[Blu-Ray Review] David Cronenberg’s ‘Scanners’ Shines Like Never Before With The Criterion Treatment; Now Available on Blu-Ray & DVD From The Criterion Collection


Scanners (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-Ray]

Director: David Cronenberg

Cast: Jennifer O’Neill, Stephen Lack, Michael Ironside, Patrick McGoohan

Release Date: Now Available on Criterion Dual Format Blu-Ray & DVD

A Review By: Kevin Lovell

Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 10/10


Plot Summary:

Darryl Revok is the most powerful of all the scanners, and is the head of the underground scanner movement for world domination. Scanners have great psychic power, strong enough to control minds; they can inflict enormous pain/damage on their victims. Doctor Paul Ruth finds a scanner that Revok hasn’t, and converts him to their cause – to destroy the underground movement.


The memorable and ever classic ‘Scanners’ finally arrives home on Blu-Ray in the US and thanks to a truly impressive release granted the Criterion treatment, it arrives looking and sounding better than fans of the film will have ever imagined possible. In addition to the remarkable video and audio presentation on the Blu-Ray, the release is absolutely chock full on bonus content that you will definitely want to delve into. You can read detailed information regarding the video, audio and bonus content in the technical specifications section of the review below.

To put things as simply as possible, fans of the film and David Cronenberg will without question want to pick up a copy of The Criterion Collection release of ‘Scanners’ to add to their collections. Those who have Blu-Ray capability, you will absolutely want to pick up the Dual Format release as you will without question want to make certain to own this one on Blu-Ray. This release also provides David Cronenberg fans a new, restored 2K digital transfer of his first feature length film ‘Stereo’ from 1969 which I’m sure is something that in itself will surely get numerous folks pretty excited.



The Blu-Ray disc of ‘Scanners’ on Criterion’s Dual Format release features a new digital transfer of the film supervised by Cronenberg himself and created in 2D resolution on an ARRISCAN film scanner from a 35mm interpositive at Vision Globale in Montreal (specific details are taken from the ‘About The Transfer’ page in the release’s included booklet) and is presented on the Blu-Ray disc in a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the director’s preferred 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation on this one looks magnificent and it’s quite obvious how much care and attention to detail went into the new mastering of the film. Apparently (also according to the included booklet) thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches, splices, warps, jitter, and flicker have been manually removed in the process. This really will come as no surprise when you see just how spot on and amazing this high definition video presentation truly is and fans of the film will surely be absolutely thrilled.


The Blu-Ray disc includes the original monaural soundtrack for the film, remastered at 24-bit from the 35mm Dialogue/Music/Effects magnetic track (once again, specific details are taken from the ‘About The Transfer’ page in the release’s included booklet) and is presented on the Blu-Ray disc in the form of a lossless PCM audio track. The lossless mono track sounds wonderful as far as mono soundtracks go and all of the dialogue, as well as the heavy hitting noises and the phenomenal score all sound as good as one can imagine. Such as was done with the video, the audio track was also manually touched up for optimal quality, with (once again according to the included booklet) clicks, thumps, hiss, hum and crackle having been manually removed during the remastering process. This release definitely delivers an impressive mono soundtrack with some incredible clarity and detail that should leave everyone quite pleased.



The Criterion Collection release of ‘Scanners’ also includes an impressive amount of unique, interesting and informative bonus content. In addition to the new, restored 2K digital film transfer, supervised by director David Cronenberg and the uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-Ray disc, this phenomenal release also includes ‘The Scanners Way’ which is a newly created documentary featuring interviews and a number of fun facts with a number of collaborators which Cronenberg worked with, ‘Mental Saboteur’ a lengthy and informative new interview with the ever amazing Michael ironside regarding both ‘Scanners’ and a large amount of his other work, ‘The Ephemerol Diaries’ an interview with actor/artist Stephen Lack, an excerpt from ‘The Bob Mclean Show’ back in 1981 in which David Cronenberg was a guest and they do a retrospective of Cronenberg’s work up to ‘Scanners’ upon its release. Also included are a trailer and radio spots for the film, a booklet featuring an essay by critic Kim Newman and some truly fantastic artwork. Last, but certainly not least is perhaps the most notable bonus goodie on this release: a new, restored 2K digital transfer of David Cronenberg’s first feature film from 1969 titled ‘Stereo’ which shares a surprising amount of similarities with the ideas and concepts present in ‘Scanners.’ As you can see, there is a very notable collection of bonus content on this truly wonderful release from The Criterion Collection that will be sure to keep fans of the film (and of course Cronenberg himself) more than occupied for quite some time following their viewing of the film, itself presented in superb quality, like you’ve never seen it before.


*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.

Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 10/10

‘Scanners’ is now available to own on Dual Format Blu-Ray & DVD from The Criterion Collection. You can purchase your copy today at a discounted price from Amazon by clicking here!

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