Blu-ray, DVD Release: Scanners

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: July 15, 2014
Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.95
Studio: Criterion


With his 1981 science fiction/horror thriller Scanners, David Cronenberg plunged audiences into one of his most provocatively splatterific creations.

Scanners movie sceneAfter a man with extraordinary—and frighteningly destructive—telepathic abilities is nabbed by agents from a mysterious rogue corporation, he discovers he is far from the only possessor of such strange powers, and that some of the other “scanners” have their minds set on world domination, while others are trying to stop them.

Starring Michael Ironside (Haunting at the Beacon), Stephen Lack (All the Vermeers in New York) and Jennifer O’Neill (L’innocente), the cult favorite Scanners offers a trademark Cronenberg combination of the visceral and the cerebral. This gruesome and bizarre film about the expanses and limits of the human brain was the Canadian filmmaker’s breakout hit in the United States, due in no small part due the film’s now-classic head explosion sequence.

Scanners is the fourth Cronenberg film to receive the Criterion treatment, following Videodrome (1983), Dead Ringers (1988), and Naked Lunch (1991).

Criterion’s Blu-ray/DVD edition of Scanners includes the following features:

• New, restored 2K digital film transfer, supervised by director David Cronenberg, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
The “Scanners” Way, a new documentary on the film’s special effects
• New interview with actor Michael Ironside
The Ephemerol Diaries, a 2012 interview with actor and artist Stephen Lack
• Excerpt from a 1981 interview with Cronenberg on the CBC’s The Bob McLean Show
Stereo (1969), Cronenberg’s first feature film
• Trailer
• One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
• A booklet featuring an essay by critic Kim Newman

Now how about a look at that awesome head explosion sequence:

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.