David CronenbergCanada103 minutes1981RColourEnglish

Jun 17
  • Press & Industry screenings and events are only for accredited passes.


Cameron Vale (Stephen Lack) is one of the 237 "scanners" in the world: people born with powerful telepathic and telekinetic abilities, who are able to hear thoughts, move objects, and even kill with their minds. Living as a derelict in order to hide his gift, Vale is discovered and abducted by a powerful security firm, which wants to turn the scanners into human weapons. When a renegade scanner (Michael Ironside) declares war on the firm and recruits his own underground army, Vale finds himself caught between two equally nefarious forces. David Cronenberg's most commercially successful film up to that time, Scanners saw the emergence of a more politicized element in the director's work: while the psycho-biological horrors in previous Cronenberg films had been unleashed by isolated, self-conscious elites, in Scanners big business and the military-industrial establishment exploit those whose special gifts have marginalized them.

Print courtesy of the TIFF Film Reference Library.