Screamers (1995)

Director: Christian Duguay
Starring: Peter Weller, Roy Dupuis, Jennifer Rubin. Canada / USA. 1h

Based on: Second Variety by Philip K Dick

Philip K Dick was always ahead of his time, and as a cult writer the films adapted from his books and short stories are also usually held tightly by the same community and cherished dearly. While Screamers has a lower budget and took a bashing by the critics on it’s release it did eventually get recognised and gain a cult following, and indeed why not it has all of the elements of any PK Dick novela, machines turning on their creators, illusions, confusion of reality, corporate lies.. Really it’s quite brilliant but could have done with a bit more passion and depth.

In broad strokes this film is about two rival corporations who are mining on an alien planet. In 2078 and the planet is Sirius 6B. The beautiful thriving planet is now a toxic desert after the continuous mining and the NEB and Alliance corporate wars. Five years into the wars  Alliance have developed AMS (Autonomous mobile Swords) self replicating machines with AI that hunt and kill NED soldiers all on their own. These are the “Screamer” due to the nosie they emit when they are about to kill. The idea is that they are created and shipped out and kill anything with a heartbeat. They fix themselves and keep on killing. So how do you keep your own men safe? Well they wear “tabs” which broadcast a signal cancelling out their heartbeats rendering them invisible to the machines. Continue reading Screamers (1995)