BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Screamers (1996) - Blu-ray Review

  • Movie Review

  • Details

  • Blu-ray Review

  • Trailer

  • Art

Screamers (1996) - Blu-ray

"Can I come with you?" 

Are the people around you really who they claim to be?  This reality-bending question is at the heart of Screamers, a quiet little science fiction movie that, once seen, tugs at the back of the consciousness far more effectively than any other film made at the same time.  Yes, Independence Day, I am referring to you.  There is something truly unsettling about this movie and, just like the manmade killing machines ripping arms and legs from the soldiers at this neglected outpost, it’s Dan O’Bannon-penned script is forever deadly.

"Screamers, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, is a movie that, to this day, operates like a science fiction oddity that has no physical place of origin"


Released in 1996 and filmed in the coldest parts of Montréal, this survival film – about a team of drained soldiers on an alien planet where the enemy is constantly evolving to find different ways to infiltrate and, eventually, hitch a ride to Earth – is pretty straight-forward, even as its subject matter isn’t exactly.  There is a lot at work here that the movie, heavy on action scenes, sort of glosses over.  A mistake, I recognize, as it gives way too many people a reason to check out and in at random. 

Screamers, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, is a movie that, to this day, operates like a science fiction oddity that has no physical place of origin.  Shout! Factory, as if acknowledging the “outta time”-ness of the movie, slips this re-release into their ever-growing HD catalog without so much of a special notification.  This isn’t a Collector’s Edition, although it does feature NEW interviews with the film’s director Christian Duguay and actress Jennifer Rubin, and it isn’t an anniversary release either.  The release, without a new 2K scan, just exists . . . much like this underappreciated film.

Starring Peter Weller (Robocop, Naked Lunch) as rebel Alliance Commander Col. Joseph Hendrickson, Screamers kicks off with a deadly attack from these devices.  Through the ground they come, digging and ripping at the flesh and bone of the humans waging war against them.  Except, as the movie plows forward, there is a new breed of battalions.  The robots have achieved sentience and, as they pretend to be small boys in need of assistance, fighting against them just got a whole hell of a lot harder and paranoia-inducing.Screamers (1996) - Blu-ray

With strong atmosphere and great locations, Screamers remains a solid Philip K. Dick adaptation.  Weller, as always, gives an engaging performance as he wrestles with his duties in light of the suspicions that work to tear his team apart.  While the film, originally filmed in 1995, certainly isn’t up to Bladerunner standards (as most films are not), there is a feeling that washes over you while watching this movie that is remarkably the same.  That otherworldness of the events captured here, as soldiers turn against one another in an effort to survive a truly horrifying mechanical enemy, is engaging and completely sells the film to a responsive audience. 

The shrieks!  The kills! Are your friends really your friends?  Or are they, in fact, SCREAMERS?!?!  .

3 beers

Carrie: Collector's Edition - Blu-ray Review and Details

MPAA Rating: R for sci-fi violence and terror, some language and a brief moment of nudity.
Runtime:
108 mins
Director
: Christian Duguay
Writer:
Dan O'Bannon
Cast:
Peter Weller, Roy Dupuis, Jennifer Rubin
Genre
: Horror | Sci-fi | Thriller
Tagline:
The Last Scream You Hear Will Be Your Own.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Things ain't what they used to be."
Theatrical Distributor:
Sony Pictures Releasing
Official Site:
Release Date:
January 26, 1996
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 29, 2019
Synopsis: The year is 2078. The man is rebel Alliance Commander Col. Joseph Hendrickson (Peter Weller), assigned to protect the Sirius 6B outpost from ravage and plunder at the hands of the New Economic Bloc.

His state-of-the-art weaponry are known as Screamers: manmade killing devices programmed to eliminate all enemy life forms. Screamers travel underground, their intent to kill announced by piercing shrieks. They dissect their victims with sushi precision, then eradicate all traces of the carnage. They are lethal. Effective. Tidy.

Screamers (1996) - Blu-ray

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- January 29, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The new 1080p transfer of Screamers is pretty great, pumping up the lines, the shadows, and the colors.  However, this isn’t the best-looking production in the world.  Go in knowing that.  But the work here sure beats any prior release of this apocalyptic film.  Don’t go in expecting much texture, though.  The effects shots are really the only moments of good texture.  Most of the picture looks a bit dull and lifeless; the colors don’t pop as much as one would expect them to.  Again, the make-up looks strong and the shadow levels are passible but there’s little filmic quality to the transfer.  This is the fate of these low-budget affairs.  Fortunately, Shout! Factory has done their best and gives us what details there are to mine out of the print.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None.

Special Features:

Surprisingly, there are four NEW interviews with the film’s cast and crew and, considering this is the film’s debut on HD, this movie is worth the upgrade.

  • Northern Frights – An Interview With Director Christian Duguay
  • Orchestrating The Future – An Interview With Producer Tom Berry
  • More Screamer Than Human – An Interview With Co-writer Miguel Tejada-Flores
  • From Runaway To Space – An Interview With Actress Jennifer Rubin
  • Theatrical Trailer

Screamers (1996) - Blu-ray

Movie Reviews

Our Tweets

 

You are here: Home Home Video BADass B-Movies Screamers (1996) - Blu-ray Review
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Google+
Letterboxd
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes