Based on a Philip K Dick story, scripted by Dan O'Bannon and Miguel Tejada-Flores, and directed by the maker of Scanners II, this Canadian sci-fi movie lacks the intelligence to follow through its grim premise. That said, and a worrying resemblance to Charles Band's cheapo, quarry-bound sci-fi pics aside, it does offer many of the guilty pleasures of unachieving B-pictures. The mining planet of Sirius 6B, in 2078: a handful of Alliance soldiers led by Col Hendricksson (Weller) and including rookie hotshot Ace Jefferson (Lauer) resolves to negotiate peace with their similarly depleted New Economic Block enemies. But the post-nuclear wasteland they must cross is guarded by self-replicating 'Screamers', anti-personnel devices with flying blades that slice and dice. The sporadic and increasingly sophisticated Screamer attacks lend suspense to an unexceptional plot, the least intriguing aspect of which is a telegraphed flip-over finale. Weller's fine and Lauer has a nice line in gung-ho naiveté, but Rubin's wasted as a permanently pissed-off black-marketeer. Despite limited resources, the design and effects teams have lent scale and impact to the futuristic locations and sets. If only Duguay's flashy, aimless direction had succeeded in filling these barren wastes and antiseptic interiors with something resembling human life.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Dan O'Bannon, Miguel Tejada-Flores|