Halloween Viewing – Scanners

Last night was Halloween, in case you were wondering why all the kids in your neighborhood were dressing funny. Lena and I wanted to watch some classic horror on DVD but nothing too overtly Halloween-y, and neither of us had seen Scanners in the five-plus years we’ve been together. Not too long ago we watched the next film David Cronenberg directed after this, Videodrome, which in my opinion was his first “fully Cronenberg” film. Scanners is the next step in his evolution from the somewhat ordinary indie horror of The Brood or Rabid, and further explores The Brood’s body horror themes.

We both fully enjoyed this mid-budget 1980 Canadian release, which featured a young Michael Ironside (with most of his hair intact), a crusty-looking Patrick McGoohan in stereotypical bearded scientist mode, and a leading man with absolutely no acting chops whatsoever.

I’ve watched Cronenberg’s Videodrome, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch and Existenz over and over (this latter vastly underrated IMO), but this is my first visit to his pre-Videodrome work at least since the era of VHS. I’m interested in taking another look at The Brood soon as well. Cronenberg is a remarkably original filmmaker, even if his ideosyncrasies were not yet fully formed at this stage.

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