The title of this David Cronenberg sci-fi horror film refers to a group of people who have telekinetic powers that allow them to read minds and give them the ability to make other people’s heads explode.
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That lead was wooden as fuck, i felt like i was watching Keanu Reeves great grandfather attempting to perform Macbeth on celluloid. HAL 9000 from 2001 could of conveyed more range of emotions and delivered a more life like performance than the ridiculously lackluster Mr. Lack(ing).
This is an important link from Cronenberg's earlier movies with their horror and splatter elements (like "Shivers" and "Rabid") to the subsequent, more complex films. The sound design is great, especially regarding the sometimes almost psychedelic use of body sounds (during the best moments supported by Howard Shore's score and creating an uncomfortable atmosphere).
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.
The first great Cronenberg feature revolving around a kind of freak-savant. An kind of artist. A kind of benevolent terrorist. And it's Stephen Lack. Research him. He's a Canadian national treasure. Although in Scanners he does seem like he's been pumped full of sedatives (or Ephemerol?). Scanners is a Spinozist provocation re: what we might consider to be a possible repurposing of the nervous system.
Wow...! Once you get past some weak acting (namely from the ironically named Stephen Lack) Cronenberg's direction and Howard Shore's score completely take over. Throw in some great practical effects and an interesting and sort of ahead of its time story and you're in business. A little dry at points but so worth it.
Thoughtful horror-thriller almost undone by its overcomplicated plot. Much is made of the film's exploding head scene, and the special effects are indeed brilliant, but its success relies on Cronenberg's realisation that the film centres not so much on visuals as sound; the music adds suitably immeasurably to the sense of dread. That and McGoohan as the conflicted svengali figure elevate it beyond cult status.
This is pretty absurd; the acting is awful, the story is almost non-existent and full of contradictions and there's only a slight hint at the masterpieces Cronenberg would make in the future, but it's a fun movie and has some great moments. On a fun side note, my literature professor who also teaches film would probably make a movie like Cronenberg; he's an odd guy, and I feel like he likes this movie.