Screamers (1995) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Soldiers attempting to negotiate the end to a long-running war discover the robots they built to assassinate enemy combatants have gained sentience and are plotting against both sides.

  • (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.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • A robotic voice (Henry Ramer) reads the captions:

    Planet Earth has colonized other planets for its own purposes. We are in 2078, and Sirius 6B is one of our colonies. What we want from this planet is a new energetic material, berynium. The problem is that this material is highly polluting and radioactive. Because of the careless mining, the one Sirius 6B planet is now a ravaged desertic land, not fertile as it used to be. NEB Corporation, a monopoly, have controlled all mining operations in this planet and all the Solar System. The Alliance, a mixture of a union and a series of scientists, tried to stop NBE from destroying the planet. NBE and The Alliance started a war in Sirius 6B, which also created a new Cold War in Earth. However, physical or nuclear war have only happened at Sirius 6B. Thousands of civilians died in this planet, and also they have the problem of radioactive clouds caused by the berynium. After 10 all-out war years, only a handful of survivors remain in the planet.

    The mining town looks like a dusty ghost town. Miners are playing for cigarettes. Through CCTV, they see somebody stumbling closer. That person, a NEB soldier (Sylvain Massé), looks terrified. Lieutenant Landowska (Liliana Komorowska) wonders what he's doing moving closer without even attempting to hide, and wants Captain Joseph "Joe" Henderson (Peter Weller) to be called. There is a moment when this person stops. Something moves below the sand. The runaway soldier shoots it. Suddenly, the dusty plain is filled with underground small things shooting at him. The lieutenant watch as the things scream with ear-splitting sharp noises and attack this man, who has shown a cylinder for them to see. There are round robotic things under the sand, and they jump to dismember him: first an arm, then a leg... until they kill him off. One of the soldiers inside the bunker (Tom Berry) pukes. The lieutenant and this soldier try to convince themselves that they are the good side. When the Captain arrives, he says that without the Screamers they would have lost the war long ago. The Captain also wonders what a single person was doing on his own so exposed to the enemies and the screamers. As the lieutenant mentions that he had something on his hand, the Captain decides to check it out - some of the soldiers think it is going to be a bomb, so they leave the Captain to go fetch the cylinder on his own. The Captain is wearing a high-tech writsband which will prevent screamers from attacking him. Screamers are taking the parts of the dead soldier under the soil, so the Captain has to shoot one to get hold of the cylinder. The cylinder is a message for The Alliance.

    Cut to classical music, Don Giovanni by Mozart in the bunker. The Captain wants to talk to Chuck Elbarak (Ron White). He is playing with a Cesar Augustus coin. The document is Priority 7, which means that it's only for the eyes of Chuck and the Captain. Chuck opens the cylinder.

    It is a message from Richard Cooper, a Commander of the NEB Army to Joe, asking for peace negotiation. Two officers should discuss it. Chuck thinks that it may be a tactic to full them.

    Joe tells Communications Officer MacDonald (Leni Parker) to send a message to Earth to ask for advice. She says that an urgent message from a commercial transport has been received asking for permission to land. Joe wants to know what the emergency was first.

    In the cylinder there was a map of the NEB commanding offices as well. They wonder why the NEB has decided to speak out after so long without any contact with them, not even radio waves.

    Through virtual reality, a big shot Commanding Officers called Secretary Green (Bruce Boa) says that the NEB have asked for a ceasefire, so that they have the opportunity to bring peace to the world. Berynium has been found somewhere else, in another planet called Tritom 4, and this time there are no signs of radioactivity. The radioactivity interferes with the message from this guy, which is leave incomplete, making Joe swear and say that the Morse Code used to be better and more reliable.

    Joe and Chuck think that if war had broken loose on Earth there would have had to be a ceasefire much much sooner. They think about the wife who left one of them.

    Radiation approaches, so the soldiers have to light a special red cigarette. Everything trembles and many people die because of the falling buildings. There was a falling airship prepared to build bombs - it was a nuclear reactor.

    A person is rescued from the debris. Screamers appear to take away the bodies of the dead. Screamers are a race of killing devices which move underground, among the soft sands of the planet. They have blades to cut, shred and kill and they are self-replicating. They have been designed to kill all enemies, but as they replicate on their own, little by little their purpose changed, and now they want to hunt down all humans and kill all life. So in this sense, screamers are both enemies of both the Alliance and NBE. Screamers attack the human pulse, but the wristband makes them believe that the person wearing it is dead. Radioactivity has corroded their outer shells and their shrill voice is the only sign of their approach - unless you see them running towards you, when you will usually see a cloud of reddish dust from the ground of the planet.

    Rodgers () lets Michael "Ace" Jefferson (Andrew "Andy" Lauer) to talk with the Captain. Chuck tries to make some research on the screamers - even after losing their brain they have impulse reactions of aggression. He realises that the programme within the screamers has been modified. Jefferson is shocked to hear that he is the only survivor of 38. The Captain is worried about the nuclear reactor which was going to be used to manufacture more weapons. Ace didn't know that it was there. Ace says that Green is already dead, there is no such ceasefire and he was aimed to Tritom 4, where there is another war going on. The Alliance Command took Green's life. The Captain is really angry, his expectations of peace quashed. Chuck still believes in Green's message. Joe thinks that they are stuck in the planet, and that they have been being fed rubbish to keep them on the planet and their families back on Earth happy. Cooper and the NBE also know that it's best for the moral in Earth that they stay on Sirius 6B, forgotten. The Captain wants to go to the NBE headquarters and create their own ceasefire. Chuck says that the NBE wanted two people, in a way offering himself to go. The Captain says that he will go with Ace, who is almost a kid. Chuck will stay behind and become the First-in-Command in case any other starship falls out of the sky.

    Chuck bides farewell to Joe and Ace. The planet is icy and snowy, with constant winds. Joe will communicate every 4 hours. If they miss the time twice, it will be because they will be dead. Pop music sounds.

    They reach an abandoned berynium factory. Ace is told that he will know if the red cigs are working if he doesn't die. Ace doesn't know anything about the war. The Captain is tired of it all and wants to come back in peace, as his world has been shattered for long enough. A screamer passes them by undetected. Ace shoots a screamer which was eating a huge rat; Joe says that screamers are scavengers and that they learn fast. Ace wonders if they are cybernetic or alive. The Alliance created them, but now nobody knows how many screamers are or where they are.

    They jump to the floor when they see somebody.

    A child's voice asks "Can I come with you?" There is a child standing there. He looks terrified. The boy is holding a teddy bear. He says he is living in the ruins. The boy is a bit vague about what he eats and how he hides from the screamers. The Captain gives him a food ration, and they will pick him up on their way back. The boy wants to go with them, and Ace agrees about that. Joe looks at the boy and accepts.

    That night, over a bonfire, they ask his name: David Edward Dearing (Michael Caloz). His parents died in the blasts. Ace explains how to fry rats.

    Joe calls Chuck, who says that they had a new recruit. It's a bit strange but it's OK. David laughs about a bug which scares Ace out of his wits. Joe and Ace have a restless night.

    A screamer approaches. Joe is playing with David's teddy bear. Ace was keeping guard, but he was listening to an erotic disco music, that's why he didn't hear the screamer. Joe has killed the screamer, which is different and looks like an animal.

    Ace talks and talks; Joe tells him to shut up. They cross a frozen lake and the three of them are detected by somebody who is coughing. They have reached NEB headquarters. The person shoots David.

    David shows to be a robot. He screams like the screamer he is until Ace kills him off.

    The NEB soldiers tell them that the screamers now tag along, and that once when they are in is when the killing starts. Joe shows them the peace negotiation offered by Richard Cooper. His mate Becker (Roy Dupuis) asks him if he is really let them inside their bunker, to which the Officer says that yes, he is about to, and he questions if he has something better to do today.

    Joe calls Chuck and tells him that he's found a new type of screamer which looks like a kid, so not to let anybody in. Chuck can't hear properly.

    Ace and Becker take out his shotgun cockily, but Jessica Hanson (Jennifer Rubin) interrupts. She is boss there, and is worried about drinking real Scotch, not some synthetic bullshit. She used to be a freelancer dealing in the black market. She has helped Becker and taken him in.

    Richard Cooper must be at headquarters, because that place is like a hidden hotel. Joe still insists in going to the Command building. She will show Joe the underground way there if he promises to take her back to Earth. He tells her that Earth will not be a welcoming place, as there is a new war in Triton 4. Joe admires her beauty - she is half naked washing herself with a sponge in front of him. Jessica recounts how an army of Davids killed the NEB soldiers.

    Ace and Becker dislike each other. Ace discovered that she has a plutonium rocket. Joe doesn't want to use it.

    So they start through the underground corridors. Rats scare Ross (Charles Edwin Powell). They open a trapdoor and they find a dead body. Jessica moves on, not scared, saying that they are almost there.

    They reach the ground level of Command Centre.

    Joe tells Ace that he is not going to trust Ross. There is blood everywhere and Ross becomes hysterical and shoots, so everybody is going to see that he won't do anything stupid. Joe says that Cooper would be there if he was alive. Joe tries to communicate with somebody, but the system is not working very well. They see a small screamer-kangaroo. It connects itself to the main computer, takes the info and leaves. Joe et al. cannot do anything apart from hiding themselves. Luckily, the screamer doesn't detect them. Nobody moves while the screamer stares at them. Fortunately, it is about to leave, but Ross makes some noise and it attacks the noise. Ross shoots the jumping screamer, damaging all the computer unis.

    Suddenly, "Can I go with you now?" is heard. Joe tells Ace to take everybody away from there. Joe is left behind and checks the computer system with the design of the modern screamers. Type 1 the rat/kangaroo looking thing. Several Davids are approaching - they are Type 3, and Joe has to shoot one of them. Joe checks for Type 2, but he has no time left. Ace returns to help Joe to leave the place. They take a lift. Becker was waiting for them.

    Joe asks what Type 2 was. Jessica says that it was a wounded soldier crying "Help me, Help me". Joe says that the Alliance never saw one, and wonders why. Ross, the scaredy soldier who keeps on repeating and repeating "Get off my back" is considered to be a Type 2. Becker kills him by throwing a knife at his belly. Joe picks up the knife and sees that it has blood on it. Joe says that Ross was killed for no reason at all.

    Then, Jessica threatens Becker saying that he may be the Type 2 screamer. Joe decides to leave the place. Jessica wonders if Joe's men would let the remaining people in if Joe dies. He says that if Chuck is clever, he won't let anybody in. Becker says that he doesn't repent.

    Joe, Ace, Jessica and Becker leave the place.

    When they get to the bunker, Chuck tells him to get closer as he can't hear well. Screamers repeat themselves, and that's how Joe realises it's not a human speaking to him. An army of Davids get out of the bunker. They can be set fire easily and finally the nuclear rocket is thrust onto the bunker.

    Becker becomes wounded and screams "Help me". Ace stands up and tries to help me. Becker is a screamer and kills Ace.

    Becker says that he is his own self, and that he has not love, which is a human emotion. Ace is dead, as Joe checks. Jessica says that they are going to die, but Joe says that not today. Joe speaks of a way out of the planet. Joe saw a sign and cuts Jessica's hand to check that she is human. She tells him that he doesn't need to do that. They kiss passionately. At Alamo, where berynium was first discovered, there is an escape pod. Joe tells Jessica that he doesn't have anybody apart from her when she wants to give up.

    They reach Alamo, which works with Joe's biological data, and only his. They try to make everything work. There is something blocking the way, and Joe goes to solve the problem while Jessica gets down to the pod. The countdown begins.

    Chuck appears and hits Joe. Chuck has become a screamer. Chuck says that he took Cooper's face before, and mocks that he mentioned god and Jesus. Joe gives him a shortcut when everything looked lost because he was strangling him.

    Jessica has looked at everything. There is only a place in the pod. Joe tells Jessica to go. She says she can't go, as only him can fly the pod. He suggests calling heads or tails, but then he puts a glove on top of the coin and they kiss passionately.

    Another Jessica appears. The first Jessica says that she was trying to tell him. The two Jessicas fight for Joe. The second Jessica wanted to get onto the pod herself. The second Jessica kills the first one. The rocket is ready to leave and the first it emits kills the second wicked Jessica. Joe tells the first Jessica that they have become human, as they are killing each other now. The first Jessica says that she also learned how to love, and dies.

    Joe enters the pod and goes to Earth. He throws away the wristband which detects screamer.

    The teddy bear has started to move - it's a screamer.

    ---written by KrystelClaire

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