Scanners 1981
David Cronenberg's (A Dangerous Method; Videodrome) 1979 sci-fi cult classic Scanners has all the earmarks of his style – it's cool, sleek, thrilling, and visceral in its horror and imagery. From the opening shots we are thrust into an alternate cloak and dagger universe of glittering shopping malls and suspicious characters. The story is an unusual one that just about anticipates that bastion of ’90s paranoia, The X-Files, involving a war between two chemical companies who have been covering up the existence of people in the population who have abilities that can become dangerous.

Scanners are a group of individuals blessed – or cursed – with incredible psychic powers, the ability to read thoughts and kill with the mind. A shady corporation known as ConSec has been working on turning these people into weapons, a programme led by Dr. Paul Ruth (Patrick McGoohan), who claims to understand scanners better than anyone else. His latest protege is Cameron Vale (Stephen Lack), a young man with few memories, tormented by the voices in his head. Vale is dispatched to track down and kill Darryl Revok (Michael Ironside), a scanner who has been recruiting others for his own army, and murdering those who refuse to join.

Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Jennifer O'Neill, Stephen Lack, Patrick McGoohan
Country: Canada
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

David Cronenberg's Scanners (1981) MGM
DVD5 | NTSC 16:9 | 01:42:58 | 3.94 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English, Francais
Subtitles: Francais, Espanol, English(closed caption)

• Theatrical trailer (0:57)

Download David Cronenberg's Scanners (1981) DVD5 MGM:


David Cronenberg's Scanners (1981) Criterion Collection
BD50, 2xDVD9 | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 01:43:17 | 46 Gb + 14.6 Gb
Language: English
Subtitles: English


The Scanners Way - in this new documentary film, director of photography Mark Irwin, special makeup artists Stephan Dupuis and Chris Walas, special effects supervisor Gary Zeller, and visual effects specialist Rick Baker discuss the special effects in Scanners, the film's financing, the shooting process, and David Cronenberg's directing methods. The documentary was produced exclusively for Criterion in 2014 by Michael Lennick, a Toronto-based documentarian and visual effects designer and supervisor (Videodrome). In English, not subtitled. (23 min, 1080p).

Mental Saboteur - in this brand new video interview, actor Michael Ironside, who plays Darryl Revok, discusses his collaboration with David Cronenberg on Scanners and the Canadian director's body of work, the film's message (the actor states that he always viewed Scanners as an intelligent political statement), and his career. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in 2014. In English, not subtitled. (20 min).

The Ephemerol Diaries - in this video interview, actor Stephen Lack, who plays Cameron Vale, discusses the character he plays in Scanners, Dick Smith's special effects, the shooting of the film in Montreal, etc. The interview was produced by Subkultur Entertainment in 2012. In English, not subtitled. (15 min, 1080p).

The Bob McLean Show - presented here are excerpts from the March 10, 1981, episode of the popular CBC talk show in which David Cronenberg discusses Scanners with Bob McLean as well as some of the films he directed prior to it. At the time Scanners was the first Canadian film ever to occupy the top spot at Variety's box office chart. In English, not subtitled. (12 min, 1080i).

Stereo - David Cronenberg completed his first feature, Stereo, in 1969. It is about experiments in artificially created telepathy, and stars Ronald Mlodzik, Jack Messinger, and Iain Ewing. B&W. In English, not subtitled. (63 min, 1080p).

Radio Spots - three original radio spots for Scanners. In English, not subtitled. (2 min, 1080p).

Trailer - original trailer for Scanners. In English, not subtitled. (3 min).