Some jerk cut me off in traffic today which led to me wanting to watch this film even more than originally planned. Why you may ask? It’s quite simple. I was hoping to attain a certain psychic power featured in this film and use said power for an explosive revenge.
Alas, I didn’t gain the power that I pined for, but I did get to watch one of Cronenberg’s lesser masterpieces, which is always a pleasure.
Scanners relates the tell of 237 special people. These people have psychic powers that go well beyond setting up a shop in a tourist trap and telling fortunes. They have the ability to control and explode minds.
Many have compared the scanners to schizophrenics. They are looked down upon by society and most spend their lives on the fringe of normalcy. The social commentary is clear cut and adds an element not seen in many horror films. Cronenberg seems to have a knack for making unnerving cinema that works on several levels of consciousness.
A renegade scanner is reeking havoc and causing general mayhem. This is no good for Con-Sec, the secret organization that has been studying scanners as a potential weapon source. Con-Sec strikes back by training one of the last remaining unkown scanners to hunt the rogue scanner.
The good scanner (Stephen Lack) must initially learn how to control his scans in order to manipulate humans. He picks up the knowledge within a minute, no karate kid-esque montage of him learning the skills needed.
The bad scanner (Michael Ironside) is intent on world domination and exploding heads. He is an ambitious bugger. I’ve always thought these villains could be a lot more successful if they lowered their expectations a touch. Instead of world domination, why not shoot for Wyoming or securing some nice beach front property and living the good life?
As Lack, who delivers a terrible performance devoid of any emotion or depth, begins to unravel the mystery he is dogged by internal struggles. Is he on the right side of the equation? Should he be helping Con-Sec? Where can you get a good burrito after Midnight in Montreal?
A tight screenplay, excellent directing, one of the best head explosions in movie history, all lead to a tour de force film classic.
Snore Factor ZZ