Screamers

on January 26, 1996 by Leslie
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   The year is 2078, the planet Sirius 6B, and scientists have created one of SF's most lethal weapons: fast-moving, blade-wielding, self-replicating devices called screamers. But the screamers have become able to reprogram themselves; their former prime directive (kill the Sirian enemy) has become kill anything living, and to achieve that goal they can remake themselves into any form. Two representatives (Peter Weller and Andy Lauer) of Earth's Alliance forces on the planet decide to seek peace with the opposition, but the sheer ferocity of the screamers lets the audience know early on that the duo is going to run into more than a few third-party problems along the way. Based on the 1952 short story "Second Variety" by cutting-edge SF author Philip K. Dick--whose works spawned the theatricals "Blade Runner" and "Total Recall"--"Screamers" fails to live up to the Dick legacy. The opening scene is a rouser, but much of what follows is surprisingly uneventful. The movie also leaves unanswered key questions, like why don't the good guys try to locate a hidden screamer factory and blow it up? There hasn't been an SF film out for some time, so hardcore genre fans can be expected in droves on opening weekend, but word of mouth will cut the turnout after that. Dwayne E.    Starring Peter Weller, Jennifer Rubin and Andy Lauer. Directed by Christian Duguay. Written by Dan O'Bannon and Miguel Tejada-Flores. Produced by Tom Berry and Franco Battista. A Triumph release. SF/horror. Rated R for sci-fi violence and terror, some language and a brief moment of nudity. Running time: 105 min.
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