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Screamers  (DVD)


Stars: Peter Weller, Jennifer Rubin, Roy Dupois, Andy Lauer, Charles Powell, Liliana Komorowska, Leni Parker, Bruce Boa

Director: Christian Duguay

Recognisably from the fertile imagination of Philip K Dick, who wrote the original source novel of Blade Runner, this too is about replicants, things not of flesh and bone who only appear to be human.

It's 2078 AD and, on a distant planet turned into a bettered shell by hostilities, rival groups who fought long for the rare mineral contained on the planet most seek peace with each other when news comes that the mineral has been discovered elsewhere.

Self-maintaining killing devices called Screamers, which can appear in human form, and 'Davids', sophisticated weapons disguised as small boys clutching teddy bears, are only two of the obstacles weary commander Weller must overcome to get the hell off the planet.

Boasting superb production design and special effects, the film's bright ideas are fatally negated by lack of pace and a flat treatment, although there is a creepy little twist at the end. Weller, the original RoboCop, reached new heights of morosity with this by-the-numbers performance.

David Quinlan

USA/Canada 1995. UK Distributor: Trinity Creative Partnership (originally Columbia). Eastman Colour.
104 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 19 May 2020