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Canada · 1981
Rated R · 1h 43m
Director David Cronenberg
Starring Stephen Lack, Jennifer O'Neill, Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan
Genre Horror, Science Fiction

Darryl Revok, the head of an underground movement for world domination, is the most powerful of all the scanners, a group of psychics with tremendous power, enough to control minds and inflict excruciating pain. However, a lone doctor finds a scanner that Revok hasn't, and converts him to their cause -- to destroy the movement.

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What are critics saying?


Chicago Reader by Dave Kehr

One of the most technically proficient of David Cronenberg's early gnawing, Canadian-made horror movies, though it lacks both the logic and the queasy sexual subtext that made his still earlier work - "Rabid," "They Came From Within" - so memorably revolting.


The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Jay Scott

The larger budget has given Scanners a high-gloss Hollywood look, the editing is occasionally elegant and the special effects, which consist mostly of imaginative ways of turning actors into meat, provoke from the audience the desired response ("Oh, yuk]"), but he is careful to keep the violence within currently accepted boundaries. [19 Jan 1981]


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

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.


The New York Times by Vincent Canby

Unfortunately the plot thickens so rapidly and so lumpily that one very soon loses interest in spite of the quite stunning and gory special effects.

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