Scanners

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Released 1980

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Movie Summary

Director:
David Cronenberg
Released:
1980
Rating:
R
Scanners is the 1981 movie creation of writer and director David Cronenberg. This Canadian film in the sci-fi and horror genre is set in the mid-1980s, in a society that is inhabited by human Scanners who possess deadly telekinetic and telepathic powers. Cameron Vale (Stephen Lack) is a drifter and a Scanner who is kidnapped by the mysterious ConSec corporation. Dr. Paul Ruth (Patrick McGoohan) leads the ConSec department in charge of the company's Scanner operation. He deploys Vale on a mission to retrieve rebel Scanner leader Revok (Michael Ironside), who is on the run. Vale eventually meets up with attractive female Scanner Kim Obrist (Jennifer O'Neill), along with a tribe of fellow Scanners. A strange pharmaceutical substance called Ephemerol plays a key role in the plot of this film. Scanners combines themes of corporate corruption, paranormal power and mind control with the paranoia that is part of modern society.

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Variety

    Scanners offers at least one literally eye-popping moment and another that can only be called mind-blowing.

  • 60

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    Unfortunately the plot thickens so rapidly and so lumpily that one very soon loses interest in spite of the quite stunning and gory special effects.

  • 50

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Scanners is a new horror film made with enough craft and skill that it could have been very good, if it could find a way to make us care about it.

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    Themes

    Psychological, Classics, Cult, B-Movie Horror