David Cronenberg is one of the most celebrated directors in all of genre fiction. His cerebral, haunting films straddle the line between science fiction and horror, with some of the most memorable scenes of body horror ever committed to celluloid. From The Fly to Videodrome to dozens of others, Cronenberg's movies are all about transformation, about how far you can push the human form before it can no longer be described as human.
This year, Cronenberg's Scanners turns 39 years old. While this strikes me as a strange milestone to celebrate, the writers at Dread Central disagrees with me. Columnist Daniel Kurland wrote a retrospective on the film, which talks about how prescient the world of Scanners had become and how the film marked a sort of change in Cronenberg's style.
Scanners also nicely compliments the middle stage of Cronenberg’s career, which is fascinated by the repercussions from the changes by scientists. These films move from a large, social place to an increasingly more inward realm. After Cronenberg’s first few films Shivers and Rabidtook a look at how the work of scientists can lead to a breakdown of all of society, Scanners, as well as the films that surround it like The Brood and Videodrome, look at how the way that scientists play God can lead to much more personal horrors, which in the case of Scanners means learning that you’re someone else’s puppet. Shivers, Rabid, and The Brood all posit their scientific advancements as deadly aberrations, whereas Scanners is the first of Cronenberg’s films that views these scientific abnormalities as sources of power and strength, albeit dangerous ones. It shows a careful, important evolution in the filmography of David Cronenberg.
The entire article will, heh, blow your mind. Read it here and check out the trailer below.