|box art from the recent Criterion Collection edition of Scanners (1981), directed by David Cronenberg|
d. David Cronenberg
Criterion Collection #712
CLASSIC Cronenberg movie, came out in July 0n the Criterion Collection, fucking LOVE IT. I've seen Scanners maybe a half dozen times at this point. I am a BIG David Cronenberg fan, and I've seen many of his other films multiple times. I've seen: Eastern Promises, in Cincinnati, eXistenz, in Washington DC, Crash I watched on the Left Bank in Paris, Naked Lunch, Dead Ringers, Videodrome, The Fly. They are all more or less great movies, and any characterization of Cronenberg as a "horror" or genre director really misses the genius of his films.
|box art from the Criterion Collection edition of Scanners, directed by David Cronenberg.|
For any serious Cronenberg watcher the early work of The Brood, Videodrome and Scanners is vital. All three are independent films with "B-movie" type descriptions, but all three transcend their budgetary limitations to create enduring works of art, which bear multiple re-watchings. Scanners is, in terms of plot mechanics, a kind of espionage thriller with an overlay of the now familiar mixture of psychology and horror that now defines much of his work.
The wooden performance of Stephen Lack as Cameron Lake, the main "Scanner" of the film, might at first be taken as a poor performance, but is later explained by plot details. The plot involving a nefarious conspiracy between a quasi-governmental private corporation and evil Scanners is classic Cronenberg- even at the earliest stages.