review for Scanners on AllMovie

Scanners (1981)
by Brendon Hanley review

Perhaps the best and most characteristic film in David Cronenberg's early career, Scanners has a distinctly bizarre premise: telepathic humans bent on world domination use their powers to blow up other people's heads. The director's earlier efforts are often labeled horror films due to their host of grotesqueries -- the exploding head in Scanners is one of his most indelible images -- but they're better thought of as bleak, philosophical science fiction. Scanners is most concerned with the incongruous relationship between the human body and technology, a theme that Cronenberg would continue to explore in nearly every subsequent film, most obviously in works such as The Fly (1986) or Existenz (1999). Scanners was Cronenberg's first film with a modest budget, though the gritty look is very much in keeping with his lower-budget work.