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Scanners (1981)

R  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  14 January 1981 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 30,800 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 150 user | 131 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

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

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Title: Scanners (1981)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Cameron Vale (as Steven Lack)
...
...
...
Robert A. Silverman ...
Benjamin Pierce (as Robert Silverman)
Lee Broker ...
Security One
Mavor Moore ...
Trevellyan
Adam Ludwig ...
Arno Crostic
Murray Cruchley ...
Programmer 1 (as Lee Murray)
Fred Doederlein ...
Dieter Tautz
Géza Kovács ...
Killer in Record Store (as Geza Kovacs)
Sonny Forbes ...
Killer in Attic (as Sony Forbes)
Jérôme Tiberghien ...
Killer in Attic (as Jerome Tiberghien)
Denis Lacroix ...
Killer in Barn
Edit

Storyline

Darryl Revok is the most powerful of all the scanners, and is the head of the underground scanner movement for world domination. Scanners have great psychic power, strong enough to control minds; they can inflict enormous pain/damage on their victims. Doctor Paul Ruth finds a scanner that Revok hasn't, and converts him to their cause - to destroy the underground movement. Written by Paul Reynolds <pauljr@innotts.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Their thoughts can kill! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 January 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agyfürkészők  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 4,100,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The crash scene in the record store prominently features a float hanging from the ceiling for the RSO (Robert Stigwood Organization) record label, who paid for this placement. By the time the film was released, RSO had gone out of business. See more »

Goofs

Visible wires pulling an actor through a window during the computer lab explosion. See more »

Quotes

Cameron Vale: [sees that Kim has had a nosebleed] What happened?
Kim Obrist: I was scanned. The woman in the waiting room...
Cameron Vale: She scanned you?
Kim Obrist: No, not her. Her child. Her unborn child scanned me.
Cameron Vale: That's what the Ripe program is. The doctors on the computer list are giving ephemerol to their pregnant patients.
Kim Obrist: I don't understand.
Cameron Vale: Ephemerol. Ephemerol is creating new scanners.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Credits scroll like words on the CONSEC computer monitor. See more »

Connections

Featured in Mental Saboteur (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Another Cronenberg Classic Worth Seeing Repeatedly
5 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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. Meanwhile, other scanners are picked off one by one, and the hunter is left with great moral and existential questions -- where did he come from, what is his purpose and is there a right or wrong side in this human/mutant battle?

Director David Cronenberg can seemingly do no wrong. As I watch one film after another of his, I wait to find one that is the pock mark on the perfect career. Some of his films (such as "Rabid" or perhaps "Stereo") may be of less quality than others, but I have yet to find one that is outright bad. "Scanners", for the record, ranks among his best and has become a cultural staple.

You know you are a culturally important film when you are referenced by "Wayne's World". 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 issue of racism is here. Like the recent "X-Men" movies, and many other films, the idea of someone who is different in a superficial way (scanners look like ordinary humans) and is rejected raises the point that we as a society need to accept those who are not like us. Racism stinks, whether it appear in its purest form (skin color) or through religion or other means. And that is what makes this film so clever: the main character is a hero, but yet he is the outcast -- in some ways we see him as being more human than those who would have him killed.

This also happens to be a film that focuses on one of Cronenberg's strong points: his love of science. Or perhaps science gone wrong, if you will. Does any other director really tackle this as effectively as Cronenberg? I don't think so. (Imagine what would happen if he started making a series of Philip K. Dick novels into films.)

I suppose I did not really get into the film itself so much, but the beauty of the film is that what you take away from it if you view it critically is so much more than the plot or effects or lighting. Yes, you have a great cast (isn't Michael Ironside creepy?) and a head explodes. Yes, you have gun fights and mind control. Even a little bit of romance (but only just a pinch, nothing like a Goldblum-Davis connection in this one).

If you cannot tell, I want you to see this movie. If you're the type of person I am, you'll find this movie so smooth and refreshing on your mental palette that the film ends before you've even realized it began -- the sign of a really great film (or a really short one, which this isn't). Give it a chance, you'll like it.


23 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
How did Stephen Lack not win a Razzie for this? dzimny07
The exploding head... funnyguyla
is scanners on blu ray? zyggums
SHOTGUNS - the only gun CylonAgent
TERRIBLE Acting violentworld
I'm confused by the contradictions.. kkm_22
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