This article was originally published on Ferretbrain. I’ve backdated it to its original Ferretbrain publication date but it may have been edited and amended since its original appearance.
David Cronenberg isn’t the sort of director who really does sequels. Really, who can blame him? Most of the movies he directs end up a little scorched-earth by the end; it’s hard to see how someone could take Videodrome or The Brood forward. On the other hand, a lot of the time his films exude a sense of vertigo over the future, with society and the characters on a precipice that they are just about to tip over. It’s not hard to see why a very few producers and directors have been tempted to try and show what happens when the world finally falls over that edge; hence the misguided The Fly 2, hence the four sequels to Scanners.
Anchor Bay has now released the first three Scanners films in a fairly decent boxed set. You can get it for £7 if you shop around, and it includes the three films in individual full-sized DVD cases – ideal if you decide you only want to keep the first one and sell the others on EBay or to a second hand shop. The original region 2 release of Scanners wasn’t especially brilliant – amongst other things, it trimmed down the original aspect ratio to 4:3, whereas the new release is in anamorphic widescreen and so finally offers the full picture rather than a trimmed-down version, so I thought I’d pick up the new set, see if the first film still holds up since I saw it last, and take a look at the other two whilst I was at it.