The Sci-Fi B-Movie Series You Likely Forgot Starred Helen Hunt

Helen Hunt has had a pretty prestigious career in Hollywood, from her turn in the popular '90s sitcom "Mad About You" with Paul Reiser to her starring role in the disaster classic "Twister," not to mention winning the Academy Award for best actress for her performance as Carol Connelly in "As Good as It Gets" (via IMDb). She's virtually done it all. 

But even if you're familiar with all of the numerous highlights of Hunt's filmography, you might not realize she had a prominent role very early in her career in a low-budget sci-fi franchise starting in 1984. This franchise has spanned six movies, a short film, and at least two comic books, but we're not talking about a household name like the "Terminator" or "Predator" franchises. In fact, it's possible that you're not even aware that this series exists — and now is as good a time as any to acquaint yourself with it.

Helen Hunt's first big movie role was in 1984's Trancers

Helen Hunt's show business career began as a child actor, but her first major movie role as an adult came in 1984: "Trancers." "Trancers" is a sci-fi thriller about a time-traveling hard-boiled detective named Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson). Deth, who lives in the 23rd century, chases a despotic megalomaniac named Martin Whistler (Michael Stefani) back in time to 1984. Whistler has the ability to hypnotize people into being his unwitting flunkies (known as "trancers"). Hunt plays Leena, a punk rocker in a relationship with Phil Dethton (also Thomerson), Deth's ancestor whose body his consciousness inhabits as part of the film's time travel mechanics.

It might seem a bit complicated on paper, but in practice, "Trancers" is a funny, exciting blast. Exciting enough to spawn an entire multimedia franchise, albeit one that has stayed put in "cult following" territory. Hunt came back in 1991 for "Trancers II," the film's direct-to-video sequel. Then, the following year, she made her final appearance in the franchise in "Trancers III," before her career took off for the greener pastures for which it was destined (via IMDb).

This was the end of Hunt's role in the "Trancers" films, but there is one more installment in the saga that features her. In 2013, a short film entitled "Trancers: City of Lost Angels" was released on DVD. It was made with footage that was shot but never used for a thought-to-be-lost anthology film called "Pulse Pounders" from 1988, which would've featured some of the "Trancers" characters. Luckily, a copy of the film was eventually discovered, leading to the release of "Trancers: City of Lost Angels" (via Full Moon Features).