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Criterion Collection: Scanners [Blu-ray] [Import]

 R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 45.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Criterion Collection: Scanners [Blu-ray] [Import] + Criterion Collection: The Big Chill [Blu-ray] + Criterion Collection: Insomnia [Blu-ray]
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David Cronenberg's 1981 horror film is a darkly paranoid story of a homeless man (Stephen Lack) mistakenly believed to be insane, when in fact he can't turn off the sound of other people's thoughts in his telepathic mind. Helped by a doctor (Patrick McGoohan) and enlisted in a program of "scanners"--telepaths who also can will heads to explode--he becomes involved in a battle against nefarious forces. A number of critics consider this to be Cronenberg's first great film, and indeed it has a serious vision of destiny that rivals some of the important German expressionist works from the silent cinema. Lack is very good as the odd hero, and McGoohan is effectively eccentric and chilly as the scientist who saves him from the street, only to thrust him into a terrible struggle. --Tom Keogh

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let the Scanners scan you....! March 10 2004
By Vic
Format:DVD
This film is one of my personal new 'classics' of horror, although it's also a sci-fi film. The plot centers around a small group of 'mutants,' long before the 'X-Men' made them cool, who have the unique ability to scan the thought patterns of others, thus knowing what people are thinking. However, as always, not all mutants play nice, as actor, Michael Ironside, has a great role as the demented Revok, who likes to scan people's minds just a bit too long, leading one to lose one's head, as in the infamous exploding head scene! Revok leads his bands of rebel mutuants against the establishment, and only another Scanner with equal ability can stand in his way. Even though this film is dated somewhat and campy in parts, it's definitely entriguing and fans of gross-out effects will eat this film up!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique for it's time,if nothing else (2.7/5) Oct. 16 2007
By falcon
Format:DVD
after just watching this movie,i can see why it is a cult classic.for
it's time,i'm sure it was very original.it also has some shocking(at
least for that time)scenes.the acting is not great though,and the movie
s very slow.it is also quite modestly budgeted.,and the dialogue is not
too great.there is also one glaring gap in logic.nevertheless,the movie
is worth watching for the subject matter.some of the issues are still
relevant today.and the special effects were quite good for their
time.they may be a bit dated by todays standards,but i think they still
stand up fairly well.it's David Cronenbeg film,so if you like his
work,you might like this movie.for me,just based on the uniqueness of
the story,i give Scanners a 2.7/5
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cronenberg's Money Shot Sept. 7 2004
Format:DVD
The notion of the money shot is malleable. Scanners (1980) includes one that actually works to demarcate subtext. Here, the mind actually leaves the body, violently. Scanners' "...transitional edits serve as direct, amplifying links where the last moment of the first scene builds a question or expectation that is immediately answered or fulfilled in the next shot..." Filmplan International financed the production, budgeting more than $4 million toward the project. Originally called The Sensitives and then Telepathy 2000, Scanners had been in revision since the early 1970s, trumped by the personal vigor behind both Fast Company and The Brood. Like Crimes of the Future, Cronenberg institutionalizes the Cartesian, Consec housing the balance. The opening sequence, whereby a Scanner is hunted down, is guerilla filmmaking urban mall style, and is a reprise of Michael Anderson's Logan's Run (1976). The final shootout sequence whereby Darryl Revok (Michael Ironside) and Cameron Vale (Stephen Lack) scan themselves to death happens to be the first film since Crimes of the Future to have a distinct notion of closure, the means to an end, culminating with an optimistic destruction of a character. Scanners is an attempt to make thought visible, the ramifications of which are stronger than the external. Our money shot, a proverbial augmentation: mind out of matter. Subsequence solidified Scanners as Cronenberg's first film to top the Variety box-office chart.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I don't understand! Who has won? Jan. 8 2004
Format:DVD
By now you have all heard about the infamous exploding head scene. I actually never heard of this because all I was interested at the time was that it was a Cronenberg film and thought it would be worth a go. It was a great purchase!
The whole idea of the film is that there are scanners in this world who can read people's minds and if they don't like what they hear they kill them! I have a feeling some people would love that power. The scanners can be either " self destructive or simply destructive." I'll admit the acting here at times can be wooden but I think there's a need for Cronenberg to have his characters perform wooden acting. It enhances the view that these socially inept scanners are all dehumanized humans who don't know how to survive in this world.
By the way I must mention the soundtrack here. This has got to be the most insane thing I've ever heard. It's as out there as you can possibly get. I don't know how they managed to get it the way it is but I really like it. I only wish they released it on CD because I'd love to listen to this more and more
The ending must be intentionally meant to confuse people. I've seen this about 10 times or so and I still don't know what they meant by " It's alright - we've won! " Who's won - I don't understand. Am I missing a scene from the film? That could be true since the censors where I lived in Ireland are notoriously picky about some scenes and would edit them out. Then again I don't know if there was an uncut edition in the first place! Even still I'd probably still be left confused by it all
Anyway as Cronenberg movies go this is an essential purchase! It's intelligently done and well worth seeing
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4.0 out of 5 stars Splitting Headache... June 29 2003
Format:DVD
The government is at it again, this time trying to recruit "scanners" (telepaths w/ telekinetic as well as pyrokinetic abilities) for a secret project. Cameron Vale (Stephen Lack) is found / captured at a shopping mall after turning a woman's brain into pudding. He awakens at "CONSEC", a government installation for the bringing in of scanners. Meanwhile, Revok (Michael Ironside) busts up a meeting of corporate executives who are there to see what a scanner is. Revok volunteers to be scanned by the guest speaker. Instead, Revok makes the poor guy's head explode like a poodle in a microwave! Dr. Ruth (Patrick McGoohan) sends Vale out to find Revok and his mysterious scanner underground. Along the way, Vale runs across a separate underground of benevolent scanners. This group includes Kim (Jennifer O'Neill). Soon, Revok is at war with them and sends several assassins to finish them off. Many secrets are revealed, and things are nothing like what they seem to be! David Cronenberg both wrote and directed this film. He was ahead of his time as far as gore was concerned, but more importantly, he had a great imagination! "Scanners" is one of those movies that shocks you if you let it. It's also a lot of fun to watch...
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cronenberg's classic got pimped up by Criterion. New 4k ...
Cronenberg's classic got pimped up by Criterion. New 4k transfert show it. Lots of documentary and Cronenberg first movie "Stéréo" as a bonus!
Published 10 days ago by Eric Plouffe
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST movie from David Cronenberg
This is the one!!! The BEST movie from David Cronenberg. You have Dick Smith for the special effects, you have the best score from Howard Shore. Read more
Published 1 month ago by RM300
5.0 out of 5 stars Cronenberg & Criterion to give us a fantastic fusion of art
Leave it to Mr. Cronenberg & Criterion to give us a fantastic fusion of art, gore & philosophy! The box and booklet alone are, pardon the expression, mind blowing with Scanners... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's Scan this release!
This release is simply a must-own for any fan of David Cronenberg's work (or at least anything pre-Cosmopolis). Read more
Published 1 month ago by Obergeist
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome
Published 1 month ago by tarren ruff
4.0 out of 5 stars About the sound synchronism
I waited a while before purchasing Scanners on dvd because there were some comments about the sound being out-of-sync. Other comments were contradictory. Read more
Published on Sept. 21 2006 by Martin C.
4.0 out of 5 stars "I'm gonna suck your brain dry!"
From writer/director/auteur David Cronenberg comes another intelligent and visceral sci-fi/horror classic in the form of Scanners (1981), a film that takes a disturbing look at... Read more
Published on June 25 2004 by cookieman108
3.0 out of 5 stars David Cronenberg's Scanners
The Scanners are a group of beings who have a power that they can bend,twist,mutilate,and explode other human beings,using the powers of their minds. Read more
Published on June 20 2004 by Gitters
2.0 out of 5 stars B-list Cronenberg
Along the trajectory of David Cronenberg's career, Scanners feels like a step backwards. While the premise is intriguing - drug companies and evil corporations wage bloody war with... Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2004 by jeff smith
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