Scanners - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Scanners Reviews

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January 16, 2016
Amazing film by Cronenberg that explores the relationship between mind and body, the possibility of human evolution and mutation and its implications for society.
December 27, 2015
David Cronenberg is an angry weirdo and I love it.
½ November 22, 2015
Another entry in the horror cannon of Canadian director David Cronenburg. Scanners features telepathy as its central subject matter with Cronenburgs own trademark brand of horror using make up special effects in an era long before the dreaded CGI.
The production was troubled. Hasty script re-writes and failed special effects scenes that required re-shoots.
An exploding head in one scene forms the main special effect of the film.
The cast and crew are made up mainly of little known Canadians but Prisoner star Patrick McGoohan makes an appearance as a psychopharmacist!
Basically scanners are humans with the power to connect with other nervous systems over a distance using telepathy. Get it?
The film explains there are 237 scanners worldwide caused by the teratogenic side effects of a drug administered to pregnant women like thalidomide.
A private security company controls most of these scanners but what is their evil motive?
One scanner (the hero of the film) attempts to find out and stop the potential worldwide trouble starting.
Cronenburg succeeds with a story years in the moulding and the special effects scenes do work.
The IT equipment on show in the film is horrific! How did big multi national companies survive with computers with less power than a smartphone but taking up an entire room!
½ November 3, 2015
Enjoyable B-movie that, while not the finest film in Cronenberg's career, delivers some fun moments. The cast is solid across the board with the late, great Patrick McGoohan lending gravitas as Dr. Ruth while Michael Ironside always makes an imposing villain. Behind the camera, Cronenberg keeps things moving but the plot is rather cheesy, especially the soap operish twist at the end. However, the 'scanner' effects are nicely gruesome, from the iconic opening shot to the final confrontation between Vale & Revok, hinting at the twisted effects Cronenberg would bring in his later films. Not a perfect film but if you have a Hulu subscription, worth checking out.
October 26, 2015
A David Cronenberg sci-fi horror classic.
October 17, 2015
Howard Shore's avant garde score is absolutely brilliant. It illustrates perfectly just how unique, cerebral and utterly visceral Cronenberg's vision is. I strongly believe Scanners to be one of the filmmaker's strongest works.
September 27, 2015
Unfortunately for me, Cronenberg films are typically too wacky for me to fully invest in. Scanners is a little more grounded; featuring his directorial flare and brooding atmosphere with a premise that is easier to swallow.
½ September 26, 2015
Enjoyable sci-fi flick that pre-dates the usual over reliance on special effects depending on a good story line instead.
½ September 23, 2015
This would have been majorly good. But one major deatail hampers it; The acting. Beyond hammy. Then again its so hammy i Wonder if its not part of the whole strange appeal, the dreamy and dark atmosphere is brought to a new levity by how leaden they all are. But the lead is just Uber Hammy. A flaw that defines whats best? maybe. or not. still, 100% Worth your time, if you like it offbeat, otherworldly and smotheringly 80's cold war and tech paranoia.
September 22, 2015
There is almost certainly an invisible government black op on standby & out on the prowl for any of these anomolous scanner types who are extremely rare if they exist at all. This movie makes clear why they would be compelled to either control & if not kill them.
September 9, 2015
Besides the excellent head exploding scene in the beginning and the "scanoff" scene in the end, Scanners annoys its viewers with nothing special in between.
August 9, 2015
The grisly special effects (exploding heads and all) are the most impressive thing about the film, but they're in service to a premise that, while interesting, doesn't make much sense and to characters that lack depth.
½ August 5, 2015
Early Cronenberg remains compelling even after all these years just for the sheer freaky vision that the man possessed for capturing disturbing body horror images onscreen, and that's still a helluva opening scene, even 20+ years later.

Well worth a look.
June 24, 2015
Cronenberg ahead of the curve again. Features memorable scene of Louis Del Grande's head exploding but marred by a dull lead in Stephen Lack. Deeper than what appears on the surface, touching on society's attitude toward mental illness and railing against pharma companies' drugs and their side effects. Cronenberg in his prime.
½ June 16, 2015
At both times muted and immensely imaginative, this Cronenberg body-horror-opus is a visually unblemished scifi funhouse. Scene after scene of impressive effects and goofily fun macabre.
½ June 14, 2015
This was actually my first time watching this Canadian Horror classic and I enjoyed it. It looked great on blu-ray and loved the practical special effects. The acting was a little stiff and the story was nothing special, but the film was enjoyable enough for fans of the genre and it was fun spotting different locations around Toronto. For Cronenberg or genre fans only.
June 13, 2015
feels like a william burroughs story brought to life(maybe a little pulpier than that); not an easy task.
May 15, 2015
Gory special effects (from a pre-CGI era) laden telekinetic sci-fi thiller. While dated, it is a cult classic that deserves a remake.
April 19, 2015
Another great film by David Cronenberg that blends body horror with conspiracy thriller. The make-up effects by Dick Smith are outstanding but Michael Ironside's performance stole the film.
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