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Scanners (1981)

1 rating: 1.0
Art House & International and Horror movie directed by David Cronenberg

David Cronenberg's 1981 horror film is a darkly paranoid story of a homeless man (Stephen Lack) mistakenly believed to be insane, when in fact he can't turn off the sound of other people's thoughts in his telepathic mind. Helped by a doctor (Patrick … see full wiki

Tags: Movies
Director: David Cronenberg
1 review about Scanners (1981)

I Honestly Expected More

  • Oct 26, 2008
In my own personal experience, Scanners was one of those movies that everybody around you had seen and told you how great it was but you still hadn't gotten around to it. I did finally get around to watching the film and I have to be honest, I expected a lot more from my experience. It was good don't get me wrong, but personally from my enjoyment of classic cheesy 80s horror-esque type movies, this didn't fit the bill. The acting was wooden and the story quite boring, sure it's a film about people who can read minds, but when you have your main character, a man who didn't originally know he was a Scanner all of a sudden become the most powerful Scanner, I felt the whole thing was rushed.

The tag line for this movie was "There are 4 billion people on earth. 237 are Scanners. They have the most terrifying powers ever created... and they are winning." Sounds like a good premise for a movie no? It's a great idea that could have made a great movie and although Scanners had its moments I just found the whole thing boring. The main character Cameron Vale played by Stephen Lack wasn't as interesting as I think Cronenberg expected him to be. He had the creepy look about him and he could pull the serious Scanner face as if he was constipated and trying to push one out, but that was about the only thing he had going for him.

The bloody bits were quite cool and very graphic as they were in those days. The infamous head exploding scene in particular grabbed my attention and disturbed me a little. Michael Ironside who plays the apparently very evil underground Scanner lord Darryl Revok is one of the best parts of the film and comes across as quite intimidating at times.

The story of the film is relatively simple, as the tag line implies there are 237 Scanners in the world and they're winning. Winning what exactly? well that's the war against normal humanity I think, let's be honest if they can read minds and we can't that makes them the enemy. Well a weaponry company known as ConSec and they manage to recruit and 'convert' a very powerful Scanner known as Cameron Vale. Dr. Paul Ruth head of ConSec's Scanner section trains Vale and sends him to find and stop Revok, with some surprising results.

OK, the movie is a bit more complicated than that but my point still stands about it not being as good and as special as people would have you believe. It's not the worst film I've ever seen and there are genuinely entertaining parts, however, there were points in which I found the film quite tedius and a bit predictable. I would recommend this as it's a worthy waste of your time, but I would say to not expect much.

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