Screamers (1995, Peter Weller, Roy Dupuis)

Poster for the movie "Screamers"
R 108 min - Horror, Science Fiction - 8 September 1995
Our rating:

Québecois Christian Duguay's bleak film, based on a story by sci-fi master Philip K Dick, is set on remote mining planet Sirius 6B in the year 2078. The planet provides an energy-solving substance for earth but extracting it kills the miners. Over the years, war has been fought between the miners and the energy company and the film opens in a bleak hillside bunker where Hendricksson (Peter Weller) leads a group of miners.

A man staggers from the bleak landscape; they prepare to shoot him but the Screamers get him first. Screamers, also known as Autonomous Mobile Swords, are automatons created by the miners, guided by tiny computers with one purpose: to kill humans with their razor sharp saws. Their name comes from the last noise their victims hear. But the man is from the company, bearing a plea for peace talks so they can unite against the Screamers. Hendricksson is chosen to lead a mission to meet the company and start the talks. But first they have to cross the desert, home of the Screamers…

Duguay had previously directed the two sequels to Cronenberg's Scanners, so was used to graphic special effects. The script was largely from Dan O'Bannon, who also scripted Alien and knows how and when to spring surprises. But the film keeps its humanity through Weller's performance as a man who's been fighting so long that death would be quite welcome, but not yet. The special effects are superb, the landscape eerie and suitably alien, the interiors as forbidding as anything on the Nostromo. But the real power of the film (and the horror) comes from the growing realisation of the surviving humans that they are not the only species capable of evolution…

Director:  Christian Duguay
Producer:  Franco Battista, Tom Berry
Director of Photography:  Rodney Gibbons

Production Details

Release Date:  8 September 1995

Running Time:  1 h 48 min

Genres: Horror, Science Fiction
Country:   Canada Japan United States of America

Language:  English, Hungarian

Tagline: The last scream you hear will be your own.

Budget and Box Office takings where known

Budget:  $20,000,000
Revenue:  $5,781,885