Blu-ray Review: Scanners – Movie Review


Canada: 1981
Original Name:-
Director: David Cronenberg
Screenplay: David Cronenberg
Actors: Stephen Lack, Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan
Publisher: BQHL Editions
Duration: 1h39
Genre: Fantasy
Release date: April 8, 1981
DVD/BR release date: November 24, 2022

The Scanners, a secret organization, aim to study mediums with supernatural powers and highly developed mental abilities. He recruits a young medium to detect any Scanners who oppose him. He will discover the hidden aspects of this dangerous mission…



Scanners 1981 is the film that most exposed David Cronenberg. In France, the film managed to attract about 600,000 viewers in dark rooms, but above all, it was a real hit in video clubs in the 80s. And if we can’t reduce Cronenberg’s film to just sequences, it seems to have been a huge success. Scanners associated with moviegoers of the time with an impressive special effects scene consisting of a head pouring into “gore” and exploding in spectacular fireworks. visual selected by BQHL Publications He also captures this striking image to show off the new Blu-ray edition of the film.

Another one of the most striking features Scanners In David Cronenberg’s storied career, this is probably one of his most accessible films, or at least less “visceral” than many of his previous and subsequent works. . Cronenberg leaves his obsession with flesh mutations there for a while and calms down. Dead zone – Accident, on the director’s thoughts on the power of the mind. Moreover, the story of the film finds its sources in another novel by Stephen King. “Charlie”, published in 1980, as well as in the scandal caused by certain teratogenic drugs, such as Thalidomide or Distilbène, administered to pregnant women in the 1950s. In Scannersit is also a drug called Ephemerol that turns fetuses into beings capable of telepathy and telekinesis.

Designed and constructed like the great paranoid thrillers filmed by Alan J. Pakula or Sidney Pollack in the 70s (with a touch of Michael Crichton for skepticism), Scanners therefore, it positions itself almost as a “general public” work. In the background, Cronenberg is equally critical and warns against the takeover of society by large industrial conglomerates. ConSec the film against the inconsistency of pharmaceutical and/or scientific companies that ignore trials and market dangerous products just to make more money. A speech that has never been more relevant since the Covid-19 health crisis.

Of course, David Cronenberg adds a broad touch of fiction combined with a certain fetishism to the undertaking, and there’s no denying that the concerns and broader motifs dear to the Canadian director are still very much, implicitly, at the core. Scanners. Dark and way ahead of its time, David Cronenberg’s film ultimately turns out to be an interesting, tense, yet very uneven spectacle. The visual effects are good, but the moral dilemmas that Stephen Luck’s character faces never seem truly compelling. The sense of heavy paranoia that pervades the film is great, but Scanners still has some lengths. The film’s villain, Revok, played by Michael Ironside, is excellent, but the final reveal is almost designed as a sarcastic nod. The Empire Strikes Back.

In addition, rediscovery Scanners after many years, it allows us to realize that the film foreshadows one of the narrative ideas used by the saga. Matrix. Indeed, if we remember the film mainly for its exploding head sequence, we’ve forgotten the giant phone booth sequence: the fact that David Cronenberg could have thought of this idea in the early 80s, long before the internet. it’s really quite remarkable and frankly quite incredible.



That’s why it is BQHL Publications today offers us to (re)discover Scanners on Blu-ray, following the now completely sold-out first edition in 2014. High-Definition transfer used by BQHL because this edit looks exactly the same as the previous edit, and with the exception of some extremely minor noise and minor compression artifacts, Scanners it maintains a very solid visual appearance here. The level of detail is good, so is the depth of field, and the colors are stable and natural. Therefore, the image is quite exciting, with preserved “cinematic” grain and satisfactory sharpness. Unfortunately, the movie is suggested 1080i (25 fps), which reduces its duration from 1 hour 43 in darkrooms to 1 hour 39 in video. Damage. On the audio side, VF and VO are both original mono and mixed LPCM Audio 2.0. Both versions reproduce dialogue in a relatively clear and balanced manner, with the set occasionally showing some punch in recreating Howard Shore’s legendary score.

On the extras side, BQHL Publications invites us to find all the extras already available on 2014 Blu-ray. Interview with Stephen Lack (24 minutes), will discuss his memories of filming, as well as his interactions with director David Cronenberg and special effects manager Dick Smith. We will proceed directly interview with cinematographer Mark Irwin (15 minutes). The latter will first go back to his career, from his beginnings in X to the terrible transition in collaboration with David Cronenberg. The film will feature his work with director David Cronenberg, the famous scene of the exploding head, as well as his anxiety about his relationship with actress Jennifer O’Neill, unforgettable. Lost alive By Lucio Fulci.

Then we will continue with a interview with the film’s producer, Pierre David (14. minutes) many difficulties faced by the team that will return Scanners. Between an unfinished script, Jennifer O’Neill’s Diva antics, or the difficulties of getting satisfactory acting from newcomer Stephen Luck, the problems on set were clearly more than enough… Finally, we’ll end up with a movie. Interview with special makeup supervisor Stephan Dupuis (10 minutes), whose contribution will be discussed Scanners and of course the exploding head as well as a Interview with Lawrence Dane (6 minutes), who plays the right-hand man of the film’s big villain.

Last but not least, BQHL Publications also offers us a new addition: a Film presentation by Sébastien Gayraud (50 minutes), writer and film historian specializing in fantasy cinema. It would replace Scanners in David Cronenberg’s career, returning to many technical and thematic aspects of the film and expanding upon the rest of the filmmaker’s filmography. Very interesting !

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