HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
   
 
  Screamers Weller Weller Weller Ooh Tell Me More Tell Me More
Year: 1995
Director: Christian Duguay
Stars: Peter Weller, Roy Dupuis, Jennifer Rubin, Andrew Lauer, Charles Edwin Powell, Ron White, Michael Caloz, Liliana Komorowska, Jason Cavalier, Leni Parker, Sylvain Massé, Bruce Boa, Tom Berry
Genre: Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 2078, and the place is Earth colony Sirius 6B which after mining there proved controversial thanks to the deadly pollution it spawned, has become a post-apocalyptic wasteland since the savage fighting that took place. The survivors against the mining corporation still remain in isolated outposts on the planet, but life is made difficult by the so-called “Screamers” which are murderous robots designed to burrow below the ground and leap out at their victims, cutting them to pieces in the process. But there may be more than one type of Screamer, as the leader of one of the rebel groups finds out: he is Captain Joe Henderson (Peter Weller), and he has recently discovered something important from a Screamer victim…

The stories of Philip K. Dick proved popular for science fiction filmmakers come the late twentieth century, ushered in by the newfound cult classic status of director Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, so by the time Screamers arrived, it was in the midst of a small flurry of activity around the author’s work. Some of those movies were bigger than others at the box office, and this was assuredly no Total Recall, another work with Dan O’Bannon script involvement, more something straight to video that had somehow escaped into cinemas, though its budget was leaning towards the medium range than the lower ends of the production spectrum. In the hands of director Christian Duguay, it was not the most accomplished science fiction adventure around.

But it did have a nice visual sense of the bleakness of its blasted setting, with some particularly fine shots of Weller and his co-stars against wintry landscapes or empty husks of cities as he makes his way to his destination, the location of a spaceship that can take him to Earth on a mission of much-needed peace. That was what the hapless victim at the beginning was carrying, and Henderson feels he must complete that errand, but as he does so, with naïve Ace Jefferson (Andrew Lauer) as his companion since the corporation requested two representatives for the ceasefire to be negotiated, and he becomes a longsuffering mentor for the younger man, explaining for him the dangers in the land that just happen to explain to us in the audience as well.

Handy, that. Anyway, the Screamers are still an issue, especially as there are different types that have been designed, possibly by their own mechanical minds for they are self-replicating, which leads us to the familiar Dick trope of questioning what is reality and what isn’t when the possibility arises that any one of the folks Henderson meets along the way could be a robot out to kill him in a surprise attack. Therein lies the tension, and it wasn’t a bad set-up, just a little uninspired in execution as if the spark of genuine imagination that the source contained had been ironed out to craft a more generic tale, one which had to employ the agreed amount of action and quasi-horror imagery the audience expected from big screen sci-fi by then.

You could very easily grumble that the full potential was not being reached, the potent degrees of the author’s drug and insanity fuelled flights of paranoid fantasy, though it remained true that it was difficult to adapt a Dick yarn without at least some of this influencing the end result. The film got closest to its most transgressive aspects when it staged a shootout against dozens of Screamers designed to look like little orphan boys: seeing the heroes mow down a plethora of child actors brought up unwelcome memories of real life school shootings, and didn’t play very well with that in mind, no matter that the villains were deceptive robots and not children at all. That troublesome sequence aside, Screamers plodded along dutifully, throwing in antagonists and a love interest for Weller in the shape of Jennifer Rubin, not an actress who ever made the high profile but some are glad to see her, and she didn’t embarrass herself here. No one did, really, it was competence all the way, yet with more inspiration it could have been a gem. Music by Normand Corbeil.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1761 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: