint about the film is that some of the dialogue seems forced. I’m not sure why this struck me so much, but it is the only thing that keeps this from being a great film. Don’t get me wrong…it’s still very good. But it could have been better.

Still, TRANCERS 2: THE RETURN OF JACK DETH is a big win for me, and fans of Full Moon will want to snatch this up on Blu-ray ASAP. In addition to HD quality sound and picture, you’ll get brand new special features (that were not available on the DVD), including:

-Audio commentary by Tim Thomerson, Megan Ward, and Charles Band
-Original VideoZone making-of featurette
-Rare blooper reel
-Rare photo gallery
-5.1 surround sound

This is available now, so make a note!


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