One of my longtime favorite films and a clasc to this day, Screamers adds another to the long list of Philip K. Dick adaptations.
Starting off with quite the bang and a bit of blood as limbs are efficiently detached, this movie seals the deal for the kind of grit you can expect throughout. Man-made monsters wielding saws prey on anything with a pulse on a ruined planet in the distant future. Managing at once to appear futuristic while dismal enough to believe that this is a world left behind and as such the technology for the characters is likely outdated is a hard task to do. I think this film handled the task well enough. The clothing is ratty, the sets are banged up and seemingly held together with bubble gum and hope and no one gives a damn about profesonal appearance anymore. It immerses you in a world that these characters despise and you can feel the daily grind from the opening scene.
The monsters are a rare treat as you get intricate little machines that are all sharp and nasty and brought to life with Harryhausen style stop motion animation. The creatures provide a surpringly expanve array of nastiness for such a little film. There are a few surprises with this one. Some you see coming, some you might not. Regardless of how well anticipated, the payoff is well worth it.
The atmosphere in the film is absolutely desolate and oppresng to the max. You'd be hard pressed to find a harsher landscape in this genre. The walls are caked with blood, the emptiness can be felt in every frame. Hendrickson and Ace may be on their way to make peace with a rival faction but you can practically feel they may soon be the last souls on the planet.
The muc is surpringly powerful and delivers in every scene. The soundtrack can make or break the tenon in any film, this one drives it home like a sledge hammer. The creepiness of the headquarters, the epic empty stretch of the war torn landscape, the teeth gritting fear that comes knowing you are being hunted relentlessly by creatures that want nothing more than to sadistically murder you. Every detail is emphazed by the equally relentless score of this movie.
The acting... Peter Weller "Hendrickson" is already a fan fave from Robocop, when you add in the unsettling performances of Roy Dupuis "Becker" and Charles Powell "Ross" this movie can hold its own. Becker just oozes badass from every pore and his tone just makes you love to hate him. Ross himself is like a grenade ready to go off at a moments notice and together the two can bring a scene to agonizing pressure as you wait for them to explode. When this film wraps up, you will have seen how supporting actors are supposed to bring things to a proper climax.
This movie is a definite clasc and well worth the watch.