Scanners

Scanners

4.7 3
Director: David Cronenberg, Stephen Lack, Jennifer O'Neill, Patrick McGoohan

Cast: David Cronenberg, Stephen Lack, Jennifer O'Neill, Patrick McGoohan

     
 

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The title of this David Cronenberg sci-fi horror film refers to a group of people who have telekinetic powers that allow them to read minds and give them the ability to make other people's heads explode. The children of a group of women who took an experimental tranquilizer during their pregnancies, the scanners are now adults and have become outcasts from society.

Overview

The title of this David Cronenberg sci-fi horror film refers to a group of people who have telekinetic powers that allow them to read minds and give them the ability to make other people's heads explode. The children of a group of women who took an experimental tranquilizer during their pregnancies, the scanners are now adults and have become outcasts from society. But Darryl (Michael Ironside) decides to create an army of scanners to take over the world. The only person who can stop him is his brother Cameron (Stephen Lack), who wants to forget that he was ever a scanner. Winner of the International Fantasy Film Award at the 1983 Fantasporto Film Festival, Scanners was followed by a pair of sequels, neither of which involved Cronenberg.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
"Mind blowing" takes on a whole new meaning in director David Cronenberg's infamous cult classic about a group of mutant telepaths known as "scanners." Among them is young derelict Steven Lack, who is recruited by a corporate psychopharmacist (Patrick McGoohan) to hunt down the head of an evil scanner underground (Michael Ironside). Cronenberg gives the film emotional depth by portraying the scanners not as gifted but as afflicted with a mental disorder, cursed to live in a world where the thoughts of others can become a sea of voices inside their heads. The act of scanning itself is shown to be a physically unpleasant process for both parties involved, resulting in nausea, nosebleeds, and, to say the least, really bad headaches. With its cold, almost sterile production design, Scanners creates an effective hi-tech corporate milieu that forms a shocking counterpoint to the film's more sensational material. And while all the performances are effective, including Jennifer O'Neill as a scanner double agent, McGoohan is the standout. His portrayal of a mad scientist with a conscience gives the film its strangely reserved but distinctly human emotional center. But make no mistake: Scanners delivers the gore, particularly in the film's most famous scene, which features the mother of all headaches.
All Movie Guide
Perhaps the best and most characteristic film in David Cronenberg's early career, Scanners has a distinctly bizarre premise: telepathic humans bent on world domination use their powers to blow up other people's heads. The director's earlier efforts are often labeled horror films due to their host of grotesqueries -- the exploding head in Scanners is one of his most indelible images -- but they're better thought of as bleak, philosophical science fiction. Scanners is most concerned with the incongruous relationship between the human body and technology, a theme that Cronenberg would continue to explore in nearly every subsequent film, most obviously in works such as The Fly (1986) or Existenz (1999). Scanners was Cronenberg's first film with a modest budget, though the gritty look is very much in keeping with his lower-budget work.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/15/2014
UPC:
0715515116916
Original Release:
1981
Rating:
R
Source:
Criterion
Sales rank:
10,077

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Stephen Lack Vale
Jennifer O'Neill Kim
Patrick McGoohan Dr. Paul Ruth
Lawrence Z. Dane Keller
Chuck Shamata Gaudi
Michael Ironside Revok
Adam Ludwig Crostic
Victor Desy Dr. Gatineau
Mavor Moore Trevellyan
Robert A. Silverman Pierce
Lee Broker Security One
Lee Murray Programmer 1
Geza Kovacs Killer in Record store
Sonny Forbes Killer in Attic
Jerome Tiberghien Killer in Attic
Denis Lacroix Killer in Barn
Louis del Grande First Scanner
Anthony Sherwood Scanner in Attic
Ken Umland Scanner in Attic
Anne Anglin Scanner in Attic
Jack Messinger Scanner at Door
Victor Knight Dr. Frane
Terry Coady Security 1 Car Passenger
Steve Michaels Security 1 Car Driver
Malcolm Nelthorpe Security 2 Car Driver
Nicholas Kilbertus Security 2 Car Passenger
Robert Boyd Hallucinating Guard
Alex Stevens Programmer 3
Neil Affleck Medical Student in Hall
Fred Doederlein Dieter Tautz
Dean Hagopian Programmer 2

Technical Credits
David Cronenberg Director,Screenwriter
Peter Burgess Sound/Sound Designer
Don Cohen Sound/Sound Designer
Pierre David Executive Producer
Dick Smith Makeup Special Effects
Claude Heroux Producer
Michael Ironside Producer
Mark Irwin Cinematographer
Jim Kaufman Asst. Director
Brigitte McCaughry Makeup
Henry Pierrig Special Effects
Ronald Sanders Editor
Howard Shore Score Composer
Victor Solnicki Executive Producer
Carol Spier Art Director
Chris Walas Special Effects
Delphine White Costumes/Costume Designer
Gary Zeller Special Effects

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Scanners 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
tito More than 1 year ago
"Where gonna do this the scanner way, I'm gonna suck your brain dry!" pretty revolutionary SciFi flick. The movie is overall pretty boring except for the classic scenes with Michael Ironside blowing up a man's head and the great ending. It's ok to watch the movie only once, it's pretty boring... But a SciFi classic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
David Cronenberg's Sci-fi horror classic is definitely a must see or must own DVD for fans of both genres, it's even got great special effects for it's time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film still holds up after all these years. A scary edge of your seat thriller with a mind blowing ending. Ironside also gives his usual great performance. Check this one out but avoid the sequels.