Review of Scanners (1981)

Moving picture, 103 minutes

David Cronenberg (writer-director).

237 people are “scanners” with psychic powers. One is sent to kill others.

Iconic schlock because it actually features heads that seem to explode spontaneously. One clip in particular has been used by comedy outlets as shorthand for traumatic incongruence. The visual rendition of this superpower is, of course, more suited to the medium of film than the underlying premise of killing people by psychically blowing up their brains, included without the visual element in Unearthly Stranger (1963).

Scanners has disturbingly obtuse casting for the role of Je-, uh, the hero. The apocalyptic mood does not materialize.

References here: “The Drumhead” (1991).

moving picture fiction