Scanners is a 1981 Canadian science-fiction horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg and starring Stephen Lack, Jennifer O'Neill, Michael Ironside, and Patrick McGoohan. In the film, "scanners" are people with unusual telepathic and telekinetic powers. ConSec, a purveyor of weaponry and security systems, searches out scanners to use them for its own purposes. The film's plot concerns the attempt by Darryl Revok (Ironside), a renegade scanner, to wage a war against ConSec. Another scanner, Cameron Vale (Lack), is dispatched by ConSec to stop Revok.
Private military company ConSec recruits "scanners" – super-powered individuals capable of telepathy and psychokinesis – and uses them in service of the company. However, when one of ConSec's scanners demonstrates his powers at a marketing event, the volunteer – Darryl Revok – turns out to be a more powerful scanner, who causes the ConSec scanner's head to explode. When ConSec officials attempt to take Revok into custody, he kills them and escapes. Stung by this embarrassing experience, ConSec security head Braedon Keller advocates shutting down ConSec's scanner research program. Program head Dr. Paul Ruth disagrees, saying the assassination and escape demonstrate the potential of scanners. Ruth attributes the operation to Revok, who (according to Ruth) has his own underground network of scanners competing with ConSec's program. Ruth argues that ConSec should use scanners to infiltrate and bring down Revok's group. Dr. Ruth brings in scanner Cameron Vale, a homeless social outcast driven mad by his undisciplined power, and injects him with ephemerol, which temporarily inhibits his scanning ability and restores his sanity. When Vale's mind is clear, Ruth asks for his help, explaining that Vale is a scanner and Revok is killing all scanners who refuse to join him. Under Ruth's guidance, Vale learns to control his scanning abilities.
|award||Saturn Award for Best International Film|
|genre||action horror science fiction|
|keywords||abduct ambush build computer program driven mad embarrass kill market meet new generation pregnant patient pregnant woman private military company psychokinesis social outcast telepathy|
|publisher||AVCO Embassy Pictures|
|theme||body horror independent science fiction action science fiction horror telekinesis|