A scientist sends a man with extraordinary psychic powers to hunt others like him.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cameron Vale (as Steven Lack)
Robert A. Silverman ...
Benjamin Pierce (as Robert Silverman)
Larry Perkins ...
Security One (as Lee Broker)
Mavor Moore ...
Adam Ludwig ...
Arno Crostic
Murray Cruchley ...
Programmer 1 (as Lee Murray)
Fred Doederlein ...
Dieter Tautz
Géza Kovács ...
Killer in Record Store (as Geza Kovacs)
Sonny Forbes ...
Killer in Attic (as Sony Forbes)
Jérôme Tiberghien ...
Killer in Attic (as Jerome Tiberghien)
Denis Lacroix ...
Killer in Barn


Darryl Revok is the most powerful of all the scanners, and is the head of the underground scanner movement for world domination. Scanners have great psychic power, strong enough to control minds; they can inflict enormous pain/damage on their victims. Doctor Paul Ruth finds a scanner that Revok hasn't, and converts him to their cause - to destroy the underground movement. Written by Paul Reynolds <pauljr@innotts.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Their thoughts can kill! See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 January 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Scanners - Ihre Gedanken können töten  »

Box Office


CAD 4,100,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The crash scene in the record store prominently features a float hanging from the ceiling for the RSO (Robert Stigwood Organization) record label, who paid for this placement. By the time the film was released, RSO had gone out of business. See more »


After the famous "exploding head" scene, there wasn't a drop of blood on Revok or the table. See more »


Paul Ruth: You are 35 years old, Mr. Vale. Why are you such a derelict? Such a piece of human junk?
Paul Ruth: [pause] The answer's simple. You're a scanner, which you don't realize. And that has been the source of all your agony. But I will show you now that it can be a source of great power.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Credits scroll like words on the CONSEC computer monitor. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Dark and Dysphoric
29 August 2006 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

Scanners is Cronenberg's venture into telepathy and the strange workings of the mind(he seems to do one movie on each theme, doesn't he?) While it is not as good as many of his other movies, it's still worthwhile.

First of all, the effects are really good. Some shots easily beat what the best CGI can do today, and some are just plain sick(you'll jump, I promise you). I was actually scratching my head over some things, thinking "how did they do that?", which is a good measure of special effects skills.

Second, the atmosphere is very powerful. It's a dark and unknown world in here, and no-one living in it likes it at all. The characters are all slightly off colour, subnormal. Our hero is no exception. The unknown Stephen Lack does a good-enough job, what with all the grimacing and psycho-playing. The supporting cast is over all sufficient. A treat is, as usual, Michael Ironside, who gives his pretty simple character a nice edge and a personality.

As for the story, it's sometimes hard to follow, and sometimes it lacks something. The ending is a bit rushed as well(even though the climax is incredible).

Still, Scanners is a cult movie and if you can find time, and you're in the right mood, it's certainly worthwhile for it's innovative gore, moody atmosphere and Michael Ironside.


34 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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