Tuesday, May 20, 2014

SCANNERS (1981) movie review

Scanners (1981) d. David Cronenberg (Canada)

Convoluted yet compelling sci-fi tale from the unique imagination of writer/director David Cronenberg. Through an experimental drug given to pregnant mothers, a new race of psychic and telekinetic mutants emerges, and some of them just aren’t very nice.

Michael Ironside tears up the screen as Darryl Revok, a megalomaniacal scanner bent on destruction of the inferior human race. He is opposed by Patrick McGoohan as a scientist who knows the secrets of the scanners and seeks out a protégé of his own to infiltrate Revok’s inner circle.

Stephen Lack’s performance (or lack thereof) as the hero borders on somnambulistic, and Jennifer O’Neill as his partner is little help, though a little easier on the eyes. What saves the picture is its suspenseful pacing and Chris Walas’ literally mind-blowing special effects which gave the film strong word-of-mouth and solid box office, further enhancing Cronenberg’s career.

The final showdown is a wow, although you may not want to eat for a while afterwards.

Followed by two sequels, as well as two Scanner Cop spinoffs.

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