The only part of this movie that I would have changed would have been the lead. A strong storyline and good directing made this one a must see. Our hero is no exception. We know something terrible will happen by the near spaghetti-western length drawing out of the scanner match between Redek and the other guy, and when it comes it's akin to when in RoboCop the executive gets killed by the big battle robot- you know it's coming, but it's still the thought and build-up that counts. Dazzling , hypnotic entertainment that poses a challenge to its viewers , it was deemed extremely graphic for its time with some eerie scenes as when heads explode. Ages 13+ I was pretty disappointed. I still have a 1st.
Two scenes stand out the most. After a renegade scanner named Revok a mutant human with advanced mental powers causes another man's head to explode, he is hunted by a second scanner hired by a semi-secret scientific organization. Scanners is definitely one of his best films, the effects are gory and memorable especially the famous head exploding scene, the final battle is also beautifully done. The film was rushed through production , filming had to begin without a finished script and end within roughly two months so the financing would qualify as a tax write-off, forcing Cronenberg to write and shoot at the same time. Second, the atmosphere is very powerful. Interesting and formidable Cronenberg film plenty of thrills , shocking scenes , suspense , intrigue , plot twists and being slightly entertaining , though sometimes slow-moving and receives a rather plodding treatment. Revok is trying to convert other scanners to his cause.
Sadly I'm not too fond of the sequels. I was very impressed with this movie. Lack was okay but I felt that Cronenberg could have found an actor with more experience. Shock specialist David Cronenberg brings us this above average terror film , that he wrote as well as filmed. But seriously, this film is a science fiction story that -- like many science fiction stories -- holds some greater cultural and moral issues worth investigating. The kicker is that most of what the film presents is relevant in more ways than one to today's world. Lack is one of them who gets administrated a drug to control his more intense urges.
All Cronenberg and horror fans should definitely seek this one out. Michael Ironside is the one they're looking for. It's a ramshackle, barely coherent bore populated by the most unattractive cast of characters, gruesome early 80s fashions, a dull, depressing production design, sound effects that are about 1 second out of sync, laughable technology, a musical score that sounds like a cat fitting on a broken synthesizer and some of the worst acting I have ever seen. David Cronenberg is a great director, he's made classic movies like The Brood, The Dead Zone, The Fly, History of Violence, Eastern Promises, etc. It's more of a step down than a step up for Cronenberg; it seemed like he was sacrificing his vision to make a mainstream-friendly film. Cronenberg also cited difficulty with and antagonism between the leads, particularly Patrick McGoohan and Jennifer O'Neill. The soundtrack was apt for the movie.
The picture was well and originally directed by David Cronenberg who delivers his goods with solid skill. It's low-budget and inventive within the bounds of the plot. Even a little bit of romance but only just a pinch, nothing like a Goldblum-Davis connection in this one. Maybe not quite word for word, but this film is quite prophetic and a science fiction classic. Lack gets a lot of flak for his performance, which I'll agree isn't a particularly dynamic one, but it does suit the character, a man who was a lonely fringe dweller for a long time until being awakened into a larger reality. Hightlights of the picture are its first shocking scene in which a role's head blows up , spewing bone, flesh and blood all over and of course , the creepy final confrontation among protagonists.
The characters are all slightly off colour, subnormal. Although he makes a fairly decent effort of playing his part, Lack just doesn't seem to have that much-needed 'spark' to bring his character to life. And bear in mind, as it is Dick Smith, the climax will not disappoint even for the most weathered genre aficionado. So, overall, the film is nothing great, but it's not a complete wreck, either. A+ If you love heady horror films this is a must see.
The ending is a bit rushed as well even though the climax is incredible. I do understand that Cronenberg was under pressure to get the film in the can very quickly, and some of signature style is barely detectable within, however no mitigating circumstances can make me see past the multiple problems. Apparently there is another scanner out there played by low-rent Jack Nicholson Michael Ironside who is recruiting like-minded people pun intended to his evil scheme. Jennifer O'Neill was nice to look at and fit in well. The big draw, of course, for most viewers are the head explosions.
This one deals with people that have telepathic and telekinetic abilities. The potential in Scanners is immense. They have the most terrifying powers ever created and they are winning. David Cronenberg is one of the most provocative horror directors ever as one of his early films like Scanners proves. Occasionally confusing but otherwise excellent film , portraying a peculiar ring with psychical powers. This movie made his career as a movie heavy.