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Scanners (1981)

Jennifer O'Neill , Stephen Lack , David Cronenberg  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jennifer O'Neill, Stephen Lack, Patrick McGoohan, Lawrence Dane, Michael Ironside
  • Directors: David Cronenberg
  • Writers: David Cronenberg
  • Producers: Claude Héroux, Pierre David, Victor Solnicki
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2001
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005K3NY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,332 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Scanners" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Welcome to the world of the Scannersa race of humans with telekinetic powers that can wreak havoc beyond your most dreaded nightmare. Writer/director David Cronenberg (The Fly, Naked Lunch) brings the terror closer than ever beforehe brings it right into your mind. Cronenberg is a modern-day horror master whose name fits in easily with the likes of King, Craven and Carpenter...and Scanners, with its spectacular and shockingly realistic special effects, is a startling masterpiece of the genre. When a rogue Scanner of unparalleled power (Michael Ironside) wages a bloody war against the normals, young empath Cameron Vale (Stephen Lack) is recruited to trackhim down. But Vale is inexperiencedand a battle with another Scanner could mean a grisly death...or worse. Can Vale vanquish his insanely violent, power-mad adversary? Only one thing is certain: Scanners delivers the chills-down-your-spine, heart-in-your-throat, you-can't-watch-but-you-daren't-leave goods (Time)!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cronenberg Classic October 25, 2003
Format:DVD
Every once in awhile I like to dip my toe into a David Cronenberg film. I have seen quite a few of them at this point, from some of his earliest stuff like "Rabid" to his seminal reworking of "The Fly" starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis. One thing you will always get out of a Cronenberg film is a serious look at how technology and human beings interact. Like science fiction author J.G. Ballard, Cronenberg's viewpoint towards a synthesis of man and machine is always exceedingly grim, not to mention gory as all get out. The overarching theme in his cinematic examinations seems to be that humans simply do not know enough about the technology they develop, or if they do, their arrogance in the ultimate abilities of mankind never prevents them from charging into potentially damaging experiments. That we are just not far seeing enough to predict the outcome of using new drugs or messing around with human genetics may be a good message to take from a Cronenberg film. "Scanners" should fall into a "Cronenberg 101" class about these messages. Released in 1981, this film helped bring Cronenberg into the mainstream, as well as spawning a host of cheap sequels and a possible remake due sometime next year. Of course, this movie also provides the rabid horror fan with what is possibly the sickest gore scene in cinematic history.
"Scanners" tells the story of Cameron Vale, a man who has spent most of his life in a perpetual fog. Roaming through the streets of the city as a homeless person, Vale suffers from a plethora of voices constantly yammering away in his head. He cannot hold a job or have a regular life with this problem, so he copes the best way he can by always staying on the run.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Scanners marks the emergence of David Cronenberg from low-budget horror auteur to one of the most unique voices in filmmaking of the last thirty or so years. He first came onto the scene directing such low-budget horror films such as Shivers, Rabid and The Brood. These three films were later said to have had that Cronenberg propensity to show the horror of the body-politic at its most basic. Cronenberg pretty much points out of how true horror might not be lurking on the outside, but within the the human body. Cronenberg makes the human body as forever changing and mutating against the individual person's wants and desire of what was suppose to be the ideal. The horror that we as a people do not and will never have control over our own body was where the true horror lie.

In 1981, Cronenberg moves from the purely physical horror to one where the technology man was forever trying to create and achieve perfection would turn on the biological aspect of the human condition. This new form of techno-organic mutation was as terrifying as it was seductive in its potential to those afflicted with it. Cronenberg begins this phase in his filmmaking voice with his excellent, underappreciated and cult-classic Scanners.

The premise for Scanners had alot in common with Stephen King's novel Firestarter in the fact that in dealt with an omnipresent and powerful organization: the CIA's shadowy branch that dealt with experimental weapons programs for Firestarter and the ultra-powerful CONSEC multinational corporation in Scanners. These two organizations experiment on random select individuals using experimental drug treatments under the guise of helpful medications. What results from these experiments are more than what was truly expected by their handlers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychic wars... July 20, 2006
Format:DVD
A top secret government program is installed to develop the psychic powers of a certain breed of special individuals known in the underground as 'scanners', who can be used for espionage as well as super-human weapons; yet there is a rift even here between them. The most potent of these scanners named "Darryl Revok' {Michael Ironside, here displayed with a scar on his forehead where his 'third eye' would be, self-inflicted in an attempt to keep 'the people' out, during his formative development} seeks world domination, and is fully aware of the artificially pharmaceutical origins of these elite mind gods. After forming his own organization, he searches decades for his long-lost younger brother Cameron Vale, whom Revok finally locates in the custody of a Dr. Paul Ruth {"father"}, after being discovered as a vagrant whose powers were spurious at best. With the help of Dr. Ruth, Vale begins developing his abilities to a razor's edge and soon comes into his own meeting with other scanners to find an understanding for his condition.

These scanners are stalked by Revok's goons who dispatch every one they see, so that Revok may finally build that society in which he is lord of all. Vale meets Kim Obrist {Jennifer O' Neill}, and they fall in love by mutual survival. He meets artist Trevellyan who deals with his scanners talents through his wonderfully dark art, but is assassinated - here, Vale defends himself in a most magnificent scene.

Revok and Cameron finally meet in a covert meeting arranged through subterfuge, and even though Revok reveals the truth of those who would keep he and his brother as veritable mind slaves, a psychic war ensues between them which ends in a very surprising manner.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Cinematography -The Talented Mark Irwin as Director Of...
Mark Irwin's cinematography on a low-end budget is one reason I love this DVD. Toronto, the city is part of the cast of characters. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Michael Sherrer
2.0 out of 5 stars Cronenberg on a Low Budget
Disappointing futuristic thriller might have worked better if the producers gave writer-director David Cronenberg a larger budget. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Scott T. Rivers
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A cult classic…great sci-fi movie…blew me away the first time I saw it!
Published 27 days ago by Louis N. Kranyak
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
boring
Published 28 days ago by Joe Mortell
1.0 out of 5 stars Just don't
Terrible movie. So much potential. For how many people who said it was a classic & Lynch's best I'm just really surprised I didn't like it.
Published 29 days ago by kaycee
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Scanners!
I love this movie. David Cronenberg is a genius. The premise was fascinating and the exploding head scene has become a classic of modern cinema. Read more
Published 1 month ago by John J. Zipay
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A true classic.
Published 1 month ago by A Bucket of Corn
5.0 out of 5 stars BOOM!
Good job on such a classic.
Published 1 month ago by mark bank
5.0 out of 5 stars Cronenberg's "Cranial Weapons of Mass Destruction?!" = the Eighties...
This frightening but intriguing film = "Scanners" from David Cronenberg (circa 1981) was way ahead of its time - since it's almost like a much darker version 'X-Men' focusing on... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Book & Music thief, from HI
5.0 out of 5 stars Scanners was one of my favorite movies. I have so many I don't know...
Scanners was one of my favorite movies. I have so many I don't know what to say which is my favorite. But this broke much ground for sci-fi movies. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Barry
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New Book on Cronenberg
David Cronenberg interviewed at UCSB Campbell hall by Santa Barbara International Film Festivals Roger Durling sbiff.org after a showing of Eastern Promises taped and edited by Joseph Matheny

http://www.altertube.tv/view_video.php?viewkey=d56c7edf3365fea7520f
Jul 18, 2009 by Joseph Matheny |  See all 2 posts
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