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

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Cast

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 ...
Trevellyan
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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Their thoughts can kill! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 January 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Scanners - Ihre Gedanken können töten  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 4,100,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The drug ephemerol bears an eerie similarity to the real-life scandal in the late 1950s as women who had taken thalidomide during pregnancy (marketed as relief for morning sickness) began to give birth to children suffering phocomelia or other physical deformities. See more »

Goofs

Before the scene where Cameron is officially introduced to Kim at the apartment where all the good Scanners meet up, there is a zoom in on Darryl (Ironside) who is waiting outside. You can see Michael Ironside is standing on what is the end of the dolly tracks which is used to smoothly truck the camera in for the zoom camera move on his face. See more »

Quotes

Cameron Vale: Then what did you need Keller for?
Darryl Revok: ConSec had hardware. It had contacts. Keller could see the future.
Cameron Vale: The future? You murdered the future.
Darryl Revok: That's negative, Cam. Defeatist. Disappoints me to hear you talk that way. You're starting to sound like them.
Darryl Revok: [continues talking while walking through the room. Cameron takes a stone paperweight in his hands from Revok's desk and observes it] There's a whole generation of scanners soldiers just a few months away from being born. We'll find them. Train them ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Parasite Memories: The Making of 'Shivers' (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Another Cronenberg Classic Worth Seeing Repeatedly
5 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After a renegade scanner named Revok (a mutant human with advanced mental powers) causes another man's head to explode, he is hunted by a second scanner hired by a semi-secret scientific organization. Meanwhile, other scanners are picked off one by one, and the hunter is left with great moral and existential questions -- where did he come from, what is his purpose and is there a right or wrong side in this human/mutant battle?

Director David Cronenberg can seemingly do no wrong. As I watch one film after another of his, I wait to find one that is the pock mark on the perfect career. Some of his films (such as "Rabid" or perhaps "Stereo") may be of less quality than others, but I have yet to find one that is outright bad. "Scanners", for the record, ranks among his best and has become a cultural staple.

You know you are a culturally important film when you are referenced by "Wayne's World". But seriously, this film is a science fiction story that -- like many science fiction stories -- holds some greater cultural and moral issues worth investigating.

The issue of racism is here. Like the recent "X-Men" movies, and many other films, the idea of someone who is different in a superficial way (scanners look like ordinary humans) and is rejected raises the point that we as a society need to accept those who are not like us. Racism stinks, whether it appear in its purest form (skin color) or through religion or other means. And that is what makes this film so clever: the main character is a hero, but yet he is the outcast -- in some ways we see him as being more human than those who would have him killed.

This also happens to be a film that focuses on one of Cronenberg's strong points: his love of science. Or perhaps science gone wrong, if you will. Does any other director really tackle this as effectively as Cronenberg? I don't think so. (Imagine what would happen if he started making a series of Philip K. Dick novels into films.)

I suppose I did not really get into the film itself so much, but the beauty of the film is that what you take away from it if you view it critically is so much more than the plot or effects or lighting. Yes, you have a great cast (isn't Michael Ironside creepy?) and a head explodes. Yes, you have gun fights and mind control. Even a little bit of romance (but only just a pinch, nothing like a Goldblum-Davis connection in this one).

If you cannot tell, I want you to see this movie. If you're the type of person I am, you'll find this movie so smooth and refreshing on your mental palette that the film ends before you've even realized it began -- the sign of a really great film (or a really short one, which this isn't). Give it a chance, you'll like it.


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

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How did Stephen Lack not win a Razzie for this? dzimny07
is scanners on blu ray? zyggums
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TERRIBLE Acting violentworld
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i loved this movie... wolferian_shadow
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