Thursday, January 7, 2010

YouTube Video Roundup

Here's a scene from 1995's Screamers... It was so long ago, I barely remember watching this movie, but I also remember making a promise to myself that I would never watch it again. I'm guessing that one guy is an android. You sort of have to admire the way they've transposed the climactic scene in Blade Runner into the key of crap... (I'm sure I'll get some hate mail from people who love this scene - don't bother).

Could the 2-3-74 delivery of the pain medication be the most common literary moment depicted on YouTube?

And finally, Philip K Dick, from Heaven...


W. Owen Powell said...

I ended up with a used VHS of that about a year ago. The ending in particular is pretty much crap, but as a drive in flick I can watch it if I'm in the right mood.

One can sort of discern where the late Dan O'Bannon's original script had started off before other hands mucked with it, and Peter Weller at least seems to be in there trying to come up with some decent characterization. (The unfunny noncom sidekick in particular is a total waster, though.)

Pollution Q. Thrashbarg said...

A fellow dickhead i came in contact through your blog recently suggested that i watch some Cronenberg films. I watched eXistenZ, and it reminded me of my favorite PDK novel 'A Maze Of Death'. And now i see your post of Screamers.

I'm aware that Cronenberg was supposed to direct Total Recall at one point and then left due to his disatisfaction.

If you have any more info about the relationship of David Cronenberg films & Philip K Dick novels could you post it, please ; ). I don't mind if your personal bias is heavy in the article, because i know you'll present the facts as well.

Thank you

Unknown said...

David Cronenberg said this on his DVD commentary for Existenz: "You saw a paper bag that said Perky Pat's on it. That's really my homage to Philip K. Dick. Perky Pat's figures very strongly in a book of his called The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, one of his best books. Since Philip Dick was always, almost always working with the theme of alternate realities and who controls those realities, I really felt I owed him a nod for the way that he has kind of formed those concepts in me, in my reading of Philip Dick. I could have almost dedicated this film to him, but I have included this little homage, the Perky Pat's bag for those who know Philip Dick's work."

I really hope Cronenberg gets to tackle a PKD novel some day!

Anonymous said...

I dug around on Dailymotion to see if there were any interesting PKD videos, too, and came up with a couple:

If anybody's interested.

Mr. Hand said...

I don't see any need to defend the ending, but I thought there was some redeeming value to the film as a whole. Peter Weller is good. It's not the worst PKD treatment. Of course I'm a relatively cheap date and don't hate any of them, especially since there's always the PKD stuff to think about even when it's being disgraced! I tend to have no problem fully appreciating a PKD film viewing without irony, although I probably don't get around to it more than a few times a year.

giospurs said...

eXistenZ has a few PKD in-jokes aswell doesn't it? Perky Pat pops up a couple of times.
Of his other films, probably Videodrome is the most PKD-influenced. It's target is more the media, than technology generally.
I like lots of other Cronenberg films (The Fly, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, Crash and Scanners is fun too) but I'd be hard-pressed to see a Dick-connection.

Ragle Gumm said...

It's Screamers not Scanners - so there's no Cronenberg link there that I know of...

But did you know that Cronenberg was slated to direct Total Recall, and was considering casting Dustin Hoffman or Richard Dreyfus? But Cronenberg's mother died...

Anonymous said...

Oh - cool: it looks like The Penultimate Truth is on Youtube as well:

Keith Giles said...

While we're talking about PKD-influenced movies how about:

*Stranger than Fiction
*The Truman Show
*Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
*Time Crimes
*12 Monkeys
*Fight Club
*The Matrix (first one only)
*Being John Malkovich
*A Beautiful Mind (for the first half when we're not sure if Russel Crowe's character is insane or if there really is a soviet plot to detonate a nuclear bomb).

What about in fiction?

I've always felt like Ursula K. LeGuin's "The Lathe of Heaven" was the best book PKD never wrote. (I think she even said it was an homage to his style. They also knew one another and went to school together).

Also, "A Canticle for Leibowitz" is also a very Dickian-esque book dealing with post apocalyptic America and religious themes.

Anything I missed?

*BTW: I've blogged about this over at

Drop on by sometime...

palmer_eldritch said...

I didn't mind Screamers (or Impostor, as it goes) - it didn't turn the story into an unintentionally hilarious generic thriller (Minority Report) or make me sit open-mouthed in disbelief at the sewage on-screen (Next, Paycheck).

I'm still yet to watch Total Recall. People tell me it's good but my hopes aren't high having only watched the opening 15 minutes or so (it takes a lot for me to sit in front of a TV).

giospurs said...

Am I the only Dick-head that likes Minority Report? I know it takes from Dick a lot more than it gives, but I don't see what's wrong with Spielberg taking a Dick premise and turning it into a really high-quality thriller. So what if it's populist?

Keith Giles said...

The problem w/Minority Report (or at least, MY problem with it) is this:

1- If you wanted to frame Thomas Anderton (the main character) the way the villian would you do it? Logically, it cannot be done. Why? Because what causes him to run is the vision in the first place. No vision, no chase, no crime.

If hiring a guy to pretend to be the man who abducted Anderton's son is what caused the vision (and why would it?) then why didn't they see a vision where someone was being FRAMED FOR MURDER instead?

It makes no sense at all.

Beyond that, the ending is ridiculous. Let's see. Your husband, a former cop, is now in stasis. We're so sorry for your loss. Here. Take his EYEBALLS and his LOADED HANDGUN as a parting gift. the way, we STILL haven't removed his optical patterns from our security files so these eyeballs will still open up all of our security doors.

Do you need any extra ammo on your to rescue your husband?'s insulting how stupid this film believes we are.

Robert Cook said...

"I've always felt like Ursula K. LeGuin's "The Lathe of Heaven" was the best book PKD never wrote. (I think she even said it was an homage to his style. They also knew one another and went to school together)."

I agree THE LATHE OF HEAVEN, which I just read last year for the first time, is a powerful novel in the Dickian mode, but I don't think it matches Dick's best works for their enveloping intensity and neurotic anxiety. It's true that Leguin and Dick went to the same high school at the same time, but they did not know each other in school. Although they apparently graduated in the same class, their paths did not cross until they were professional colleagues and I'm not even sure their relationship was ever more than epistolary.

Anonymous said...

another good one: