Director: David Cronenberg Year: 1981 Run Time: 103min
Scanners (1981)

After 10 seconds, the pain begins. 15 seconds, you can’t breathe. 20 seconds, you explode.

Scanners are social outcasts, the by-product of a failed experimental drug given to their mothers during pregnancy, and possess the unusual ability to read and control minds.

Security firm ConSec wants to harness these telekinetics and turn them into a powerful new weapon; however, Revok (Ironside) is hellbent on destroying ConSec and taking over the world. The only man who may be able to stop him is the stoic but equally powerful Vale (Lack).

Chaos reigns as the duo face off in a series of dramatic duels featuring some of cinema’s most jaw-dropping practical effects.

Busting heads and box-office numbers when it opened in 1981, Scanners demonstrates Cronenberg’s talent for accessible, fun and truly awesome science fiction.

Staff Pick:

"Cronenberg's fascination with the body and mind takes the form of a sprawling, paranoia-filled sci-fi thriller. Car chases, exploding heads, and a climactic, skin-bubbling psychic showdown. Bloody and brilliant." —Alex


David Cronenberg


David Cronenberg


Pierre David, Claude Héroux, Victor Solnicki


Jennifer O'Neill, Stephen Lack, Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan


Action/Adventure, Horror



Closed Captioning:



Scanners is set in Ontario and filmed in Ontario and Quebec. David Cronenberg is from Ontario.

Ratings by Province:

NR Alberta
NR British Columbia
NR Manitoba
R New Brunswick
NR Newfoundland and Labrador
R Nova Scotia
NR Northwest Territories
NR Nunavut
NR Ontario
R Prince Edward Island
13+ Québec
NR Saskatchewan
NR Yukon