Cult-Trash-Badass-Cinema -and more…

SCREAMERS (1995)


Directed by Christian Duguay

This is a title I wanted to write about since I started..but never got to it-until now.

The first time I have seen this was in Romania, during a vacation(less a vacation than an adventure..but that`s a whole different universe).

Peter Weller was enough to make me shell out 50 Pfennig (it was the summer of 1996).

The admission price was that low, yes..and I took full advantage of that during my stay, watching up to three movies a day. Not always, but when there was a day without any big plans, I´d hit the theatre „downtown“.

I`ve been to Romania 12 times alltogether since 1991, shortly after the Revolution.

Their own currency was down and out, so with a little german money, you could have a hell of a good time there. I am glad I didn`t end up in a „Hostel“kind of situation, but whe had our run-ins with a few  less decent characters, that`s all I can say. But for the most part it`s been good times, and the rest- lessons in life.

But as I said, those are completely different things.

So, the name Peter Weller and the cool-looking poster persuaded me to go see it.

And it was a good decision.

(SIRIUS 6B, Year 2078) On a distant mining planet ravaged by a decade of war between the NEB and the Alliance, 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.

This is his decision, after a soldier from the NEBs arrives at the gate of their bunker, holding a tube, which contains a letter with the request for negotiations.

This is a very delicate mission, as the wasteland out there is crawling of Screamers.

And they cannot be sure what awaits them. Then suddenly  a freighter of the Alliance crashes on the planet and  the only survivor is a sniper, who confronts them with some ugly news, totally changing their evaluation of the current situation.

Hendricksson has even more reasons now to negotiate, and decides to leave for the NEB headquarter with Jefferson, the sniper.

What they will find  is worse than anything they could have imagined….

This is based on a story by Phillip K. Dick, famous for his science fiction stories.

Screenplay by Dan O`Bannon. Not bad , huh?

This movie had a 20 Million budget, which isn`t much now or in 1995.

But with a few exceptions, this looks better than the budget would suggest.

I really like the overall look of this film. It makes good use of the sites and sets.

It has a down to „earth“ feeling that only adds to the suspense. It `s  rough, used, gritty.

The guns aren`t laser guns , they are rather conventional. I think that is a nice touch in a genre that doesn`t hesitate to come up with over the top future guns or simply lasers.

I don`t wanna give away the rest of the story, although there would be plenty to write about.

The Screamers are a genuinely scary new kind of enemy and more…the story builds up to much more than just a shootèm up, it contains human drama, fear and hope. If you want, you could find aspects of Alien and Blade Runner in it, the world of the Screamers has a lot of potential and depth, much more than one would expect at first.

Peter Weller and the rest of the cast do a pretty damn good job, the film is filled with interesting characters and actors. Since I don`t wanna give away more than the intro, I must end this soon,lol.

If you haven`t seen this by now, you should. It`s highly underrated, and should be seen by any Sci-Fi Fan. This film is great science- fiction with a good amount of gore and action.

With  bigger stars and a little more money, this could have been a well-known milestone of sci-fi now. But I really don`t mind , Peter Weller is awesome in this, just saying this could have been blockbuster material.

I consider this the SPLIT SECOND for Peter Weller, meaning great role and extremely high rewatchability. Plus, both have a Sci-Fi milestone to their credit.

I must warn you, though…the sequel to this is  rather bad…..but with the first one-I think-you can`t go wrong.

Advertisements

7 responses

  1. Yeah, this is a really enjoyable flick. Weller puts in a great performance. Check out the sequel Screamers: The Hunting – I thought it was surprisingly good for a belated follow-up.

    The only thing that lets it down is the teddy bear ending. I know its meant to be creepy but it comes off as pretty funny.

    February 23, 2012 at 10:22 AM

  2. I have seen part 2, but was dissapointed by the actors (except for Lance )…It was gory and all, but that alone is not enough. The script was weak, Gina Holden I just couldnt like or belive in…plus the whole “planet gets hit by some storm” thing….it isnt all bad, but the bad parts keep me from watching it more than once. With Sci-Fi-the story is more important than the gore-meter.
    Starship Troopers to me is just Braindead in Space,lol. Nothing I would call serious sci-fi.

    February 23, 2012 at 3:51 PM

  3. Oh, and also..why send a ship for just a handful of people in the first place..thats silly.

    February 23, 2012 at 3:52 PM

  4. Yeah the acting and story in the second one aren’t as good as the original. And they should have given Lance the lead role.

    February 24, 2012 at 10:07 AM

  5. Direct to Video Connoisseur

    Love this movie, and I think it’s pretty sweet that you saw it in Romania. I can only imagine how interesting it must’ve been at that time.

    February 25, 2012 at 6:07 PM

  6. Jason Elizondo

    Man, I haven’t seen this one in ages. Though I do remember liking it a lot when I did. And the fact that it’s written by O’Bannon only makes me want to revisit it even more. Great review buddy! I’ll have to make an effort to see this one again.

    February 26, 2012 at 2:25 AM

  7. this is one of my favorite films of all times. they did fantastic job with production design, they found perfect sets for visualisation of another planet and future, which helped to capture the entire atmosphere. not to mention peter weller, mega-tzar of ueber-cool.

    March 8, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s