David Cronenberg’s Scanners is a classic. As a script consultant I’d say that it’s more than ripe for a reboot. But, that it’s probably too dark and intelligent for current audiences. The film as it stands is endlessly re-watchable but it does have its problems.
All the actors apart from Patrick McGoohan and the great Michael Ironside are pretty ropey, the lead actor in particular is a little bit amateurish, but this only adds to the low budget charm of the film. Of course, the film is famous for the exploding head scene – but the final Scanner stand-off is also a masterpiece of old-school latex special effects.
Cronenberg is a genius director and does wonders with the very low budget afforded this film. It’s got a lot of suspense and the atmosphere is thick with dread. I personally find this film a lot more disturbing and unsettling than Videodrome which was Cronenberg’s real break through film
Younger views should set expectations slightly low as the film looks dated and very 1981, but stick with it, you’ll be rewarded.
So, 26 films to go…
Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire, filmmaker for hire and script consultant for over 20 years.