Trancers 4: Jack of Swords (Trancers 4: Journeys Through the Darkzone) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Trancers 4: Jack of Swords (Trancers 4: Journeys Through the Darkzone) Reviews

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September 11, 2016
Weak fourth Trancers films seems more like a cash grab than a real attempt to make a decent film. In this film, Jack Deth lands in the 22nd century where vampires rule a medieval society. Even though it's supposed to be the future, the film mostly takes place around a Romanian castle that was also used in several other Full Moon films. My suspicion is that Full Moon had a deal to film in and around this castle and they wanted to make as many films there as possible, regardless of their quality. The castle does give the film some impressive production value, but the story is just dull and even though Tim Thomerson returns as Jack Deth, he seems more a parody of the character (which was already a bit tongue-in-cheek). More likely though, it's just badly written dialogue that comes off as just ridiculous. The film was directed by X-Files regular director David Nutter, but he sadly can't bring any real suspense or intrigue to tis awful script. This film was made back-to-back with "Trancers 5: Sudden Deth." And according to IMDB, Tim Thomerson is embarrassed by his involvement with this film and part 5.
May 22, 2016
Series charts a new course taking trancer-hunter Jack Deth to a medieval alternate universe. Randall and Ivens are a good addition for the franchise that continues to deliver for Full Moon. Was a little upset that Shark was written off so abruptly, he seemed to have potential. Did laugh when Deth used his head for a lampshade though.
Super Reviewer
May 4, 2014
Number four and back down we go, the roller coaster continues with Jack Deth and his adventures through time. Unfortunately after a better third film its back to a dreadful trashy B-movie without any amusing trashy charm.

Thomerson is still firing the wisecracks but the medieval setting for this is really bad looking. This kind of location can either work looking quite authentic or not work and look really obvious, this is the latter. Everyone is running around what looks like some local woods (you expect to see them run into a car park half the time) and a Romanian castle but you can tell the sets a mile off. Lots of really iffy looking fights, weapon usage and a really cheesy baddie at the top of the tree.

Plot wise its getting a bit messy, horrendously corny and badly cliched...actually I kinda lost the plot to be honest. Too many characters and little sub plots going on with rather messy direction and editing. still it doesn't matter as in the end you know Deth will win somehow.

I like this films title I might add, not really sure how it relates to the events in the film but its kinda cool.
October 27, 2012
Another solid outing despite a change in story. Jack Deth is accidentally tranported to a parallel medieval world called Orpheus where Trancers are more like vampires who suck the life out of ordinary people. Lots of understated comedy that works.
January 1, 2012
A lot of people harp on this Trancers outing but I particularly enjoyed it. It's Trancers goes Medieval!
The story here makes more sense than most Full Moon releases and Jack Deth is back fighting trancers... lots and lots of trancers.
With plenty of comedy and action, this Trancers outing should please fans but for some reason it doesn't. Is it the mix of a fantasy setting with the scifi or were fans just wanting more of the same from the previous outings?
I'll admit the time travel to a medieval world is a little tired and Jack Deth doesn't seem so badass without his super gun but this film still worked for me and continuing on in the direction the previous films had been down would have probably seemed just as tired. Worth checking out at least once.
August 29, 2010
The ending to Trancers III got me pumped up for another sequel. Jack Deth and his sidekick android Shark time hopping around singeing Trancers sounded like an awesome way to lay out some more sequels. However Full Moon changes their mind yet again and takes the series in a new direction, a direction that could have been interesting if executed properly. Sadly, mostly thanks to a zero budget, the film fails at its new concept of throwing Jack Deth into an alternate medieval Trancer universe.

Deth, still singeing Trancers and other monster scum through time, this time gets a new hot, hard ass female boss. After butting heads Jack then heads back to work but thanks to a hidden monster in his time machine, he gets catapulted to an alternate medieval dimension that, of all things, also has Trancers! So Deth with the help of some human rebels and a rogue Trancer (son of Caliban, leader of the tracer cult), decide to rise up and do what Deth does best, singe some Trancer ass!

The trancers here are a little different here (though a good definition of them is never given in the previous films) as they are more vampire like. They suck on their victim's necks, turning them different colors until they just vaporize. It's really cheesy and I wouldn't even call these bastards Trancers as they really seem to have no psychic abilities or turn yellow and zombie-like. They just seem to be extremely strong, aristocratic, asshole vampires.

I do like the concept of throwing Deth into a medieval setting but the film is very poorly executed. The worst aspect is the production values which are extremely low even compared to the previous films. The second problem is the plot set up as the plot is broken up into two separate films. Yes this and Trancers 5 were filmed back to back so the film ends on a very abrupt note. This also means that we are also graced with a extremely short running time and a extremely long, boring title sequence to pad the clock. The acting is also beyond terrible especially with bad actors spouting off badly written medieval dialogue with "thee" and "thou".

You know what pisses me off the most though? How they did away with the android Shark. Shark was set up in the previous film like he was going to be returning badass character in sequels to come but right away we are told that he was destroyed in a mission (his head is even used as a lamp at Deth's home). Thanks a lot for ruining that concept Full Moon!

Tim Thomerson still makes this disappointing sequel worth watching thanks to his tongue-in-cheek one-liners. Fans will definitely find something to like. Stay tuned for Trancers 5... if you actually care to see the tie-up that much.
May 14, 2010
As he embarks on a routine mission, Jack Deth is attacked and his craft lands in an unknown land and time. But soon to his horror, Jack discovers that a form of Trancer still lives.

As we enter this entry in the 'Trancers' franchise, the plot lines from the previous three entries have all been tied up, and so this movie takes us off in a totally different direction. With a very large fantasy element, it drops Jack in a medieval setting, and adds vampires to the mix (that call themselves Trancers - just enough plot to keep it part of the series), and on the whole this is not a good thing. The plots for these movies are not classics by any means, but 'Trancers 4' is really thin on the ground in the story department, and even at a lowly 74 minutes, it feels drawn out. Certain main plot points are never explained, and by the time you reach the finale, the whole thing is a bit of a mess, and the cliff-hanger ending just makes you wonder how they could stretch this out in to another movie. On the plus side, the lighthearted approach does make Tim Thomerson's comedic acting abilities shine through, and did have this reviewer giggling quite a few times. In the end this is not the best entry in the franchise, and one wonders if 'Trancers 5' will be any better.
½ February 13, 2010
Deth takes a holliday!
January 27, 2010
Trancers 4: Jack of Swords has Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson still) as a full-fledged time-traveling cop, working to restore the balance of time. His work got in the way of his marriage to Lena, which ended their relationship in the previous film, and now his work has ended the chance for his to rekindle a relationship with his first wife Allison, now with Harris (returning Stephen Macht). Somewhat depressed, Deth isn't able to stay in that mode for too long as an attack by an alien during time traveling causing destruction and throws Deth into another dimension where it's medieval times and the Trancers control all power, as they are able to suck the lifeforce out of humans. Naturally, Deth goes into kickass mode and starts taking them out, with the humans backing him up. This film was made back-t0-back with part 5, which could have just served as one long Trancers movie, but where's the fun in that. Other than Thomerson, and a brief appearance from a young Lochlyn Monro (Freddy vs. Jason), the cast is pretty much comprised of small time Full Moon movie regulars and generic Romanian extras. The film passes on futuristic action in favor of sword and sorcery and a large abundance of humor. The iconic 10 second watch weapon now gives off an adverse effect that comes off as both corny and hilarious at the same time, which after watching that, I can now see Thomerson as a former stand-up comic (which he used to do before films). It's still fun and definitely campy, but in a humorous sense. Don't look for major sci-fi action like the first 3 had anymore.
November 15, 2009
Another solid outing despite a change in story. Jack Deth is accidentally tranported to a parallel medieval world called Orpheus where Trancers are more like vampires who suck the life out of ordinary people. Lots of understated comedy that works.
September 29, 2009
The character of Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson) has been jerked back and forth from his time to our time in three previous films and has had to stop different sorts of villains all trying to do essentially the same dirty deed. By the third film, the concept of these villains using the "trancing" technology to conquer the world was losing some steam and Trancers 3 ended up being the first film in the series I didn't care much for. So my expectations for Trancers 4: Jack of Swords was lowered a bit.

The setting for this film does seem silly. This time, Jack is sent to an alternate universe where "trancing" is still being used for devious purposes. But this time around Jack is in a medieval setting instead of a modern/futuristic world. And this bizarre course for this film to take ended up bringing the series back on track, and Jack of Swords is on the same level of goofy fun that I enjoyed with the first two films, and missed with the third one.

Once again, Tim Thomerson takes charge of the character of Jack Deth and brings him to life unlike any way he has done in the previous films. There are a lot more comedic moments this time around, and Jack is at the center of a lot of them. On his journey to this alternate universe, some of Jack's technology has gone wonky. He has a watch that slows time down for ten seconds, but the user remains normal speed. This time around, the user is slowed down and the rest of the world is in regular speed. It was great watching Thomerson during this moment in the film, as it was watching him throughout the film.

The villains of the film are kind of neat. This time around the trancers are vampire-like. They use their special abilities to suck the life-force out of people, and have become sort of an unholy legion that rules over this world. I just wish there was more time spent developing Caliban (Clabe Hartley), the leader of this group. He wasn't menacing as he should have been, and Hartley wasn't very good with his performance. In the end, he become a throwaway nemesis.

I'll admit that Trancers 4: Jack of Swords felt like another filler entry in the series, but it still had enough good going for it to win me over. Since the filmmakers didn't appear to be taking this film too seriously, it helped break up the monotony that the series was getting into. It may not be a classic film, but it is still another enjoyable flick from Full Moon.
September 14, 2009
Well this time they seemed to have just copied army of darkness?? as deths sent back to medievil times and the trancers are now vampires??? wtf Sure its quite fun with a few one-liners and at least thomerson can be bothered this time but they've just gone to far away from the promising 1st film.
September 12, 2009
Deth is in another dimension that kind of resembles Medieval Times. The series has definitely run its course by this point, but there's still a low budget charm to it all. Works best when it follows Deth doing his usual fish out of water shtick; comes to a halt when the Shakespearean-named villains discuss the powers of trancing.
½ May 18, 2009
The series takes a turn for the worse, with an even smaller budget, and terrible acting and SFX. This one sees Jack Deth travel to a quasi-medieval time in the vein of 'Army of Darkness' but is given little to work with in script or action scenes.
½ June 28, 2008
The series takes an "Army of Darkness" twist as cop Jack Deth is transplanated to other time and place where he's thrust into the role of hero, not a terrible film just not as good as the rest of the series.
April 19, 2008
The reason I'm giving this film three stars is because it's so bad, it's good. I just cannot bring myself to shun this episodic sci-fi series.

Tim Thomerson is a fine B-movie star, who became an icon of the genre as soon as he walked on the screen in the original. However, the sequels are not quite on par with the first film, although that doesn't mean they're all unwatchable.

In my opinion, Trancers 4 took a big risk for a big reward by taking Jack Deth out of his element, and trying something different. Hell, every franchise has to reinvent itself in order to continue, right?

The first three films had a detective noir mood to them, whereas this one (and part 5) have Jack on the run from vampiric trancers called Nobles in another world, far far away.

While it's more or less a forgettable movie ride for the majority of viewers, you still can't help but root for underdog Deth and his merry band of helpers, as flimsy as they are.

Being a low budget flick, you don't get any A grade special effects or a deeper meaning. All it is is a fun film, that barely runs an hour and a half. As a matter of fact, its sequel "Sudden Deth" is criminally short as well, which makes me wonder why they didn't just edit them together as one movie. I guess this tactic was accepted in the nineties, since so many others followed suit.

Not a bad entry, if you are in the mood. But part 5 marks the last of the real Trancers magic, before it was brought back in Trancers 6.
½ January 25, 2008
Oh dear - i think they should have stopped at 3. What could have been a good idea is turned into a below par movie with an unconvincing Sword & Sorcery story and dire plot points (at one point the good guys escape through a trapdoor into a tunnel that leads out of the castle.The bad guys apparently search the almost empty stone room not being able to find the trapdoor until their leader uses a magic spell leading them to it where it is hidden under a chest. a)Why do the bad guys not know that there is a trapdoor in a room in their own castle that only contains a chest which i presume they put there in the first place? b)Who placed the chest on top of the trapdoor once the good guys had escaped through it? c) The bad guys knew the good guys had escaped vis a tunnel which leads to just outside the castle. Why bother spending time finding the tunnel and leaving the castle via it when you could just go out of the castle the normal way and get to the same place a lot quicker?) I am not looking forward to part 5 as it continues the story in the same Medieval setting.
½ January 20, 2008
Okay so the Trancers series is starting to get a little silly but this is still a decent movie.
June 19, 2007
wtf is a jack of swords LOL
June 18, 2007
Jack ends up in medieval times. Ugh.
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