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Screamers 2 - The Hunting (2009) R2 Retail DVD
This movie is a direct-to-DVD sequel to the 1996 original Screamers movie which starred Peter Weller. The back-story to the Screamers movies tells of a rare mineral `Berynium' having been discovered on a distant a planet known as Sirius 6B. The topographical nature of the planet being mountainous snow-capped terrain. The Northern Economic Block (NEB) took possession of the planet and assigned an industrial workforce to mine the raw mineral. When the mining of Berynium caused radioactive fallout, the workers demanded improved working conditions and extra safety procedures. The Northern Economicmore… Block ignored their requests presumably consumed by corporate greed and began to force the workers to continue. The workers rebelled and formed their own army known as The Alliance. Commander Hendrickson (Peter Weller) played the leader of the Alliance forces who fought a long and terrible war that practically laid the planet to ruin. The Alliance installed an automated production factory deep underground as a defence against the near victorious NEB forces. The facility churned out automated defence devices known as Screamers; nasty little metallic gopher-like machines that would skim just beneath the ground that would creep up on unsuspecting enemy forces and chop them to pieces with razor-sharp rotating blades. The corpses would then be carried off by the little blighters who would use the organic raw materials for all kinds of revolting purposes. Realising that the Screamers themselves were beginning to not distinguish between the humans they would attack, and coming to the disturbing discovery that they were starting to evolve and appear like humans, Commander Hendrickson decided to abandon the planet with a small team of fellow soldiers. It was a mission of which he was the sole survivor. The finale of the first movie left the viewer with the feeling that not even the legendary Commander would survive the trip back to earth.
This sequel sees Earthforce receiving a distress call from an apparently abandoned mining facility on Sirius 6B, and despatching a small rescue team to investigate. Despite the production being intended as a direct-to-DVD film, the production of `The Hunting' has clearly been put together with some thought. The special effects right from the outset are quite good. A hapless group of human survivors being eviscerated by the screamers introduces the film, and the rescue vessel and flight recorder crew briefing effects are also of a high standard. The group of unnamed jobbing actors disembark from their ship and roam the rocky wilderness, encountering a few of the aforementioned survivors who fire upon them believing the rescue party to be screamers. Upon entering the mining facility the team locate the derelict screamer production facility and bed down for the night. It isn't long before they unwittingly awaken the automated facility and all hell breaks loose. They join forces with the band of rugged survivors, meet up with the original designer of the screamers (a very old and haggard looking Lance Henriksen) before having a short fire-fight with an advancing swarm of the deadly machines before blasting off for home, only a couple of the team having made it back to the ship.
Whilst the finale of the first movie was suitably `Dick-ensian', with the awakening of a teddy bear screamer in Peter Weller's escape shuttle seeming very `Phillip K' - the same cannot be said for this sequel, even if the picture is promoted as having been `inspired' by Phillip K. Dick's Second Variety short-story. The only ironic twist that leans in that direction is the final twist in the tale when the surviving female crew member learns that she is pregnant just as the vessel successfully returns to Earth. Other than this last little nugget, the movie is exactly what it appears to be: a low-budget science fiction movie with high aspirations that pulls itself free of B-movie rubbish yet cannot scale the dizzy heights of a high quality release. Yet one positive that the film does achieve is the correction of the audience's perception that these straight-to-DVD movies are put together by half-witted talentless incompetents. The bright and breezy featurette shows director Sheldon Wilson as an experienced and highly enthusiastic man working very hard on his way up the movie-making hierarchy, using the forum of a straight-to-DVD Screamer sequel as a credit on his portfolio. Similar to the recent Starship Troopers 3 DVD/Blue Ray release the picture is clearly put together with great gusto by all involved. One unique selling point is the original Screamers movie is included as a bonus disc. That's quite good value when you think about it.
- Screamers 2 - The Hunting (2009) R2 Retail DVD
- 3240 x 2175 px
- 1,380 KB
- 276 (0 today)
- 24/06/09 by Bobble
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