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Screamers is a 1995 Sci-Fi/Horror film based off of the Philip K. Dick story Second Variety.
The film is set on the planet Sirius 6B in the year 2078. Sirius B was the source of energy, however, the hazardous working conditions led to a war between the New Economic Block, and their former employees The Alliance. While on Earth, there was a tense peace between the NEB and Alliance, on Sirius B, the war went nuclear. Eventually, the Alliance introduced "screamers", a series of subterranean killing machines, which replicate themselves ad infinitum in an automated factory. The war eventually ruined the planet, leaving only a handful of Alliance and NEB strongholds intact. As it turns out, Earth had long since abandoned Sirius B, with the soldiers fighting for control of a ruined planet.
As Hendrickson, the Alliance's leader on Sirius 6B, heads out to discuss a peace treaty with the NEB General, it is revealed that the screamers have changed; building newer models. They can pass for human, and soon, no one is safe.
A direct-to-video sequel, Screamers: The Hunting, released in 2009 features a group of Alliance Marines sent from Earth to Sirius 6B to investigate a distress signal. It had been over a decade since last contact from the planet, and hey, the screamers thought to be dormant. What could possibly go wrong?
- Adaptation Decay/Adaptation Distillation: The original short story takes place on a post-apocalyptic earth with an escalated cold war being the backstory. The movie replaces this with a colony world run by Corrupt Corporate Executives. The story itself is largely unchanged. Except for a drastic change to the ending.
- Becoming the Mask: Jessica is a screamer, but she defends Hendrickson from another Jessica, to allow him to escape to Earth.
- Catch Phrase: Type III's repeat a single phrase because "they can't think of anything better to say."
- Creepy Child
- Cyborg: Type V's.
- Danger Takes a Backseat
- Diabolus Ex Machina/Cruel Twist Ending: Mostly everyone dies. And the teddy bear is a screamer.
- Everybody Smokes: Anti-radiation medication is delivered via red-colored cigarettes. Thus, lots of people smoke.
- Evil Overlooker: the cover of The Hunting.
- Forever War
- Gone Horribly Right: The Screamers were made to kill humans. And they're just getting better and better at it.
- Hell Is That Noise: the child screamers catchphrase: "Can... can I come with... you...?"
- The high-pitched keening Screamers are named for.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Peter Weller played Hendrickson in Screamers, and Lance Henricksen played Orsow in the sequel.
- Invisibility Wristwatch: The "tabs" alliance members wear makes them invisible to screamers. Until the screamers start updating themselves...
- Killer Rabbit: The child screamer. And possibly the teddy bear.
- Killer Robot
- Knife Nut: Becker
- Lightning Gun: In the sequel.
- Mechanical Evolution: Just as in the original Second Variety.
- Mistaken for An Imposter: Becker argues that Ross is a screamer, and then tosses a knife through his chest.
- It then turns out Becker was the real imposter, playing this trope.
- Nightmare Face: the type V's in the sequel have four mandibles that unfold out of their mouths, and a drill on their tongues.
- Not His Sled
- Nuclear Physics Goof: This little gem - "Cubic tons of radiation."
- Robotic Reveal: Happens to the humanoid screamers.
- Shaggy Dog Story: The sequel has an offscreen mention of the protagonist of the original dying.
- So Bad It's Good: The script is a cheesy riot, while most deaths look like they're from a parody skit. Just don't expect an actual horror movie.
- They Look Like Us Now: In the original, there were Type
IIsIVs, which pretended to be wounded soldiers, and Type IIIs, which mimicked orphaned children. And Jessica. The sequel adds even more variety.