In 1953 Philp K. Dick published a short story called Second Variety wherein scientists create the ultimate robotic weapon to fight their enemies. They are nicknamed “screamers” due to the sound they make before attacking. Then the robots evolve and turn on the entire human race. In 1995 it was adapted into the film Screamers, starring Peter Weller. Now, in 2009, a sequel has been released and the screamers are back!
Thirteen years after the original, a distress signal is sent from Sirius 6B – the planet where the screamers were created – to Earth and a team of military team is sent to the planet to find any surviving humans and bring them home. There’s just one catch: the screamers are alive and continuing to evolve. On top of that, a meteor shower is going to hit the planet in six days completely decimating it so time is short.
The team lands and sets out to complete their mission. It isn’t long before people start dropping like decapitated and disemboweled flies due to the screamers and the true nature of their evolution becomes terrifyingly apparent.
The film feels like a weird amalgamation of Aliens and Terminator, but it works. The screamers have evolved to look like humans so you never know if who you’re meeting is a human or a robot that will turn and kill you any second. This device is used very well and does provide for a few surprises.
The acting is fairly acceptable, and at times the dialogue gets a little bad, but for the most part this is a surprisingly solid and entertaining sci-fi horror film. For the budget it looks really good. The special effects are well done and they really help the over all presentation of the film. There is a nice level of action and suspense, and there’s tons of gore thrown in. Characters die left and right and you never know who is going to live.
There are two big flaws to the film. The first is that horror/sci-fi icon Lance Henriksen only has an extended cameo of a about fifteen minutes near the end of the film. He is badass and you really wish he were in the whole film. The other is the final shock of the film which, while kind of cool, is very predictable.
The film is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and 5.1 surround sound. It offers Spanish, Portuguese and Thai languages and Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and Thai subtitles. This film looks really good, better than you’d expect and it sounds good to. Far above your normal B movie fair.
Screamers: The Hunting Behind The Scenes: (25 min) This is scene behind the scenes that talks about everything from casting to special effects both CGI and other. There are good interviews with the cast and crew.
Trailers: Resident Evil: Degeneration, Anaconda: Trail Of Blood, Against The Dark, Messengers 2: The Scarecrow, The Grudge 3, The Devil’s Chair, Boogeyman 3, Vacancy 2: The First Cut, The Poker Club, Deep Winter, The Librarian: Curse Of The Judas Chalice, Red Sands, The Lodger, Zombie Strippers, The Tattooist, Screamers, Quarantine, Passengers, Breaking Bad and Fearnet.com.
I was really surprised. Not only how much I enjoyed the film but how good it actually was for a DTV release; it wasn’t entertainingly bad, and it was actually entertaining. Far worse films have gotten theatrical releases and it’s a shame this one didn’t. It’s not going to win any awards or anything, but if you’re a fan of the genre you’ll really enjoy this film.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents Screamers: The Hunting. Directed by Sheldon Wilson. Starring Gina Holden, Jana Pallaske and Lance Henriksen. Written by Miguel Tejada-Flores. Story by Tom Berry. Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick. Running time: 95 minutes. Rated R for sci-fi creature violence and gore. Released on DVD: February 17, 2009. Available at Amazon.com.
Tags: Philip K. Dick