Scanners ★★★★

I will admit that Scanners is not without flaws. Stephen Lack (who plays Cameron) has such an intense stare that it gets him through most of the movie unscathed, but once he has a lot of lines to deliver, his performance suffers, especially when pit against Michael Ironside, and when Cameron finds his way to the ConSec building, the cold and biting atmosphere dissolves into a frenzied but boring mess that doesn't straighten itself out until the final duel.

With those few issues aside, I absolutely love Scanners.

"My art keeps me sane."

The authenticity in the writing (even if it was inspired by a chapter from Burrough's "Naked Lunch," coupled with a style cue from the opening scene from Argento's Profondo rosso) is one of the aspects that has always drawn me to David Cronenberg's earlier works, there's something so inherently him in these films. It's as if we're watching something he has physically ripped from his side and molded into a movie. When you put so much of yourself into your work, the result is powerful. Much like H.G. Lewis is considered "the godfather of gore," or George A. Romero associated with the modern depiction of zombies, Cronenberg is the actual wrinkly and pink brains behind the entire body horror subgenre.

I love the idea of a strong, overworked and powerful brain physically manifested and used as either a weapon of destruction or defense (depending entirely on the person wielding the exceptional power). Those who work out their bodies become strong and possibly dangerous, but what about those who take the same amount of care with their minds? Who better to explore this than Cronenberg?

There's a lot for me to admire every time I watch Scanners: Michael Ironside, Cronenberg regular Robert A. Silverman as a reclusive artist, the alternation of aesthetics, from rooms with white walls, red carpet with red furniture accentuated with bright green plants everywhere to the cold and empty brick and concrete settings, I love that Cameron is essentially dressed like a mini-'80s style-Cronenberg with the popped collar overcoat, the scene with the van windows opening like mini-blinds, guns coming out synchronized in one smooth and flawless moment of chaos, it's almost hypnotizing.

There was a radio spot in the extra features on the Criterion release of Scanners where the announcer says in a deep and authoritative voice - "There are 4 billion people in the world, 236 of them are scanners." I had a bit of a laugh because I would have added "and all of them live in this small area of Canada."

In 2016, there are just over 7 billion people in the world but there's only one David Cronenberg, and he just happens to be from Canada.

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