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SEQUEL-PALOOZA HORROR DOUBLE FEATURE

SCANNERS 2: THE NEW ORDER (1991) * ½

David (David Hewlett, perfectly cast as an unassuming and bland hero) is a veterinarian student who foils a convenience store robbery by scanning a dude till his head blows up. A sketchy detective wants to create a “New Order” of Scanners and uses David’s scanning ability to catch criminals. But David doesn’t like being used as a poster boy for the New Order and he splits. He eventually teams up with his Scanner sister (Deborah Raffin from Death Wish 3) to bring the New Order to its knees.

The idea of cops using Scanners as glorified drug-sniffing dogs is a good one; although it owes more to David Cronenberg’s The Dead Zone than his Scanners. The trouble is, director Christian Duguay is definitely no David Cronenberg. The way he stages the Scanner battles is particularly abysmal. Basically, they just consist of people staring at each other and making faces like they’re trying to balance their checkbook in their head. Duguay over relies on close-ups of bulging eyeballs in these scenes and the results are often laughable.

The big problem with Scanners 2: The New Order is that there are only two exploding head scenes in the whole movie. Even worse is that it gives the Scanners a whole bunch of new powers that are just too stupid for words. Like the scene where the bad guy strolls into an arcade and plays a video game with his mind. Then there’s the scene where Hewlett uses his scanning ability to make someone spin around like a goddamned ballerina. And apparently Scanners can make people age rapidly and/or cause their victims to become deformed. What happened to good old fashioned exploding heads?

And what’s with the part where Hewlett gets inside of some dude’s head and makes them scan other people? I’m sorry, but that just seems kinda lazy to me. If you can’t bother to do your own scanning, why bother?

It’s a shame too because the movie started out decently enough. Ultimately, there’s just no drive or urgency to the proceedings. There’s no fire in the flick’s belly. On top of that, it bogs way the fuck down once Hewlett touches base with his sister.

Oh, and if you take a shot of your favorite alcohol every time a character says “The New Order”, YOUR head might explode.

WHITE NOISE: THE LIGHT (2008) *

Nathan Fillion has built up a lot of goodwill with me over the years. Between being on Firefly and starring in Slither; the man can basically do no wrong in my eyes. Because of that, I’m more or less willing to give him a Mulligan for White Noise: The Light.

Fillion plays a dude who sees his wife and son brutally gunned down in a diner. He later tries to commit suicide and even gets to see the titular “Light” at the end of the tunnel, but he’s revived at the last second. Fillion’s near death experience gives him the ability to see an aura around a person, which means they’ll die soon. He also learns he can save these people from meeting their demise. The only catch is, three days afterwards they go nuts and kill a bunch of people.

Fillion does what he can with the thin material, but the film is so bad that it drains him of his charisma. The ever-hot Katee (Halloween: Resurrection) Sackhoff co-stars as a nurse who strikes up a relationship with Fillion. They’re really good in their scenes together; good enough to make you wish they were starring in a different movie. I think it pretty much says it all if Fillion and Sackhoff can’t make a movie watchable.

What’s particularly damning about White Noise: The Light is that it hardly has squat to do with the original White Noise. And the more it strays from the original premise, the worse it gets. By the time Fillion discovered all this nonsense was the work of the Devil; I totally tuned out. The ending; if you make it that far that is, is a total joke.

The sad thing was that this movie was directed by Patrick Lussier; the man who gave us My Bloody Valentine 3-D. He’s obviously better at doing 3-D horror remakes than DTV horror sequels. Next time Pat, if someone offers you a chance to direct a crappier sequel to an already crappy Michael Keaton movie, you say NO!!!

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( 6 comments — Comment )
darksteel6
Nov. 7th, 2011 03:51 am (UTC)
I disagree with you on Scanners 2, I thought it was pretty decent, though not quite as fun as part 3. The first White Noise film sucked major ass, so i'm not at all surprised that the sequel sucks as well. BTW, you got any plans to review the Species sequels?
thevideovacuum
Nov. 7th, 2011 04:05 am (UTC)
I've actually reviewed Species 3 (http://thevideovacuum.livejournal.com/209706.html) and 4 (http://thevideovacuum.livejournal.com/423082.html). I love the first one and probably enjoy 2 more than just about anyone.

Edited at 2011-11-07 04:06 am (UTC)
SaturdayNight Screening
Nov. 8th, 2011 01:53 am (UTC)
wow outside of drive angry, all lussier has done are sequels and remakes and sequels to remakes.
thevideovacuum
Nov. 8th, 2011 02:22 am (UTC)
And apparently Lussier is going to direct Halloween 3-D, which I'm totally game for; especially after 2 less than stellar Rob Zombie films.
comeuppancereviews.com
Nov. 9th, 2011 12:02 pm (UTC)
Good write-ups! Haven't seen Scanners 2. But saw White Noise 2 for Nathan Fillion. He did his best but you are right, it was pretty weak.
thevideovacuum
Nov. 9th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, when Nathan Fillion can't even save your movie; you know you're up Shit Creek with popsicle sticks for paddles.
( 6 comments — Comment )

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