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31 Days of Scream-O-Ween! - Scanners 2 & 3 Double Feature
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Oct. 28, 2013 5:15 p.m.

By David Massey<>
Telekinesis is the subject of today’s double-feature Blu-ray
release from Scream Factory. ‘Scanners 2: The New Order’ & ‘Scanners 3: The
Takeover’ are more stand-alone interpretations of the themes and scenarios
introduced by Cronenberg’s 1981 classic than actual sequels. By all rights,
it’s no surprise that few have seen these; they are oozing with an
early-1990’s, straight-to-video feel but, as a couple, there is some genuine
weight here and both films definitely have their merits. <>
Scanner 2 & 3<>
The Films:<>
First of all, what is a ‘Scanner’? Well, we learn in the
original film that in the 1950’s a medication called ephemerol was tested on a
large number of women to ease the discomfort of pregnancy. Much to the surprise
of all involved, the drug caused a mutation in the infants; they were born with
powers including (but not limited to) telekinesis, extrasensory perception, and
the ability to read minds. Each film builds on these powers, reaching a
fever-pitch of suspended disbelief by the third.<>
In ‘Scanners 2: The New Order’ we are introduced to David
Kellum, a mild-mannered veterinary student who’s scanning abilities are just
surfacing – apparently the result of his moving away from the quiet countryside
and to a volatile (and fantastically Canadian) city. He is approached by a
research lab that is trying to find fresh Scanners who are not psychopaths; one
of the side effects of the mutation is that it often drives those affected
completely insane. David discovers that the corporation has a dubious ulterior
motive and he uses his newly tuned scanning abilities to fight back.<>
'Scanners 3: The Takeover’ is actually a bit of a mini-epic.
It doesn’t have half the budget of the previous film and there are some
off-the-wall, kooky performances from almost all of the characters but this is
definitely the better – and by better, I mean camp fun - of the 2 films. The
film begins with an introduction to Alex Monet, a brash Scanner that has
reduced his abilities to a literal party trick. When he absent-mindedly kills
his best friend at one such party, he decides, in an effort of contrition, to
find a way to better hone his powers. This leads him to the Buddhist monasteries
of Tibet. Meanwhile, his sister, Helena Monet, (who is the heir to the pharmaceutical
company that is working on a ‘cure’ for the previously-described side effects
of the scanning mutation) is experimenting with said drug, turning her into a
power-hungry megalomaniac. Much as the original ‘Scanners’ introduced the
ability to control computers, Helena attempts to control people by passing a
‘scanner signal’ through pre-recorded video. When Alex returns, it is a cat and
mouse game pitting brother against sister.<>
There is no doubt in my mind that the spark that inspired
these follow-ups was the singularly iconic exploding head from the original and
these sequels do not let down. There is a surplus of gooey gore and a sense
that each death is an attempt to outdo the last. If you’re after the headier
(no pun intended) aspirations of Cronenberg, you are bound to be disappointed
with these. If you are hoping to see fountains of blood spewing from the skulls
of random characters, this is the place.<>
The Disc:<>
I’m a bit disappointed to say that there really isn’t
anything here; literally. There are no features, no subtitles, no commentary,
and there isn’t even a menu besides the selection between Scanners 2 or
Scanners 3. It would have been nice to have some small amount of insight into
the making or perception of one of these films. Maybe these were just quick pay
checks for those involved but, even that would have been worth hearing.<>
The packaging is a split cover with original posters for
each of the films and there are some stills on the reverse side. The quality of
‘Scanners 2: The New Order’ – which seems to be given the bulk of the attention
on the cover – is much higher than ‘Scanners 3: The Takeover’. The image of the
latter is extremely grainy. I was a bit shocked at how bad this one looked but,
when considered as a bonus to the more legitimate 2nd film, I
supposed it’s forgivable.
The Features:
  • Zilch
    The Specs:
  • 1080p High-Definition Widescreen 1.78:1
  • DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo
  • Original Release: ‘Scanners 2’ 1990 / ‘Scanners 3’ 1991
  • Runtime: ‘Scanners 2: The New Order’ 100 minutes / ‘Scanners 3’ 95 minutes
  • Rated R
    Final Grades:<>
    B / Between the two, there isn’t a half-bad story of corporate greed and
    power-hungry bad guys.<>
    quality: D / Scanners 2 looks alright but no time has really been put into
    these releases.<>
    factor: C / Mostly as a result of the frighteningly bad acting. <>
    Gore Factor:
    A / This is the place to be for body horror.<>
    view-ability: B / I don’t know that I care to see Scanners 2 again but the
    third film is hilarious.<>
    Add Scanners 2 &3 to
    your collection, click HERE!<>
    Check out yesterday’s
    Scream Factory review, Dead Souls!<>

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