Wednesday, 9 March 2011
SCANNER COP (1994)
Directed by: Pierre David
Screenplay by: George Saunders & John Bryant
Starring: Daniel Quinn, Richard Grove, Darlanne Fluegel & Richard Lynch
Scanner Cop (along with its sequel, Scanner Cop 2) is a spin-off film from the original Scanners series, and while not as good as Cronenberg’s original, it is a decent sci-fi cop thriller. Rescued by a kindly police officer from his out of control Scanner dad, Samuel Staziak (Quinn) grows up to be a cop. Learning to suppress and control his Scanner abilities (reading minds, controlling people’s actions), Staziak just wants to lead a normal life. However, the evil Dr. Carl Glock (Lynch) disrupts these plans with his plot to wipe out the L.A. Police Force through mind control. This forces Staziak to unleash his Scanner abilities to prevent Glock’s plan.
Directed by Pierre David (producer of Mission of Justice, Scanners 2 & 3), Scanner Cop is a fairly ludicrous affair but no less entertaining for it. Decently shot (though the lighting tends to be a bit dark) and produced, the actors do their best with the material given. Basically a cop thriller with a bit of Scanners thrown in, the film still displays some nifty special effects sequences. Courtesy of John Carl Buechler (From Beyond, Bride Of Re-Animator), we get engorged veins, metal plates exploding from heads, a giant insect and three tiny heads bursting from another character’s forehead. There is also the obligatory Scanners exploding head shot. Yet the best is saved for the rather disturbing scene when the hero wanders through a mental asylum (representing Hell, which another character is stuck in) where the inmates are doing lots of wrong (very wrong) things to one another. Gross, but very effective.
Add in Drake from Aliens (Mark Rolston), a cameo from the late, great Brion James (Bladerunner) and a good amount of silliness and Scanner action, and you have an entertaining hour and a half of mind-frying entertainment.