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(SIRIUS 6B, Year 2078) On a distant mining planet ravaged by a decade of war, scientists have created the perfect weapon: a blade-wielding, self-replicating race of killing devices known as Screamers designed for one purpose only -- to hunt down and destroy all enemy life forms But man's greatest weapon has continued to evolve without any human guidance, and now it has devised a new mission: to obliterate all life. Col. Hendricksson (Peter Weller) is commander of a handful of Alliance soldiers still alive on Sirius 6B. Betrayed by his own political leaders and disgusted by the atrocities of this never-ending war, Hendricksson decides he must negotiate a separate peace with the New Economic Bloc's decimated forces. But to do so, he will have to cross a treacherous wasteland where the deadliest threat comes from the very weapons he helped to create. Written by
Nicolas LeBlanc <firstname.lastname@example.org>
At one point Hendricksson refers to someone sarcastically as "a real Perky Pat." This is a reference to the short story "The Days of Perky Pat" and the novel "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch." Both were written by Philip K. Dick, who wrote the short story "Second Variety" on which "Screamers" is based. See more »
When Hendricksson, Jefferson and David first meet the two N.E.B. soldiers, David is shot and you can clearly see the wire used to lift and pull David backwards into the snow. See more »
Screamers Crawl Narration:
[voice over narration]
For the last fifty years, the new economic block, the 'N.E.B.' Corporation, has controlled mining operations throughout the known solar systems.
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In the future the mining planet Sirius 6B has become a war zone with two warring factions. The ground is patrolled by underground robots called Screamers who target anyone not wearing identifying marks. One side receives a plea for peace negotiations after 10 years of war and discover from a lost soldier that the war has been forgotten on earth. The two sides have been left to die on Sirius 6B while another way is started on another planet. Commander Hendricksson (Weller) sets out with the lost soldier Jefferson (Lauer) to contact the other side and declare peace. However what they find will spell the end of their war one way or another.
This is based on a Phillip K. Dick story and has all the intelligence you would expect from a sci-fi from him - this is not a gory horror movie. This is an intelligent story about the creation of the Screamers and their "evolution". It also has a cynical edge lended by the way that the soldiers have been deserted by their leaders and continue to be tricked into fighting while the leaders get on with their business.
Weller is excellent as the world weary commander who finds his life sold out from under him. The supporting cast are OK with their stereotyped characters but the real stars are the Screamers who start out by small things with saw-blades and gradually take other forms. The child versions of Screamers are particularly creepy and perhaps a little disturbing.
However this is not as terrifying as it should be, nor is it as intelligent as it starts out being. The whole issue behind the different screamers is not explained and towards the end they just keep popping up without reason! It also has one of those "watch out for the sequel" style endings - although in fairness it isn't quite as bad as that. The special effects are a bit ropey but do the job - after all this is a very low budget movie.
The whole thing is not as good as it could have been but is certainly head and shoulders above a lot of low budget sci-fi thrillers.
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