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

Director:

David Cronenberg
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Popularity
3,445 ( 865)
3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer O'Neill ... Kim Obrist
Stephen Lack ... Cameron Vale (as Steven Lack)
Patrick McGoohan ... Dr. Paul Ruth
Lawrence Dane ... Braedon Keller
Michael Ironside ... Darryl Revok
Robert A. Silverman ... Benjamin Pierce (as Robert Silverman)
Lee Broker Lee Broker ... Security One
Mavor Moore Mavor Moore ... Trevellyan
Adam Ludwig Adam Ludwig ... Arno Crostic
Murray Cruchley Murray Cruchley ... Programmer 1 (as Lee Murray)
Fred Doederlein Fred Doederlein ... Dieter Tautz
Géza Kovács Géza Kovács ... Killer in Record Store (as Geza Kovacs)
Sonny Forbes Sonny Forbes ... Killer in Attic (as Sony Forbes)
Jérôme Tiberghien Jérôme Tiberghien ... Killer in Attic (as Jerome Tiberghien)
Denis Lacroix 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:

10 Seconds: The Pain Begins. 15 Seconds: You Can't Breathe. 20 Seconds: You Explode. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Famed film critic Roger Ebert gave this movie 2 stars. He praised the special effects but said Cronenberg failed to involve the audience in the telekinetic scanners' plight; " Scanners Roger Ebert January 01, 1981 "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. I don't think it does. I never had the feeling during the film that it mattered much who won or lost, who lived or died, just so long as the special effects occurred on time and the movie's look of elegant chill was preserved. It was released at almost the same time as "Altered States," another horror film that was being linked with "Scanners" in some reviews. I don't think they're comparable. I know "Altered States" cost many millions of dollars more than "Scanners," but that's not the difference that matters; on the level of its technical credits, "Scanners" is a fully qualified thriller. What matters is that "Altered States" involved its characters in experiences that we believed (for the length of the movie) were really happening to them. Vicariously, they were happening to us, too. In "Scanners," we're never involved. We're always watching. And so while "Altered States" throws all logic out the window and still works as great entertainment, "Scanners" bogs down in one of those plots where the big secret is revealed in the last reel and it turns out to be big only in the mind of the screenwriter. " See more »

Goofs

Dieter Tautz cries out during Cameron's scanning of him, but his lips don't move. See more »

Quotes

[Keller backs away from the CONSEC mainframe computer as it shuts down]
Programmer: There's no need for that. It's just internal switching.
Braedon Keller: Yeah? No one's ever switched off a scanner before!
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Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

Additional change to censored version: in the final battle between Vale and Revok, they substitute a weaker ending which freeze-frames Vale, shows some phony-looking blue streaking animation of a "mind transfer" from Vale to Revok, and then fades the screen, replacing the spectacular, but gory battle almost entirely. See more »

Connections

Referenced in RiffTrax Live: Sharknado (2014) See more »

User Reviews

 
A disappointment
14 December 2007 | by charchukSee all my reviews

I was pretty disappointed. It's more of a step down than a step up for Cronenberg; it seemed like he was sacrificing his vision to make a mainstream-friendly film. As a result, the film is basically a bunch of great scenes strung along by a generic, rather lame plot and some truly terrible performances. Even so, those scenes - the exploding head, the phone line stuff, the final battle - are so fantastic and so memorable in their own right that they make it worth getting through everything that comes between. Just a brilliant combination of sound and image in those sequences. So, overall, the film is nothing great, but it's not a complete wreck, either.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 January 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Scanners See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD4,100,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,225,876

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,225,876
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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