Trailer Round-Up: Night of the Demons 2 and Past Tense, starring Scott Glenn.
It’s a minor miracle just how good Scanner Cop is. To be fair, Scanners was a great premise in search of a great movie. It has some amazing set pieces, yet there was considerable room for improvement. With Scanner Cop, the filmmakers transport the notion of head-exploding telepathic Scanners into the usual Cop Genre, and by doing so; it opens up a whole slew of entertaining possibilities.
Daniel Quinn is a rookie cop who has the ability to scan people’s minds. Richard Lynch is an evil mastermind who is brainwashing ordinary citizens into killers who assassinate cops indiscriminately. Quinn’s captain (who’s also his adopted father) convinces him to stop taking his anti-Scanning medication to find Lynch.
Scanner Cop is a total blast from start to finish. Things get off to a bit of a cheesy start with a Scanner having three mini-faces bulging out of his forehead. And no, that’s not a bad thing. (The effects look like leftovers from a Nightmare on Elm Street sequel.) From then on, the flick becomes a totally absorbing police procedural that is spiced-up by the occasional Scan-Off. The plot is filled something as I can only describe as “Goyer Logic” (take a look at the scene where Quinn stops a mugging with his Scanner power) and there are plenty of interesting twists on the Scanner formula. My favorite bit is the finale where Quinn realizes he can’t scan Lynch because he has a metal plate in his head.
Quinn does a fine job in the lead. He can make the veins in his forehead bulge out like nobody in the business, which makes him an ideal Scanner Cop. Lynch gives one of his all-time best performances as the slimy villain. My only real quibble is that Brion James is thoroughly wasted in a nothing role as a doctor. It would’ve been really something to see a guy of his caliber mixing it up with the Scanners. Other than that, Scanner Cop rocks.
Here's Collected Cinema's review of the film: http://collectedcinema.blogspot.com/201
Next week’s Thrift Store flick is another film featuring Richard Lynch: Lone Tiger!