"Screamers" is a sci-fi/horror film from 1995 starring Peter Weller (Robocop, Naked Lunch) and is based on a short story called "Second Variety" by the legendary Philip K. Dick. The screenplay adaptation was co-written by the late & great Dan O'Bannon and Miguel Tejada-Flores. While the film received mixed reviews at the time of its original release in addition to underperforming at the domestic box office grossing only 5.7 million against a production budget of 20 million, time has been kind to the film. It has amassed a loyal cult following of which I am one of those fans. While not a classic by any means, it is still a fun and interesting b-movie featuring solid performances, taut pacing, and interesting though at times uneven special effects work. "Screamers" makes its blu-ray debut courtesy of the fine people at Scream Factory.
Presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio (opened up slightly from its theatrical ratio of 1.85:1) and utilizing the AVC codec averaging a bit rate of 34 mbps, the film looks great overall and is a considerable improvement over the ancient DVD release. Although nothing is stated that this is a new scan of any sort, the HD master used for Scream Factory's blu-ray is in nice shape overall. Detail is excellent as is contrast and black levels. No digital tinkering appears to have been done. While a new 2K scan might have yielded even better results, the transfer on this disc actually exceeded my expectations regardless. Sound is presented in punchy and clear 2 channel master stereo only with English subtitles being included for the hearing impaired.
Though not branded a collector's edition, Scream Factory's disc feature some cool newly commissioned extras as follows:
NEW Northern Frights – An Interview With Director Christian Duguay (21 minutes)
NEW Orchestrating The Future – An Interview With Producer Tom Berry (24 minutes)
NEW More Screamer Than Human – An Interview With Co-writer Miguel Tejada-Flores (11 minutes)
NEW From Runaway To Space – An Interview With Actress Jennifer Rubin (19 minutes)
No slipcover is included with this release but you can flip around the sleeve to have alternate poster art rather than the default theatrical poster art which I have always found to be bland in comparison. The alternate and to my eyes superior poster art on the other side features a cool profile shot of Peter Weller alongside beautiful co-star Jennifer Rubin.
Fans of "Screamers" should pick up Scream Factory's blu-ray without hesitation. The film looks and sounds great in addition to featuring a substantial amount of informative bonus features too. Highly recommend!