the Thinking Chicks Guide to Movies

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Scanners (1981)

Reviewed on 2011 January 19

Unsettling David Cronenberg flick, my favorite of his in fact, about a group of genetically altered people who are either marginalized or use their “gifts” on their enemies.

A guy in a mall (and what was it about cold, spooky-looking malls in ’70s and ’80s movies anyway?) reacts to a couple of rich old ladies talking about him, and when they react to him, he garners a lot of unwanted attention. Cameron Vale (Stephen Lack) finds out he’s a scanner, one of a group of people who were altered by something and can now plug into other people’s central nervous systems, for good or evil. Darryl Revok (Michael Ironside) decides that the world owes him a solid after burdening him with a present he never asked for, and he organizes a band of rogue scanners to try to take over. One man, Dr. Paul Ruth (Patrick McGoohan), makes other plans for him. He recruits Vale, bewildered by all this but a good man, to fight Revok.

I know that to most people anything made before the ’90s might as well be from the Paleozoic Era, and yet this still works The cold synthesizer music fits nicely too. It’s a little heavy-handed, with the innocent-looking Cameron Vale wearing lots of white and Michael Ironside wearing dark, expensive-looking suits like cardboard characters in an old-fashioned Western, but I still love it, cheesy acting and all.

Three chocolate morsels. Creepier than Videodrome and made way more sense.


morsel morsel morsel

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