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4.3 out of 5 stars26
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 11 March 2002
Adapted somewhat faithfully from a Philip K. Dick short story, the movie tells the tale of a planet once ravaged by a human war . . . and is now ravaged by sentient robots hellbent on eliminating every single human survivor. Seems that highly intelligent robots were developed during the war by both human sides, but the robots have continued to evolve and build better versions of themselves, with their original programming of "destroy humans" still intact. As the war-weary Colonel Hendricksson, Peter Weller decides to take it into his own hands to end the war . . . and to hopefully stop the robots from killing all forms of organic life on the planet.
This isn't a great movie, by any stretch of the imagination. Some of the acting is pure cheese, and the special effects range from looking okay to looking downright hideous. Still, the story is fairly original, and manages to avoid a lot of the typical plot twists of the genre. Petter Weller's performance is also very good -- his portrayal of the grizzled cynic Colonel Hendricksson is a small gem buried within a lot of mediocrity. Definitely worth a look, especially on a rainy Saturday afternoon
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on 19 August 2011
In the year 2078 on a distant mining planet called Sirius 6B, a decades long war has all but ravaged the planet. It seems that one of the groups designed something called "screamers", a blade-wielding, self-replicating race of killing machines that were designed to kill the enemy. Years after they were designed, they began to evolve and decided to kill all human beings on the planet. Col. Hendricksson (Peter Weller) is in command of one of the groups when he discovers that everybody on the planet has been betrayed and have no hope of returning to earth, he decides that he must risk his life and cross the baron wasteland and negotiate a peace treaty between the two pockets of survivors. He has no idea who he can trust, or even if they're human as the screamers continue to evolve.

Screamers was based on a short story by Philip K. Dick called Second Variety, and although quite a lot has been changed for "artistic purposes" it's still essentially the same story. The screenplay was written by Dan O'Bannon who can also boast having done the screenplay's for Alien, Dead and Buried, Return Of The Living Dead and Total Recall. It was competently directed by Canadian Christian Duguay, and although this should have been a stepping stone to doing bigger movies, it never really worked out and he mostly does tv movies now. Peter Weller, better known as Robocop is by far the best actor in the movie. He does a really good job as the leader of men, who finds himself betrayed by his government. The supporting cast all do decent jobs, apart from Weller's character the rest tend to be typical sci-fi movie stereotypes and the actors do their best.

Like most sci-fi films, the most interesting part of the movie is the antagonists which in this case is the screamers. They were initially small machines that would burrow underground, that would shoot out of the ground and slice off body parts from people. They have eventually evolved into much more advanced machines, leading to many tense and creepy scenes. There's no nudity unless you count a woman's back as nudity, there isn't much blood and gore which was a surprise considering the screamers all have blades. What the film has is a constant sense of dread, and we're left as much in the dark as Weller's character on who can be trusted. One of the film's bad points is some of the special effects, although some effects are done really well, there's just as many that look really shoddy and does take you out of the movie. Alot of reviewers also talk about it being a low budget movie, but it did have a $20,000,000 budget and I felt a better director may have done a little more with the money.

The picture quality is pretty decent, but apart from a pretty pointless trailer and filmographies there are no extras. Screamers isn't up there with the best sci-fi films around, it isn't even close to being the best adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story. It is a very interesting film with a great story, and given a bigger budget with a more established cast and crew it could have been a classic. Then again Second Variety is rumoured to be the story that inspired The Terminator, that IS a classic and only had a $6,500,000 budget. If you're a sci-fi fan and haven't seen Screamers, it really is a very worthwhile, interesting and tense movie. 3.5 stars.
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on 7 March 2002
Bleakly atmospheric, but low budget and slow moving, this movie does not deserve to be mentioned with truly top-flight sci-fi flicks such as Alien(s) etc., but it DOES deserve mention as one of the best of the rest -- as a solid entry that at least tries something a little different than the standard "monster eats everyone" or "alien invasion" plots which dominate the genre. Does a nice job of conveying the weary hopelessness of its characters and until a somewhat sloppy, although poignant, ending, it generally plays by the rules. A lot of questions go unanswered, but that too works for the movie -- the characters themselves never truly understand what is happening to them, and are stuck trying to piece together clues. Overall, a nice, solid time-waster that just suffers from a lack of ambition. Something like a 6.5/10.
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on 4 March 2003
If its got Peter Weller in then it must be good. A true Science Fiction futuristic style film, if you like space and robotic monsters then it can't be beat. A good strong story line that keeps you guessing with the usual low budget effects from a non-mainstream blockbuster. If people gave sci-fi a chance this would be liked by most.
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on 10 January 2014
I watched this film after not seeing it for years and still enjoyed it. It had enough modern SFX to make it seem not dated and was very close to Phillip K Dick short The second variety. Peter Weller as always added gravitas. Prompt delivery, good value and new condition!
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on 13 September 2000
Although not as good as the Alien Series it's still not a bad film! The story isn't great but it does the minimum to produce a watchable film and produces a few twists (quite predictable for the more intelligent Viewers) which are quite enjoyable. The story is about robots called "Screamers" which basically kill people. It is quite complicated to try and explain the film with out spoiling it so I'll just say that this is a Action/Sci-Fi/Horror film which is worth a look even if you think it's rubbish after you've seen it, as it introduces some new ideas.I think this film deserves 3/5 but as I am a fan I have given it 4/5. Screamers is well worth a look (especially because of it's low price) even if you may only watch it twice!
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on 13 February 2016
Really enjoyed this. Quite original and goes along at a good pace. Acting and effects are not the greatest but looks like the budget wasn't that much but that hust adds to the charm. Recommended.
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on 19 April 2007
Until A SCanner Darkly came along this little known, Low buudget flim was probably the nearest to a faithfull adaptationn of a Philip K Dick story (The Second Viriety)you could get get on film. It shows up allot of the bigger budget films by being watchable and entertaining, but not needing a silly budget to justify its existence. Its not perfect but anyone who likes sci fi, action movies or PKD should watch this, you will not be dissapointed.
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on 11 March 2002
This is the best sci/fi film ever made! It has a great hero (Peter Weller), great likeable character (Andy Lauer) and hateable badguy (Roy Dupuis). The settings (the snow planet and lair of the NEB's) enhance the wonderfully inventive sci/fi elements and it's always entertaining. For fun, great fx and great plot, Screamers is a great rental!
The R rating comes from sci/fi violence and terror, language and some quick nudity... in a rather funny scene ('good lord, you're beautiful!'), but this film is pretty well suitable for all. No matter who you are you will love this movie!
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on 20 May 2015
its been so long since a seen this movie, it is great to get it on DVD and watch it again, great movie!
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