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“All right. We’re gonna do this the scanner way. I’m gonna suck your brain dry!” Yikes! Can we not do it the scanner way? Join your faithful Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, Crystal Cleveland, and Jeff Mohr – as they go in for some vintage 1980s David Cronenberg with Scanners (1981). That’s right. Somebody’s head will explode.
Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 221 – Scanners (1981)
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A scientist trains a man with an advanced telepathic ability called “scanning,” to stop a dangerous Scanner with extraordinary psychic powers from waging war against non-scanners.
- Written & Directed by: David Cronenberg
- Music by: Howard Shore
- Cinematography by: Mark Irwin (director of photography)
- Film Editing by: Ronald Sanders
- Makeup Department:
- Dick Smith (special makeup effects consultant)
- Stephan Dupuis (special makeup)
- Tom Schwartz (special makeup)
- Chris Walas (special makeup)
- Brigitte McCaughry (makeup artist)
- Constant Natale (hair stylist)
- Selected Cast:
- Jennifer O’Neill as Kim Obrist
- Stephen Lack as Cameron Vale
- Patrick McGoohan as Dr. Paul Ruth
- Lawrence Dane as Braedon Keller
- Michael Ironside as Darryl Revok
- Robert Silverman as Benjamin Pierce
- Mavor Moore as Curtis Trevellyan
- Anthony Sherwood as Aiden
- Fred Doederlein as Dieder Tautz
- Victor Désy as Dr. Gatineau
- Louis Del Grande as First Scanner
Jeff has always been drawn to stories of humans with paranormal powers so Scanners is right up his alley. He came for the legendary exploding head and stayed for the story . . . and, of course, Patrick McGoohan’s and Michael Ironside’s performances. Bill saw Scanners in a theater and witnessed the audience flipping out at the scene. It is the closest thing to an X-men movie he’d found up to that time. After his buddy snuck him into the theater, Scanners seemed like a superhero movie to Chad. Even now, he enjoys it more every time he watches it, always noticing something new.
It probably goes without saying, but as usual, they say it anyway. Michael Ironside! Holy Cow! His performance is . . . over-the-top? Uninhibited? Off the wall? Sick? Dope? Well, you get the idea. They ran out of words.
At the time of this writing, Scanners is available to stream from HBOmax, Criterion Channel, and IndieFlix as well as some PPV options, and on physical media as a Blu-ray from Criterion.
Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Bill, will be Dragonslayer (1981). They don’t need any stinking CGI.
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