Scanners (1981)

ScannersFilled another hole in my horror movie repertoire, in celebration of Canadian Film Day, or apparently David Cronenberg day since my other NCFD film was Videodrome. Anyways, this one tackles psychics and exploding heads, so lets get into it.

A scientist sends a man with extraordinary psychic powers to hunt others like him.

This one is a lot more straight forward than other Cronenberg films I’ve seen, and actually seems to have a bit less going for it. The knob on the body-horror was toned down this time around, which I appreciated. Of course, it’s Cronenberg so there are of course body horror elements. I think maybe he might be some kind of insane pervert.

Probably is.

Anyways, moving on.

Scanners is one of those movies that we’ve all seen one of the major scenes from. I’m sure all of us have seen that image of the guy’s head exploding, and I’m right here with you. I had expected that to come at the end of the movie, in some amazing and huge special effect, but it really doesn’t. They blow their … head-load in the first 15 minutes of the movie, which was almost a bit disappointing. It really sets a tone for a more violent and graphic movie, which you should know right away that it is not.

cronenberg9That said, this isn’t a bad movie by any stretch. The characters are pretty engaging, and the actors playing them are extremely charismatic. I really wanted more from the fella who’s head exploded, something about that actor was really charming, but sadly he didn’t make it very long. Michael Ironside is absolutely dynamite as Revok, and offers a lot of charisma and a really creepy energy to the movie. The main actor, Stephen Lack, is alright, though at times he feels a bit dull and flat. That said, everyone in the movie is extremely watchable.

The story is simple, and the soundtrack is dynamite. There’s really not a lot of bad that I can say about this movie. The only real complaint is that the huge head-splosion does set a different tone for the movie than you get. That said, there are still some hugely fun 80s effects, and just the right amount of cheeseball acting. If you read my reviews, you’ll know that I have a deep affection for well executed 80s movies and this really gives me what I want in that department.

Pretty-creepy-huh

All in all, this is really a great little movie. Cronenberg is growing on me like some kind of weird body-horror monster and I’m going to be checking out more of his stuff that I’ve missed. If you haven’t seen this, you should, and if you have, you know why.

RATING: ***

What movies did you guys watch on National Canadian Film Day?! Please comment below!

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