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Soundtrack review: Trancers III (Phil Davies, Mark Ryder, Richard Band – 1994, 2016)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Trancers III (Phil Davies, Mark Ryder, Richard Band – 1994, 2016)

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“Trancers III” sees Jack (Tim Thomerson) being now a successful private detective, catching cheating lovers in the act. However, Jack’s life with Lena (Helen Hunt) has gotten rocky and he faces divorce if he can’t clean up his act. Before he can mend his troubled relationship, he’s jacked back up the line to 2247 by Alice (Megan Ward), to save Angel City from its future destruction in a massive trancer war. His mission – find the origin of this new wave of trancers and end it with extreme prejudice. The only problem is that Lena, now remarried, is the only tie to Angel City’s impending doom. Richard Band joins composers Phil Davies and Mark Ryder for the score which is part of a special Intrada release.

The first two scores got a perfect 100 from me and there’s no reason to believe this third and longer one will disappoint. The “Main title” welcomes me into the same dark seductive world. I instantly recognize motifs that delighted me in the first two scores: the main theme of the movie drops by in “The basemen hospital” and it’s my turn to welcome it.

Somehow the composers tried to evolve their sound for this third movie. It’s 1991 and I can hear them trying to make the music more complex, more drama like and to move just a smidge further away from the pure 80s synth sound. The mood is even darker than in the first two albums. I recognize every now and then the pieces and themes that made me so happy before but it’s as if they were dressed in a metal suit that makes it harder to see their heart.

The second half of the score is closer to my sweet spot. I listen to “Lena & Jack argue” and recognize a version of that love theme I care so much about. I like how different this theme is from the rest of the score and how beautifully it stands out as if it was a bit of a romantic movie lost inside this dark world. Darkness wins though in this third score even more than before.

If I had heard this third score first it would have made a different impact. But after the perfection of the first two albums this one had some moments that didn’t touch me as much. Still I should regard “Trancers” as one single 2CD release which counts as one of the best 80s synth albums I have ever heard. I am grateful to Intrada and to everyone who worked on this release for giving a fan like me such a gift. This one shouldn’t miss from any collection.

Cue rating: 95 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 35 / 53

Album excellence: 67%

Highlights:

TRANCERS III: Main Title

The Chamber

The Basement Hospital

Alarm Goes Off

The Seduction

Underground Headquarters

Jack On Phone

The Newspaper

Lena & Jack Argue

Jack Leaves Lena’s Apt.

The Pre-Fight

RJ & Jack Escape

Muthur & Jason

Jack & Shark To The Kill

Back To The Future

Finale & End Title

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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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