It begins with scream, not a whimper
because Screamers is the Greatest Movie EVER!
This film contains:
Peter Weller, a king among actors.
Fragile people in bad situations.
UNDEAD ROBOT DINOSAURS FROM HELL.
Next up on the Big Month of Dick…
Keanu has had better days…
Isn’t it Dr. Weller now? OR am I confusing him Bucakroos Bonzai?
He has a Masters degree in Roman and Renaissance Art and does occasional lectures at Syracuse University.
So while he’s an ad hoc professor, he’s not -truly- “Dr. Banzai” or “Dr. RoboCop” just yet, although he is working towards his PhD at UCLA.
Yay A Scanner Darkly next week!
That’ll be pretty sweet when he’s Dr. Naked Lunch.
I wonder if the guys making “Crusher Joe” had this story in mind when they came up with those cloaker things.
The problems with having the robot frenzy during the scene where all the Davids attack are that A: It would have needed a lot of budget, much more than just shooting one guy thirty or forty times and then digitally compositing it all together; B: it would have been seen as an Aliens rip-off (in a movie that pretty much already looked like a Terminator rip-off, even though it was based on the story that Terminator ripped off…)
I agree with your comments about stop-motion, mostly because we don’t _expect_ robots to move with fluid and controlled motions. We expect them to be clumsy and wierd and jerky. Not so much movement as snapping from one configuration to another.
And, going back to something your Mom said in the Solar Attack podcast, it’s probably better that they didn’t try to have SFX characters and real characters on the screen at the same time; that always helps.
Actually, the end of “Second Variety” does suggest an interesting tangent. Up until then, the robots were “innocent”, in the Biblical sense; they weren’t killing because they wanted to, they were killing because that was what they did. They didn’t “know” that they were killing, at least in the sense of understanding the idea of death; they just saw a human, and knew that they were supposed to go chop it up, because that was what you did with humans.
So, at the end of the story, the Claws (the movie’s Screamers) have learned to _murder_. They’ve eaten from the Tree Of Knowledge Of Good And Evil. They’ve fallen from Paradise…and now they’ll never know God (humans) again.
Would you maybe say that your problem with the “invasion of David” scene was that it seemed like a naked grab for pathos? In the sense that they’re like “oh look, here’s all these cute little boys and we’re mercilessly gunning them down, isn’t this sad? ISN’T THIS SAD?! YOU’RE SAD, RIGHT, THIS IS ALL SAD STUFF SO BE SAD YOU BASTARDS!”
Revenge of the Ninja was not originally shot in a widescreen format. The DVD aspect ratio is actually correct for Revenge of the Ninja, and for a number of other low budget films from the 80s (don’t know about Screamers).
Keith, if that’s the case, why does my DVD copy of Revenge of the Ninja open with the disclaimer that “This film has been modified from its original blah blah blah formatted to fit your screen”?
Also, in rewatching the “David Attack” scene, I must admit my mistake. They were also attacked by the Type I Revised models at the same time. I just didn’t remember the details correctly.
We were probably too busy chuckling over the use of the mini-nuke in that scene.
REVENGE OF THE NINJA, and a good many other cheap films, are often shot non-wide and then matted for theatrical release. Which means with a widescreen picture, you are actually not gaining anything on the sides but instead lose something at the top and bottom. It’s not on dvd in its original theatrical ratio, but it IS in it’s original shooting ratio. Of course, DPs are usually aware of the matting that will happen, so the top and bottom of the screen are filled with useless stuff anyway, meaning that the widescreen presentation is actually what the DP had in mind and composed for…so on and so forth. I think what this ultimately means is…give us both. Surely a movie as masterful as Revenge of the Ninja deserves it.
I enjoy making comments this long after the fact. Because of this podcast, I finally got around to watching this movie. I don’t know how, in 1995, I managed to see so much crap and missed this. Anyway, thanks for getting my butt in gear, because I thought Screamers was great.