Film / Screamers

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Screamers is a 1995 Sci-Fi Horror film based off of the Philip K. Dick story "Second Variety".

The film is set on the planet Sirius 6B in the year 2078. Sirius 6B was the source of Berynium, a mineral that solved the energy crisis on Earth, but which produced radioactive waste as a byproduct, contaminating the planet and leading to a war between the New Economic Block, and their former employees The Alliance. While on Earth there was a tense peace between the NEB and Alliance, on Sirius 6B, the war went nuclear. Eventually, the Alliance introduced "screamers", a series of subterranean killing machines, which replicate themselves ad infinitum in an automated factory. The war eventually ruined the planet, leaving only a handful of Alliance and NEB strongholds intact. As it turns out, Earth had long since abandoned Sirius 6B, with the soldiers fighting for control of a ruined planet.

As Colonel Hendricksson, the Alliance's leader on Sirius 6B, heads out to discuss a peace treaty with the NEB General, it is revealed that the screamers have changed; building newer models. They can pass for human, and soon, no one is safe.

A direct-to-video sequel, Screamers: The Hunting, released in 2009 features a group of Alliance Marines sent from Earth to Sirius 6B to investigate a distress signal. It had been over a decade since last contact from the planet, and hey, the screamers thought to be dormant. What could possibly go wrong?

Not to be confused with the obnoxious Jump Scare Shock Sites you see floating around the internet as Schmuck Bait.

Tropes:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The original short story takes place on a post-apocalyptic earth with an escalated cold war being the backstory. The movie replaces this with a colony world run by Corrupt Corporate Executives. The story itself is largely unchanged. Even the endings have similarities;
    • In "Second Variety", it's a Bittersweet Ending; the "claws", having evolved enough that They Look Like Us Now, manage to smuggle one of their number onto a space transport so they can wipe out what's left of humanity - the catch is that part of what made them convincing was that they were capable of killing other claws, which leaves the protagonist grimly satisfied; humanity is finished, but the screamers will kill themselves off in the same manner, as they are Not So Different.
    • In Screamers, it's Zig-Zagged. The Type V screamers have evolved so that they can "smile, cry, bleed, fuck" - which enables the a Type V-Jessica to come within moments of hijacking the space transport to Earth. However, Jessica has become human enough to not want to kill humans anymore, and sacrifices herself to save Hendrickson from one of her duplicates. Averted in that it turns out the teddy bears carried by Type III's are also screamers, and Hendricksson not only brought one onto the transport but took his Tab off...
  • Adaptation Expansion: a lot more scenes and characters are added.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Screamers were designed to kill humans in the first place, but they weren't supposed to attack Alliance troops, or to develop new forms that resembled humans.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The enemy soldier sent to deliver the truce gets his hand severed, still holding the canister with the peace offering. The next Screamer slices his foot off, leaving him on the ground and vulnerable to the rest. Even the hardened soldiers watching from the bunker are squicked out.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: The Autonomous Mobile Sword (aka Screamer) kills with an automated buzzsaw rather than guns or explosives. Even the human models seem to prefer hand-to-hand methods for killing.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: This little gem - "Cubic tons of radiation."
  • Becoming the Mask: Jessica is a screamer, but she defends Hendricksson from another Jessica, to allow him to escape to Earth.
  • BBC Quarry: Albeit in Canada. There's also the requisite Abandoned Warehouses and refineries you find in any low budget sci-fi production.
  • Catch-Phrase: Type III's repeat a single phrase because "they can't think of anything better to say."
  • Cat Scare: There's speculation that the message cylinder is a bomb, so Chuck jumps when the cylinder shoots out the NEB truce offering. Hendricksson finds that funny, only to get a nasty shock later on when he picks up a rock and it turns out to be an insect. Then later a rat drops on his shoulder while he's fleeing the David units in the darkened command centre.
  • Cold Equation: There's an escape rocket for the Alliance commander, but only seating and life support for one. Hendricksson insists that Jessica must go, but she refuses. Then a second Jessica appears and he realises why she's refusing.
  • Cow Tools: The NEB command centre has the requisite thing with lights that go back and forth. Until the Big Blackout, that is.
  • Cracking Up: Becker cracks his neck. Later when Chuck is revealed as a robot too, he does the same neck crack.
  • Creepy Child: The "Can I come with you?" boy (called David) who turns out to be a Killer Robot, after this fact is revealed.
  • Cyborg: Type V's. Jessica turns out to be one of the last models, designed to have both biological and mechanical components. It's to the point that she's as empathetic as a human being and saves the hero from another copy of her line.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: The film ends with a shot of a teddy bear in the back of the one-man spacecraft used by the protagonist to escape the planet. The teddy bear is the type previously seen carried by the Creepy Child Killer Robot. Just before the movie ends we see Hendricksson rip off his Tab in disgust and fling it away, landing next to the teddy bear, which starts to move of its own accord.
  • Darkness Equals Death: After Romo blows up a reptile Screamer in the command center, the lights suddenly go out and...
    "Can I come with you?"
  • Dead All Along:
    • The protagonists receive a VR communique from Secretary Green back on Earth, who advises them not to accept the peace offering from the NEB forces because it might jeopardize peace negotiations on Earth. Then Ace, the Sole Survivor of a disguised troop transport sending forces to Triton, reveals that Secretary Green was arrested and executed by the Alliance two years ago.
    • Chuck has been killed and his face transplanted onto a Type V Screamer. Given that he mocks Hendricksson with things he said at the start of the movie, this apparently happened a while back. He also brags of killing the NEB general who sent the peace treaty offer, so for all we know the whole thing may have been a ruse to get Hendricksson out of the bunker so Screamer Chuck could subvert the defenses.
  • Death from Above: The New Economic Block's response to the workers refusing to mine berynium.
  • Death World: The colony world Sirius 6B has become a wasteland due to an apocalyptic war between two different factions who've worn each other down to a few isolated and undersupplied forces holed up in bunkers. Near the end they release armies of self-evolving killer robots which kill indiscriminately, making the entire planet pretty much uninhabitable. Even venturing outside the few remaining bunkers is viewed as a Suicide Mission.
  • Deliberately Cute Child: The Type III is designed to play on a soldier's sympathy, so he'll take it into a sealed bunker.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Between two of the same woman no less.
  • Détournement: On entering the NEB command bunker, there's a giant travel poster urging tourists to Rediscover Paradise on Sirius 6B, long after it's become a Crapsack World.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Mostly everyone dies. And the teddy bear is a screamer. Though if one is familiar with the short story in the scene where "David" screamers pour out of the bunker, the teddy bears moved by themselves but got blown to bits before they could get to the main protagonists, the twist does not come as a surprise. And the ending of the short story is even darker.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Hendricksson's reaction to Ace saying, "Can I come with you?"
  • Emerging from the Shadows: Just as he's about to use the escape rocket to get off the planet, Colonel Hendricksson is knocked down and his weapon taken by one of the human Screamers, who then steps out of a dark to reveal he's Hendricksson's Number Two, who should have been killed by the Screamers when they swarmed the Alliance base. Turns out the real Number Two was killed and replaced by the Screamer before the events of the movie even started.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The last survivor escapes the planet after a number of horrifying revelations (and gruesome deaths), yanks off his Tab and falls asleep, safe at last... turns out, the teddy bear he kept as a souvenir is also a Screamer.
  • Everybody Smokes: Anti-radiation medication is delivered via red-colored cigarettes. Thus, lots of people smoke.
  • Evil Overlooker: the cover of The Hunting.
  • Feet-First Introduction: The NEB soldier approaching the Alliance base. He doesn't keep his feet for long.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • As the sniper scans the two approaching soldiers and David, all three show as ARMED even though David is not carrying a weapon. Also counts as foreshadowing — not only is David a weapon, he's carrying his teddy bear which is also a weapon.
    • A wounded Becker cries "Help me, help me!" just like the Type II he discussed earlier. Joe realises what's going to happen a moment before Becker crushes the life out of him.
  • Forever War: The war has been going on for ten years. When the N.E.B forces on Sirius 6B send a peace offering, the Alliance soldiers are told by Secretary Green not to acknowledge it as this could upset crucial peace negotiations with the N.E.B on Earth, as a safe form of berynium has just been discovered on Triton IV. Then it turns out the message from Secretary Green was faked and a new battlefront is being opened up on Triton IV as well. The Alliance is keeping them supplied because it can't just abandon Sirius 6B for propaganda reasons, but can't allow the troops to return home either.
  • Give Me a Sword: Or in this case, a nuclear-tipped rifle grenade.
  • Glad He's on Our Side: In reference to the first generation of Screamers, which hunt targets by burrowing under the ground until near their target, then bursting out to slice them up with high-speed cutting blades.
    Soldier 1: I'm glad those things are on our side.
    Soldier 2: And our side's the good side — right?
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Screamers were made to kill humans. And they're just getting better and better at it.
  • Gorn: There's a very large amount of blood and gore in The Hunting.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Not the Screamers in general, as they are programmed to Kill All Humans; they just got smart enough to see past the Tags and get into the bunkers. Judging from the Shakespeare he quotes, Becker accepts he was created as a killer and thinks there's little meaning in anything else. Jessica with her Black Market stash and attractive looks is just a more advanced means of getting into a bunker like the Davids. She does in fact get into a restricted area (the escape rocket that only the Alliance commander can access) but refuses to go to Earth for fear her original programming will reassert itself.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Becker, after getting shot by Hendricksson.
  • Hologram Projection Imperfection: The protagonists have to report a cease fire proposed by the enemy forces. A pair of doors slide open and their superior walks through and starts talking to them — all appears normal until he suddenly starts to fizz and sputter and the protagonists complain about the unreliability of holographic projection from Earth. The scene hints at The Reveal that the Projected Man is actually dead.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Averted when the Davids swarm out of the Alliance bunker; the protagonists retreat with one group firing and the others retreating, then vice versa.
  • Human Resources: The Screamers drag bodies underground to their factories (and presumably to study them for the later human models).
    Hendricksson: They're scavengers and they learn; they use everything. Rotting meat gives off methane gas, gas is fuel; hell I don't know. Maybe the eyeball jelly makes handy blade wax.
  • Idiot Ball: Private Jefferson doesn't hear his Tag warning of an approaching Screamer because he's watching a virtual reality music video projected into his sunglasses and headphones. This is put down to a dumbass New Meat mistake, but we saw Jefferson earlier walking along with Hendricksson with the headphones playing music; why didn't Hendricksson take them off him then and there, if he's walking through a war zone?
    • What the Hell, Hero?: Jefferson has his own What an Idiot! reaction when he discovers there are automated factories churning out the Screamers, and no-one up top knows anything that goes on down there since (as Hendricksson put it) the last man to do so flicked the switch and ran like hell.
  • Impostor Exposing Test: Hendricksson cuts Jessica to ensure she's not one of the increasingly advanced killer robots. Turns out the latest models can bleed too.
  • Interesting Situation Duel: Hendricksson fights a human Screamer on a claw-crane suspended over a launch pit protected by lethal laser grid.
  • Interrupted Declaration of Love:Jessica's Dying Confession Of Love to Hendricksson.
  • Invisibility Cloak: The "tabs" alliance members wear makes them invisible to screamers. Until the screamers start updating themselves...
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Jefferson shows so much glee at finding the nuclear mini-missile that Hendricksson guesses correctly on the climactic battle that he took it with him even after being ordered not to.
    Hendricksson (after ordering Jefferson to hand it over): I know you took it, you little thief!
  • Kill All Humans: In fairness the Screamers are programmed to do this, with no discrimination between either side. Those tags the Alliance soldiers wear just obscure their heartbeat so the Screamer can't detect them. If they were to become clever enough to see past the tag...
  • Kill It with Fire
    • When being swarmed by the David Screamers, the protagonists use flamethrowers. Even that's not enough and they have to Nuke 'em.
    • Having lost his weapon, Hendricksson retrieves a Flare Gun from the escape rocket's cockpit and shoots the killer robot in the chest, but to little effect. Fortunately at that moment the rocket fires up its pre-launch burn, which provides a much more effective means to Kill It with Fire.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: The Alliance use the typical post-Aliens rifle/flamethrower combination. The N.E.B. soldiers prefer a multi-shot Grenade Launcher to deal with the Screamers.
  • Kill and Replace: Hendricksson finds himself fighting his friend Chuck, actually a Screamer who killed the original and removed his face. He did the same to Marshall Cooper and says he's going to do the same to Hendricksson. 'Chuck' repeats a conversation they had earlier, so apparently we never saw the real one.
  • Killer Rabbit: The child screamer. And possibly the teddy bear.
  • Killer Robot: The screamers were designed to be the perfect soldier. They proved to be a little too perfect.
  • Killer Teddy Bear: Killer robots looking like little boys, carrying killer robot teddy bears.
  • Knife Nut: Becker, who also uses it as a throwing weapon to kill a suspected Screamer.
    Becker: (Licking the Blade) It's never sharp enough.
  • Kill Me Now, or Forever Stay Your Hand: After Becker kills Ross, Jessica suggests he might be a Screamer. Becker urges her to fire and be on the safe side. Jessica doesn't fire.
  • Lost in Transmission: Played straight.
    Hendricksson: There's a new kind of screamer. Do not let it into the perimeter, over.
    Chuck: I missed that last part, over... (static)
  • Loud of War: The Screamers are called this because of the ear-splitting scream they emit while attacking. You can either cover your ears or fire your weapon at them, but it's difficult to do both.
  • Madness Mantra: Becker quotes from Shakespeare a lot. He quotes from Henry VI while crushing Joe to death. Chuck does the same while trying to kill Hendricksen.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Hendricksson is about to shoot evil Jessica when she emits an ear-piercing scream, forcing him to drop his weapon to cover his ears. Fortunately she's roasted by the pre-launch burn.
  • Mechanical Evolution: Just as in the original Second Variety. The Screamers were designed as self-evolving killer robots, and newer generations even take on human appearance. Eventually the Type V generation (Jessica) has both a mostly human biology and experiences human emotions, and saves Hendricksen from one of her evil counterparts.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: During their journey to the NEB base, the protagonists are attacked despite their tags by a more advanced Screamer, a reptile-like creature with legs and a tail.
    David: It's like an animal.
    Hendricksen: It's an upgrade.
  • The Men First: When the lights go out, Hendricksson orders the others out of the command centre, leaving himself vulnerable when he stays behind to examine the database on the Screamers. He likely only survives because Jessica and Ace went back for him. Later when he offers to cut himself to prove to Jessica that he's not a Screamer, she stops him saying she really doesn't need proof. Later when he sees the escape rocket has only room for one, he insists that Jessica go instead of himself.
  • Mistaken for an Imposter: One character argues that another one is a screamer, and then tosses a knife through his chest. It then turns out Becker was the real imposter, invoking this trope.
  • New Meat: "Ace" Jefferson hits all the points — blindly idealistic, skilled with weapons in training but Too Dumb to Live in practice, and knows nothing about the local situation (in fairness he was going to another planet) so has to have everything explained to him and therefore the audience.
  • Nightmare Face: Before attacking, the Type IIIs, which resemble young boys, open their mouths to reveal several nested rows of mechanical razor-sharp teeth.
  • Not His Sled: The film, which was based on "Second Variety" by Dick, retains the original surprise ending that the woman the hero met and bonded with is one of the robot decoys, but changes it so she has broken her programming and isn't out to kill humans. It further departs from the original ending by having her "dying" and putting the hero safely on the shuttle to Earth in a happy Hollywood ending...until it reveals that the teddy bear the hero kept as a souvenir is another deadly robot decoy. The direct-to-video sequel briefly mentions the first film's protagonist choosing to destroy his ship rather than allow the teddy bear to get to Earth, although it's difficult to imagine a single killer robot being able to wipe out the human race without the means to make more of itself.
  • No Blood for Phlebotinum: The original story took place in World War III. The film's Back Story adapts the capitalist/communist conflict by having a Mega Corp. called N.E.B fighting a worker/scientist Alliance over berynium, which has solved the energy crisis back on Earth but produces large amounts of radiation when mined. The idea of an industrial dispute writ large is at least original, though it bears little relevance to anything that happens in the movie.
  • Nuclear Option
  • Numbered Homeworld: The film is set on a planet called Sirius 6B. There's mention of Triton IV.
  • Ominous Walk: The Davids do this en masse. Becker after the Robotic Reveal, though it's uncertain as the extent to which he's genuinely damaged; it gives Hendricksson enough time to grab a gun anyway.
  • Protective Charm: The "tabs" worn by Alliance soldiers. Notably, as they operate by cancelling out the sound of the wearer's heartbeat, they only work on the basic and Type-I screamers; the humanoid screamers can identify a human target just fine, tab or no. Hendricksson is implied to doom himself in the end by yanking off his tab in disgust once he leaves the planet; without it, the teddy bear screamer in the shuttle with him identifies him as a target and starts moving...
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!
    Hendricksson: I pulled this off a David — it said Type III. Pulled this off the reptile it said Type I, now WHAT...OTHER...TYPE?
  • The Radio Dies First: The further Hendricksson gets from his base, the worse the communications get, so he's unable to pass on the warning about the human-looking screamers. Then he finds a working communication terminal at the NEB command post and tries to send a message back, only for Ross to blow it up while shooting a Screamer. Ironically the man he's trying to warn is a Screamer himself.
  • Recursive Creators: The Screamers started building new generations of models themselves after they were originally created by human soldiers.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: The latest model of "Swords". One of them falls in love with the hero and fights so that he can escape the planet.
  • Robosexual: Hendricksson realizes that Jessica is also a Killer Robot when an identical Jessica shows up. Earlier he'd tested Jessica by cutting her hand and the copy appears to know this, taunting Hendricksson by saying: "We can smile, we can cry, we can bleed, we can fuck."
  • Robotic Reveal: The humanoid Screamers successfully infiltrate human camps before they're revealed. There are so many new generations that the protagonist eventually has trouble believing that anyone besides him is even human. In fact, he visits the enemy camp (dwindled down to three remaining soldiers) and the soldier who is killed under suspicion of being a Screamer turns out to be the only one of the three who wasn't a robot.
  • Robot War: For years the war between the New Economic Block and the Alliance has been fought by self-evolving robotic soldiers. The few survivors are holed up in their bunkers because the entire planet has become a death zone.
  • See You in Hell: Via Shakespeare quote. "Down, down to hell; and say I sent you."
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The sequel has an offscreen mention of the protagonist of the original dying to prevent the screamer from reaching Earth.
  • Sinister Silhouettes: When the Davids are stalking Hendricksson through the darkened command post.
  • Smoking Is Cool: The film made smoking a plot point: the drug that helped counter the radiation of the planet was administered via cigarette, presumably so the actors didn't have to go around in Hazmat Suit and breathing masks.
    Ace: I can't believe you've got to put this shit in your lungs, to neutralise the shit in your lungs.
  • Spot the Imposter: Becker accuses Ross of being a Type II — he repeats things implying a limited vocabulary like the Davids, he doesn't drink from the Scotch bottle, and his twitchy behavior is Uncanny Valley. The two men draw on each other, but Becker's thrown knife is faster. Then Hendricksson removes the knife and finds it covered in blood. Oops!
    • Something They Would Never Say: When Hendricksson returns to base, he calls Chuck and tells him to come outside. A voice claiming to be Chuck refuses, telling Hendricksson to come inside. Hendricksson then asks to speak to Don Giovanni (the opera music he was playing earlier). When the same voice claiming to be "Don Giovanni" answers, everyone runs like hell.
    • Averted when the two Jessica's are fighting each other. Hendricksson loads a Flare Pistol, but can't tell who's who. The evil Jessica than fatally injures the good one and turns on Hendricksson.
  • The Swarm:
    • The NEB soldier in the opening scene destroys the first two Screamers, but others show up en masse and quickly take him down.
    • Once a David unit has infiltrated a bunker, others soon follow to finish off everyone there.
  • Tattoo as Character Type: Becker has the teardrop tattoo.
  • They Look Like Us Now: In the original, there were Type IIs and IVs, which pretended to be wounded soldiers, and Type IIIs, which mimicked orphaned children. And Jessica. The sequel adds even more variety.
  • Toxic Phlebotinum: The process of mining 'Berynium' releases hazardous radiation, which is the root of the conflict between the Alliance and N.E.B. This has no plot significance beyond the movie's prologue and general setting.
  • War Was Beginning: With Opening Scroll (or rather War Has Been Going On For Ten Years).
  • Wormsign: The first model of Screamers are a type of subterranean killing machines.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: The Type II Screamer pretends to be a wounded soldier.

Screamers: The Hunting has the following tropes:

  • Abandoned Area: The former iron ore mine at Bell Island Museum is used for the tunnels the survivors are holed up in.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: Hannah prefers a knife or bow & arrow. How she kills Screamers with these is a mystery, given that they're difficult enough to kill with bullets.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Averted; when Bronte points out that she killed a Screamer, Guy says that different Varieties of Screamer are killing each other every day. Unfortunately the audience is denied a full-on Robot War with humans caught in the middle.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted; on realising they have to go back to make contact with the people who fired on them, the team wear helmets and body armor.
  • As You Know: Said verbatim by Commander Sexton during his Mission Briefing. There's Info Dumps on the war and the Screamers for those who didn't see the previous movie. The former should be familiar history to those being briefed, even 13 years later. Information on the meteor storm is handwaved by saying they didn't have that data two months ago (it's implied the information was deliberately withheld).
  • Bare Your Midriff: Bronte shows off her abs but otherwise provides little fanservice. It's foreshadowing for the later Reveal Shot that she's pregnant.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Madden and Schwartz.
  • Big Electric Switch: Used to power up the distress beacon in the Action Prologue, but not used by Orsow despite him being a Mad Scientist.
  • Body Horror: When the human Screamers are morphing into Killer Robots.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: The Five-Second Foreshadowing that a human is a Screamer, before sharp instruments come bursting out of their bodies.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Not quite; Romulo is actually the second member of the team to die.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The deaths are a lot messier than the previous movie.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Apparently Colonel Hendricksson did send a final transmission, but this is dismissed as "the delusional ravings of a shell-shocked soldier".
    • The survivors fire on the rescue party and refuse to believe they're from Earth. Apparently they have no knowledge of the Distress Signal sent in the Action Prologue.
    • The protagonists are warned about the human-looking Screamers, and that it's a really bad idea for anyone to get back to Earth for this reason. They don't listen.
    • Hanna tells Bronte that Guy doesn't appear to sleep. When she wakes from hibernation at the end of the movie, she finds the capsule next to her empty. She senses something is wrong, but it's already too late.
  • Catchphrase: Hannah keeps saying "Unreal". It's her Famous Last Words too.
  • Chair Reveal: Bronte and Guy make it back to the Medusa only to find Hybrid Madden waiting in the pilot's seat.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A vial of acid taken as a sample is used to shut down the electromagnetic field.
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live: Orsow doing his Big Damn Heroes.
  • Credits Gag
    The characters, screamers and events depicted in this motion picture are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons or screamers, living or dead is purely coincidental and not intended. No screamers were harmed in the making of this motion picture.
  • Cyborg: The Hybrid Screamers.
  • Deadly Hug: Danielli's death from the woman he's just rescued. She puts her fist through his chest and out the other side. Later Hybrid Danielli kills Madden in a similar fashion.
  • Death by Materialism: Commander Sexton slips out while the others are asleep and activates a Screamer to download all the information from its AI, which is worth a fortune back on Earth. This causes the automated factory to reactivate. As Sexton is dying he passes on the data chip to Bronte, but she just crushes it underfoot.
  • Dramatic Slip: Done with both female characters, no less. Bronte falls and Schwartz goes to help her up, leaving them vulnerable to an approaching Screamer. Fortunately Madden shoots it.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: While in hypersleep Bronte has a Catapult Nightmare of future events.
  • Due to the Dead: Soderquist is cremated like his ancestors. Given that the Screamers salvage any bodies, it's actually the best thing that can be done. Unfortunately Schwartz stays back to take care of Hannah's body and gets killed.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The characters have an Oh, Crap! reaction when they see just how big the automated Screamer factory is.
  • Emergency Refuelling: After a member of their team dies when they're fired on by the people they've come to rescue, Sexton decides Screw This, I'm Outta Here! and orders them to return to the Medusa. They find a Screamer has gotten on board and drained their power cells, so they have to go and find new ones before the meteor storm hits.
  • The End of the Beginning: Instead of The End there's a title card which says The Beginning... as the Screamers will now start doing on Earth what they did on Sirius 6B.
  • Enemy Rising Behind: Or lowering from the ceiling behind when Schwartz is attacked by a horseshoe crab-like Screamer.
  • Everybody Smokes: Averted; there's a throw-away comment that radiation levels are within survivability limits and no-one is seen smoking their Reds, even the survivors.
  • Evil All Along: Guy starts as a sinister character, but then warms up to Bronte. Even for those in the audience who suspect that Guy is a Screamer (probably everyone) the events of the first movie appear to be playing out, but this time he murders the protagonist after the Robotic Reveal, rather than overcoming his programming as Jessica did.
  • False Innocence Trick: The team is sceptical when told the more advanced Screamers can take human form. The survivors are a bit vague as to where they get food to survive, so when the team find a bloody dissection table and several people imprisoned behind Some Kind Of Forcefield, they naturally assume they're being used as food. Once freed however, the 'victims' quickly sprout cybernetic killing blades and attack their rescuers. The irony is the Screamers probably were being used as food and spare parts.
  • Fetus Terrible: The final shot is the fetus in Bronte's womb sprouting a cutting blade.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Orsow invented the original Screamers, and has developed a Lightning Gun and an improved Tag.
  • Get It Over With: Schwartz is being choked to death by a snake-like Screamer and gasps, "Please...just make it fast..." The Screamer obliges, releasing its grip only to ram its tail through her chest.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Averted; one of the Hybrids gives a Motive Rant that they've evolved into a superior being, but their basic incentive is still to Kill All Humans, so it's doubtful that they've really changed at all.
  • Heroic Sacrifice
    • Sgt. Romulo hands his tag to Danielli when the latter loses his. Moments later he's crippled by Screamers and stays behind while the others escape. Combined with Taking You with Me as Romulo blows himself up with a grenade.
    • Colonel Hendricksson from the previous movie self-destructed his escape rocket to stop the Screamer getting back to Earth.
  • Hollywood Acid: After walking into a mining tunnel dripping with water, Sutton gets scorched when a drop falls on his hand. Turns out it's RA-6, a radioactive acid by-product of the mining.
  • Humanity Is Insane: And being The Spock can make you an object of suspicion.
    Hannah: Humans are irrational! But him...he never does anything without a reason.
  • Human Popsicle: The spaceship crew is required to hybernate for two months when traveling between Earth and Sirius 6B.
  • Immune to Bullets: Bronte empties her pistol into Hybrid Madden's chest to no avail, and even the Lightning Gun has little effect until Guy gives Hybrid Madden the full blast and disintegrates him.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: When Bronte finds that her commander has downloaded data on the Screamers to take back to Earth, she puts a gun to his head, but doesn't pull the trigger despite his expectations.
  • It's Personal: Bronte turned down her own command to go on the mission. Turns out she's Hendricksson's daughter, looking for answers as to why her father supposedly killed himself.
  • Just Think of the Potential: The cybernetic technology developed by the Screamers is worth a fortune on Earth, but the Alliance has banned import for fear it would lead to more Screamers being created.
  • Kill and Replace: Though not used as infiltration units as you'd expect. The characters barely have time to say This Cannot Be! as No One Could Survive That! before the Screamer concerned is chewing on their face.
  • Knife Struggle: Hannah puts her knife to Guys' throat and insists he's a Screamer. She ends up being stabbed when Sexton tries to grab it off her.
  • Leave No Man Behind: Averted with Commander Sexton. He's prepared to abandon the mission after his sergeant gets killed, and is later revealed to be ready to abandon the others ("They're not my friends.") once he gets working power cells. Bronte ironically goes back for him (she is her father's daughter, after all) but Sexton is already fatally injured.
  • Licking the Blade: Guy cuts Bronte's hand and tastes her blood. Apparently the artificial blood of a Screamer tastes different, but as the rescue team haven't seen a human Screamer, this only convinces them that he's a villain after they find the survivors have been eating people.
  • Lightning Gun: Invented by Orsow to knock out Screamers.
  • Loves Me Not: The Yandere is doing this as a Madness Mantra while the object of her infatuation is loading bullets into a magazine and she's sharpening her knife. Later she sees him talking to Bronte and finishes, "He loves me not..."
  • Made of Plasticine: A female Screamer punches her fist through bodies and even skulls. The Hybrids have a drill tongue that does the job more efficiently.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Sexton is noticeably shaken when he sees the Screamer he reactivated has gotten onto the Medusa, killed a crewman and drained their power cells, preventing their escape.
  • Mysterious Watcher: As soon as they set out, the team is observed through Robo Cam by a humanoid figure in Gas Mask, Longcoat. He's not a cyborg but Gadgeteer Genius Orsow.
  • Never Split the Party: Played for the usual horror movie Idiot Ball. One character even asks, "Why?" when told to stay behind for no logical reason.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Sexton turns on a Screamer to download the information from its AI. In doing so he activates the automated Screamer factory.
    • It's suggested that Colonel Hendricksson self-destructed his own spaceship to stop the Screamers from getting back to Earth. His daughter manages to bring back a highly-advanced Screamer model.
  • Nightmare Face: The Hybrids have four mandibles that unfold out of their mouths, and a drill on their tongues.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Hannah tries to warn Bronte there's something Uncanny Valley about Guy, but it doesn't help that she's openly jealous and waving a knife about while ranting crazily.
  • Not Quite Dead: The inventor of the Screamers, an engineer called Orsow, was supposedly killed by his own creation but turns out to be the Mysterious Watcher. Played straight with Danielli who staggers in after an apparently fatal injury earlier in the movie, only to quickly reveal himself as a Hybrid Screamer.
  • Off with His Head!: In the Action Prologue The Squadette catches a Screamer full in the face, decapitating her in one stroke. Later a sentry gets his head chopped in half by a Type V.
  • Plot Hole: How did the Screamer get into the ship to drain the power cells? No-one left a hatch open, and if they can burrow through or infiltrate the hull, why isn't the spaceship in pieces by the time they get back to it?
  • Quarantine with Extreme Prejudice: Orsow would rather let everyone die (including himself) rather than take the risk of Screamers getting to Earth. Sexton discovers that he has the power cells they need running his defenses, despite claiming otherwise. Sexton kills Orsow and steals the cells regardless of the fact that it will let all the Screamers inside.
  • Race Against the Clock: The search team has six days to look for survivors before the planet is hit by a massive meteor shower that will kill everyone on the planet.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Screamers are assumed to have shut down once they killed everyone on Sirius 6B. Turns out some of them are still active, killing each other and the few remaining survivors, and Sexton inadvertently activates a factory to create more of them.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: One activates automatically (with requisite countdown) when the power shuts down allowing The Swarm of approaching Screamers inside Orsow's base.
  • Send in the Search Team in response to a Distress Call. The Screamers were assumed to have killed everyone on the planet, so no-one has been to check before now.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: The sex scene is a shirtless Guy kissing Bronte's bare midriff.
  • Scavenger World: Both Screamers and humans are using each other as Human Resources.
  • Screaming Woman: Despite being a Combat Medic, Schwartz screams and Security Clings to Madden after seeing the shredded remains of Soderquist.
  • Stock Footage from the previous movie is used for the data module's exposition montage.
  • Token Romance: There's little chemistry between the leads and no apparent reason why Bronte would have sex with a stranger she's recently met other than it's required for the Cruel Twist Ending. Compare the Jessica/Hendricksson relationship which managed to have both UST and a Love Confession without sex.
  • Transhuman: Hybrid Madden claims that the real Madden is still inside him — he's just been upgraded to a superior being. He even offers Bronte a chance to join him. Guy however kills Madden saying he just wants her as a pilot to get him to Earth. As it turns out, that's exactly what Guy wants her for; that and a human incubator for the next Variety of Hybrid Screamer. "He's our first...and there won't be anyone like him. Ever."
  • Two Girls to a Team: Bronte and Schwartz in the rescue team.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • There is no mention of the N.E.B. and conversation in general gives the impression that Alliance is the governing body of Earth. Particularly puzzling since the first film established that the N.E.B. (who were in a state of Cold War with the Alliance) was not stymied by the loss of Sirius 6B and moved on to a new planet where they found Berynium deposits.
    • The identity and fate of the group that sent the distress signal is also left unexplained. Two of them get killed and one of them manages to barricade himself in the communication array and send the distress signal. However, the rescue team never makes it there. All we can determine is that they were not affiliated with the survivors at the refinery (who were unfamiliar with a distress call and disbelieved the rescue team when they mentioned it) or Orsow (who stated that he does not wish anyone leaving the planet for fear of spreading the Screamers).
  • Worm Sign: The orb-shaped Screamers move so fast they send dirt flying into the air as they burrow through the ground beneath.
  • Yandere: After seeing Guy is interested in Bronte, Hannah sneaks up on her with a knife when she sleeping, but she wakes just in time.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/Screamers