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Only David Cronenberg could make us take exploding heads seriously. Not to mention make the out-there concept of mind scanning believable! Then again, out there is kind of Cronenberg's whole deal. After all this is the guy behind such wacko creations as Crash and Videodrome. If anything, Scanners is one of his most straight-forward ventures.

Scanners is sci-fi/horror done right: from the tense, unsettling opening scene to the final bloody showdown, this is a ride through a dark and disturbing near future that's hard to forget. Michael Ironside is particularly good as the demented, powerful vilain Stephen Lack's somewhat bland scanner is up against and The Prisoner's Patrick McGoohan offers fine support as the doctor who trains him.

Overall, Scanners is an atmospheric, often chilling sci-fi story with some welcome gore and impressive special effects. One of Cronenberg's best.

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