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Screamers [VHS] (1996)

Peter Weller , Roy Dupuis , Christian Duguay  |  R |  VHS Tape
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Weller, Roy Dupuis, Jennifer Rubin, Andrew Lauer, Charles Edwin Powell
  • Directors: Christian Duguay
  • Writers: Dan O'Bannon, Miguel Tejada-Flores, Philip K. Dick
  • Producers: Antony I. Ginnane, Charles W. Fries, Franco Battista, Josée Bernard
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • VHS Release Date: April 8, 1997
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304080891
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #976,270 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good December 28, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Quick -- name a motion picture based on a short story by Philip K. Dick and starring a tough guy who played a killer cyborg in a previous hit movie.

If you guessed _Total Recall_, you're correct, but it's not the one I had in mind.

This one is nothing like _Total Recall_ (which was an excellent movie but wandered far -- or did it? think twice -- from Dick's 'We Can Remember It For You Wholesale'). The story here is straightforward and doesn't involve any questioning of the nature of reality -- though it does, at least obliquely, question the nature of the relationship between humans and machines.

Peter Weller (_Robocop_) is the big cahuna here, and he does an excellent job as the morose, taciturn, tough-as-nails, just barely likeable 'hero' of the piece. The situation: there's some sort of corporate war on, and there's a mining colony, and there's some disinformation, and there's a possibility none of the fine folks that work the mines will ever get home again. (The film is based loosely on Dick's 'Second Variety' but doesn't follow it in detail; for one thing, the story was set on Earth.)

And there are the Screamers.

I can't tell you much about them without spoiling the movie for you. I guess I can let you know that they are machines and that they are evolving. Beyond that . . . well, watch and see.

This is a gritty, taut movie, and it's mostly well executed. The cast do a fine job -- especially Roy Dupuis but also that kid who used to rollerblade around on _Caroline In The City_. Some of the tension is artificial but the plot keeps on developing to the very last moment of the film.

It's not great, but it's good.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Screamers - Wow. If slightly derivative, this is a beauty; an overlooked gem of the just-above 'B' level sci-fi/horror genre.

Peter Weller (in the twilight of his 'A' list career) stars as Col. Hendricksson, a disenfranchised career soldier for the Alliance, stuck on a decimated mining planet ravaged by a decade of never-ending warfare, who sets out into no-man's land to negotiate peace with the enemy forces of the New Economic Bloc. Think a futuristic version of the Hatfield's vs. the McCoys, with radiation poisoning and advanced weaponry, as manipulated by an unseen, off-world government, and you've got the general idea.

Eventually Col. Hendricksson realizes that he's been scammed and stranded, stuck fighting a hopeless battle void of any importance, and he and his rag-tag band of Alliance survivors are the last handful of humanity left on the planet. As the shock sinks in, Hendricksson and his small group suddenly become the hunted, chillingly, by weapons that they helped to create -- the burrowing, semi-intelligent, buzz-saw like creatures of the title.

To say too much here would give away the surprise waaay too soon - although if you've seen more than a couple movies, you'll catch the Big Twist well before you're supposed to. Let it be said though, that Screamers is one of those surprises, one that's earned a place in this jaded video hound's heart.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Film August 15, 2006
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Several reviewers have been a bit brutal to this film, and I suppose they have a right to be. They are entitled to their opinions. As for me, I thoroughly enjoyed the film. Unapologetically, no excuses, no reservations. 5 stars.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars spacespam July 3, 2006
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I am a science fiction lover and i had to make this movie a part of my collection.,the only set back is the end of the movie wich could have been a little more creative.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Fun May 11, 2006
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'Screamers' is a very entertaining movie, albeit definitely of the B-Movie variety, as so many other reviewers have pointed out. This film reputedly had a budget of 11 million, and it seems like it should be a lot less than that, but no matter what it's got a real low-budget feel to it with a kind of a basic cable sci-fi show look to it. This is, of course, based on the classic Phil Dick short story 'Second Variety' and is also the only Dick adaptation that I am aware of that follows the story with any faithfulness at all, though the upcoming 'A Scanner Darkly' looks like it might change this trend. (Other adaptations being 'Blade Runner', 'Minority Report', 'Total Recall', 'Paycheck', 'Impostor' etc.) Of course, even as the most faithful adaptation they still make a lot of changes, but much of the general plot and major details remain the same anyway, which is nice. Anyway, this is the kinda movie that requires a very specific taste as it walks the line between effective drama and campiness, making it a movie that's kinda silly and wacky but one which I still take more or less seriously, as a whole. Anyway, I likes it.

'Screamers' centers around a long-standing conflict between the the Alliance and the New Economic Block on some distant planet. (Sirius 6B, or something like that.) As the film opens a lone NEB troop walks into the Alliance base carrying a message. He's torn apart by the murderous, subterranean robots called Autonomous Mobile Swords or Screamers, but they still receive the message: The NEBs want to negotiate peace.
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Aspect Ratio
A bit late for an answer, but here it is. The first US release of Screamers was a double-sided Widescreen (anamorphic)/Full Screen DVD. Incredibly this has been reissued as a Fullscreen only version at a bargain price without even changing the barcode. This is now the only version available in... Read More
Jul 29, 2009 by Amazon Customer |  See all 2 posts
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