Friday, January 20, 2017

Horror I Missed: Scanners

Welcome back to the week boys and girls. Today in Horror I Missed I felt it was appropriate we tackle a Chronenberg film. Who is David Cronenberg? Writer/director of the following: The Brood, Scanners, Videodrome, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, Scanner Cop, eXistenZ, Spider, Eastern Promises and A Dangerous Method so expect warped, depraved and out where the buses don't roam. Psionics are possible. People with mental abilities far superior to that of average folks giving them a license to dominate so to police the police or the psionics, a high ranking telepath is sent to track down others like him. This is Scanners.

There is no Dana. Only Zuul.

The private security firm ConSec shows off their new conceivable living weapons known as scanners. During the presentation, one of the corporate scanners attempts to read the mind of a volunteer from the audience and when it appears the volunteer whips the psionic whammy on him causing his whole to burst like a water balloon. The officers to acquire said audience member when he smashes these men attempting to guard him and runs like he is on fire.

With a serious black eye to the corporation, head of security Braedon Keller (Lawrence Dane of Street Legal, Twin Sisters, The Good Fight, Amy Fisher: My Story, The Red Green Show, Darkman II: The Return of Durant, Black Fox, Black Fox: Good Men and Bad and Senior Trip) wants scanners taken off the table as they are too unpredictable but head of scanner research and programming Dr. Ruth (Patrick McGoohan of Secret Agent, The Prisoner, Ice Station Zebra, Escape from Alcatraz, The Hard Way, The Phantom and Treasure Planet) feels this very presence proves there is good and evil. The assassination attempts shows the great potential of how impressive these abilities can truly be. Ruth points out that the evils in question can be lain at the feet of one powerful scanner Darryl Revok (Michael Ironside of V: The Final Battle, V, Top Gun, Total Recall, Highlander II: The Quickening, McBain, Night Trap, SeaQuest 2032, Starship Troopers, Superman: The Animated Series and Splinter Cell). He is far too powerful to ignore so with Ruth's contacts with the underground (Yup a psionic railroad) that can sneak a fellow scanner into Revok's ranks.

Is this a model shoot?

As if from a plot device, a homeless man Cameron Vale (Stephen Lack of Montreal Main, The Rubber Gun, Head On, Scanners, A 20th Century Chocolate Cake, Prefect Strangers, Dead Ringers, All the Vermeers in New York and Ernstfall in Havana) driven mad by his own telepathy and countless people's thoughts bombarding him and leaving him crazed until Ruth can give him an inhibitor drug allowing Vale a few minutes of sanity. Ruth explains to Vale that being a scanner, Revok is out looking for any scanner that does not join his ranks is a threat to him. Ruth will help Vale perfect his telepathic skills.

Someone is having dirty thoughts.  It is quite graphic.

A drug known as Ephemerol helps ease the power of extrasensory sensitives and Revok is convinced this wonder drug will become the edge for his people in dominating the norms. This bleak future ranges some thriller and espionage with car chases, conspiracy theories and even some gun fights.

Will the regulars be held sway over?? Will the telepaths run the show?? Will Revok rule the world??

The amazing SFX work from a cross between practical effects, special latex, squibs, prosthetics bringing a gruesome realism to the effects is brought to us by veteran and Academy Award winning make-up artist Dick Smith for Amadeus and nomination for Dad.

Dick Smith (Way Out, Hunch of Notre-Dame, Dark Shadows, Little Big Man, The Godfather, The Exorcist, Death Becomes Her, Forever Young and House on Haunted Hill) is also mentor to Rick Baker showing him effects to create swelling to Linda Blair's stomach in The Exorcist and the bladder effect with bleeding effect with a small controlled explosion with a squib that spatters in the direction it is needed for.

Not sure if this bit of trivia helps anyone but probably the only film that Cronenberg wrote that didn't have some level of sexual content in it and cost of filming in Montreal and Toronto was 4.1 million CAD. I believe the conversion to "ACTUAL MONEY" is a little over 3 million managing to gross over $14 million. Loved it was filmed in Panavision with 35 mm Spherical giving it the fish eyed lens.

Okay that wasn't nice to Canada. I don't know what it was all aboot.

President Trump!?!  BLARGGGGHHHH!!!!!