[Screen It]


(1996) (Peter Weller) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild Moderate Mild Heavy Extreme
Moderate Moderate Moderate None Heavy
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Mild Moderate None Minor Extreme

Survivors on a war torn planet must contend with mechanical creatures that burrow under the Earth in search of human prey.
It's the year 2078 and the planet Sirius 6B has been ravaged by war over the mining of barynium, a new power source that unfortunately released deadly levels of radiation. The owners of the mines, the NEB corporation, declared war on the Alliance (of mine workers and scientists who took it upon themselves to shut down the operation) and nuked most of their cities. To retaliate, the Alliance created "screamers" autonomous mechanical creatures whose goal was to kill NEB foot soldiers. Unfortunately, the screamers evolved into smart equipment that adapt to better their killing ability, including impersonating human appearance. As the story begins, Joe Hendrickson (PETER WELLER), one of the former miners, has discovered that the Alliance has abandoned Sirius 6B after a newcomer, Ace (ANDY LAUER), crash lands on the planet. Joe decides to make his own truce with the NEB and sets off for their headquarters where he meets Jessica (JENNIFER RUBIN), a NEB black marketer. As the humans try to make peace, they must contend with the ever evolving screamers that are determined to kill each and every last one human.
If they like sci-fi movies they will, but other than that, there are no draws for kids.
For sci-fi violence and terror, some language and a brief moment of nudity.
  • None of the characters, including PETER WELLER's, are developed enough to be considered as good role models as their only behavior of note is to survive.


    OUR TAKE: 1 out of 10
    If you mix "Alien(s)," "Tremors," and "Children of the damned" together, throw out any originality and/or quality, you'll get this movie. While, yes, this is based on a Phillip Dick short story (author of stories from which "Blade Runner" and "Total Recall" were based), the acting stinks and the effects are cheesy. To make it worse, the plot meanders and the scary scenes are lifted directly from the above-mentioned movies. The height of absurdity occurs after Joe has sliced opened Jessica's hand to see if she's human or not. Do they worry about the deep, bloody gash? Nah, they just decide to embrace and kiss right there. C'mon! Don't waste your time with this mess. We give it just a 1 out of 10.
    The biggest issue of concern with this film is its nightmare producing ability, especially for younger children. There are many scenes where the screamers (in their various forms) come after the humans and both sides often meet violent ends. Profanity is heavy, and there's a quick glimpse of nude women in a virtual reality helmet. Of note, however, are the scenes where the screamers, in their young boy appearance, are shot and torched by the humans. The creatures are mechanical and the humans are defending themselves from certain death, but the visuals of young boys being killed might be disturbing to many people. As always you should read through the category listings before allowing your children to see this one.

  • Chuck and Joe reminisce about the old days when they drank beer at a bar.
  • Jessica shows up with Scotch for her people and for Joe and Ace.
  • One of the NEB soldiers kills his partner after drinking Scotch and incorrectly guessing that his partner was one of the advanced screamers.
  • Several of the screamers' victims are rather bloody after the attacks.
  • Dead people inside a crashed transport craft are somewhat bloody.
  • A dead body falls from an opened grate and it's somewhat rotted.
  • Inside the NEB command center, everyone's been killed. There are no bodies seen, but there's lots and lots of blood everywhere.
  • A bloody knife is pulled from one of the dead soldiers.
  • Blood spills from Ace's mouth as one of the humanoid screamers squeezes him to death.
  • Joe slices Jessica's hand to see if she's a screamer and ends up seeing a very bloody gash on her palm.
  • Obviously the two groups at war aren't respectful of each other.
  • Several of the characters become suspicious of the others and end up wounding or killing people to check if they're actually screamers.
  • Many scenes listed in "Violence" will also appear to some as suspenseful and/or scary.
  • Some viewers may find the scenes where the screamers race along underground toward their intended victims as scary and/or tense. The anticipation as people walk along while the sceamers might be lurking nearby also creates tension and the scenes where bodies are pulled down into the ground (by the screamers) might disturb younger kids.
  • Joe, Ace, Jessica and the two NEB soldiers make their way to the NEB headquarters through some cramped, dark corridors and there's the feeling that something bad could happen at any moment.
  • Two of the kid-like screamers approach Joe. One of their mouths turns into a mechanical razor blade opening. Joe shoots it "dead." Then as the group races back to their home base, they wait for an elevator while an apparently large group of the screamers tries to break down the nearby hatch.
  • Guns/Flamethrowers: Used to shoot at and destroy the mechanical screamers, including the ones that have a human appearance (mainly in the form of young boys).
  • Knife: Thrown by one NEB soldier into another, killing him, as he incorrectly thinks that the other soldier is one of the newer, advanced screamers.
  • Knife: Used by Joe to slice Jessica's hand to check if she's human or not.
  • One of the NEB soldiers asks another about the knife he's shapening, "Is it sharp enough yet?" and the man with the knife runs it down his tongue to test it (but there's no blood seen).
  • Phrases: "Sucks," "Piss," "Shut up," and "Fart."
  • Joe slices Jessica's hand to see if she's a screamer and ends up seeing a very bloody gash on her palm.
  • A cylinder that Joe's holding suddenly pops open and startles him.
  • Ace jumps as a dissected screamer "comes to life" and spins its razor blade wheel.
  • A rock that Joe picks up suddenly turns into some sort of mechanical creature and makes him jump.
  • A dead body falls from above when a metal grate is opened.
  • There's a moderate amount of both scary and tense music in the movie.
  • None.
  • 5 "f" words (1 used sexually), 18 "s" words, 14 hells, 11 "ass" words, 4 damns, 1 SOB, and 12 uses of "God damn," 2 uses of "Good God," and 1 use each of "Jesus," "Oh my God," "Good Lord," "Oh God," and "God" as exclamations.
  • Joe removes Ace's headgear and looks inside to see several naked ladies dancing about in the visor. They are completely nude, but only their bare breasts are clearly seen.
  • Jessica removes her shirt and gives herself a sponge bath, but only her back and just brief glimpses of the sides of her breasts are seen.
  • A screamer version of Jessica is torched by a ship's rockets and for a brief moment her rubber torso and bare breasts are seen.
  • Nearly everyone smokes cigarettes throughout the movie.
  • To neutralize the effects of the outdoor radiation, the people must smoke anti-radiation cigarettes.
  • None.
  • Nuclear power and its potential danger.
  • Whether such screamers really exist (or could exist).
  • There are many scenes where the screamers race along under the ground and attack their victims or are shot by the intended victims.
  • One victim has an arm cut off, and then a big chunk taken out of his leg.
  • A transport craft crashes at the Alliance compound (only the aftermath is seen) and Ace is the only survivor.
  • A homeless boy accompanying Joe and Ace is shot dead by NEB soldiers. Joe and Ace return fire but stop when they find out the boy was a new advanced screamer that was created to infiltrate the humans' compounds.
  • Inside the NEB command center, everyone's been killed. There are no bodies seen, but there's lots and lots of blood everywhere.
  • Two of the kid-like screamers approach Joe and one of their mouths turns into a mechanical razor blade opening. Joe shoots it "dead."
  • A NEB soldier throws his knife into his fellow soldier, killing him, as he incorrectly thinks that the other soldier is one of the newer, advanced screamers.
  • Joe and the others return to the Alliance base only to find it filled with screamers in their little boy look. They come walking out, zombie-like and Joe and the others open fire on them and then use flame throwers to kill many others. When that doesn't work, they fire a small nuclear weapon into the base which explodes and kills of the rest of the screamers.
  • Ace is squeezed to death by one of the humanoid screamers. Joe then fights with it, shoots it in the face (sparks fly) and end up blowing it in half with a small grenade.
  • Joe slices Jessica's hand to see if she's a screamer and ends up seeing a very bloody gash on her palm.
  • Joe fights another humanoid screamer who tosses Joe around like a rag doll. Meanwhile, Jessica turns out to be a screamer herself and fights with a clone of herself. They bash each other into the walls and the first Jessica gets taken out when the second throws a punch that goes right through her torso. Joe finally knives the screamer and short circuits him with an exposed electrical wire. The screamer then falls and is disintegrated in a laser beam field. The other Jessica ends up being torched by an escape craft's rockets.

  • Reviewed September 22, 1996

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