Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

As I have often said I have no clue on how the business of getting movies made works which is highlighted by the fact that I have no idea why someone would ante up some cash to create a sequel to a little seen, fourteen year old Sci-Fi flick which didn’t gross enough money in 1996 to even keep gas in Adam Sandler’s trailer. But yet here we are with ‘Screamers: The Hunting’ as sequel to the 1996 Sci-Fi horror flick ‘Screamers’ which, while certainly lacking in spots, was a sequel that wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected it to be.

Our film opens back on Sirius 6, the home of the screamers and the planet that Peter Weller’s character of Commander Hendricsson managed to make it off of thirteen years ago. Nothing much seems to have changed as the screamers are still attacking and murderizing and as we will witness they have just gotten trough murdering up a couple of ‘Road Warrior’ looking cats before a third one escapes in time to send out a distress signal.

A couple of months later a crew on a spaceship emerges from stasis heeding this distress signal. We meet Lt. Victoria Bronte (Gina Holden) who is first out of the deep sleep which makes sense since she has to fly the damn thing, followed by the rest of the crew including her lecherous captain Andy Sexton (Greg Byrk) who seems to want to get a little closer to his hottie of a pilot. Capt. Sexton is also curious why the accomplished Lt. Bronte is taking this rather benign mission considering she’s a rising star in the new regime, the war is over by the way, with Bronte simply telling him pretty much nothing. Can you say ‘deep dark secret’?

Our crew lands while filling us in with a little background info on the planet and the screamers that they don’t believe they will encounter since they were designed to die out after a year or two. They also mention Commander Hendricsson committed suicide thirteen years ago upon reentry to earth for unknown reasons and here is where

I should mention that it would help to watch the first movie before watching this one since of lot of exposition for this movie is in that movie. For reference purposes our crew consists of tough guy Madden (Tim Rozon), weapons expert Sgt. Romulo (Dave Lapommeray) who is a brown person so, well, you know what that means. We also have Communications dude Danieli (Christopher Redmon), ship mechanic and Viking aficionado Soderquist (Jody Richardson) and the galxay’s cutest ship medic Schwartz (Jana Pallaske). She’s also the galaxy’s worst medic since she screams like a bitch almost much every time she sees blood.

Similar to the first movie there are space ships but no ground vehicles as our crew sets out on foot to find these alleged survivors. Survivors who greet them by shooting at them. The same ones who sent the distress beacon. Peculiar. They also stumble upon the humongous self replicating underground Screamer production facility, though it’s been shut down for a while due to a lack of power. What would be cool if some idiots flew to the planet in a ship filled with fuel cells that might allow them to power that thing up again, but who would do that?

Eventually our crew gains the trust of these survivors as they attempt to make the dangerous trip back to ship, a ship which now has no power, with a fresh new batch of murderizing screamers on the way AND a meteorite shower coming in a few hours to destroy the planet. Fortunately Lance Henricksson has showed up in an extra long cameo armed with a screamer killing plasma gun. And little else outside of the informational nugget that he invented the Screamer. And damn if things just aren’t going to get worse from here.

‘Screamers: The Hunting’ doesn’t improve on the problems I had with the original such as explaining the Screamer, which is a fancy vacuum cleaner, and it’s ability to create such elaborate human copies. I’m talking down to genome manipulation. And I still want to know where the humanoid screamer haberdashery is located. And how can the original screamer build all this stuff without opposable thumbs? There are other stock horror movie plot elements which weigh this thing down a bit such as a pair of characters who choose to have sex for no other reason than the plot insists that they do it, a twist that is so painfully obvious that it would’ve really been a twist if it DIDN’T happen, model pretty characters who do really stupid stuff, a Black Guy who sacrifices himself so that everybody else can live and so forth and so on. I also wondered in this advanced society that perhaps the late Commander Henricksson should’ve have a log or a notepad or something that detailed what the hell happened to him while he was on Sirius 6, a log that would’ve went a long way in helping our crew when they got to this murderous planet.

But I did like this movie for what it was. I thought it did a fairly decent job in furthering the story of the first movie, Miguel Tejada-Flores, who also penned the first movie, crafted a script that allowed director Sheldon White to keep the flick moving at a decent pace and at least keep me involved in its narrative. Can’t say it will do the same for you though. The actors were probably more attractive than talented but they did serve the purpose in running and screaming and dying quite well.

As is typical of movies of this ilk it there are times it does stop making any kind of logical sense but ‘Screamers: The Hunting’ was entertaining, made more so by the closeness is shares with the original film. As a stand alone I’m not sure it has much offer but as a Straight to DVD sequel of a fourteen year old film I was pleasantly surprised.

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