The short story Second Variety by Philip K. Dick becomes this budget-challenged but effective science fiction-horror-thriller. As in most of Dick's work, including the previous films Blade Runner (1982) and Total Recall (1990), the central themes are the validity of one's self-identity and the notion of man's eventual obsolescence, presented with a hearty dose of paranoia and violence. Peter Weller gives a Robocop-quality performance with good support from Roy Dupuis, Jennifer Rubin, and Ron White. The film is not as absorbing as previously produced big-screen versions of Dick's work, suffering as a result of a sober approach, a trim budget, and an ending that could have used a serious rethinking, but most of what's here is not half-bad considering its benighted genre. Screamers (1995) is definitely for fans of gritty sci-fi-horror hybrids but it beats other classic sci-fi adaptations such as Starship Troopers (1997).
by Karl Williams review