Scanner Cop (Video 1994) Poster

(1994 Video)

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Good sci-fi movie!
gsh99922 May 2009
Really far exceeded my expectations.

The lead actor is quite good and did not annoy me like so many actors have a tendency to do.

I will agree that the opening scene special effects were very poor, with a dolls head popping out of latex on a guy's forehead. But after that, the effects were not as embarrassing.

The evil guy, played by the same guy who plays villains in many horror movies, is really good, too. The female evil partner is very hot and convincing. She looks like the black widow type.

Pete, the cop who adopts the scanner is very good too.

I was surprised by the decent acting and cool effects after the opening scene. Most hardcore horror fans will get a kick out of this one.
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Interesting "Scanners" spin-off.
Captain_Couth21 October 2004
Scanner Cop (1994) was an interesting spin-off of the Scanners trilogy. This small budgeted film follows the remnents of the "scanner" underground. One of these is a young man who's a scanner and he tries to deal with his powers. Darlene Fluegal co-stars as a doctor who tries to help the "scanner". But somewhere in the big city there's an evil scanner hell bent on declaring war on the "normals".

I saw this film nine years ago on cable t.v. I was impressed by it because it didn't try to hard. Just a movie about a couple of unaccounted rogue scanners roaming amongst the "normals". Not a masterpiece by any means. A nice little time killer that I wouldn't mind seeing again in the near future.

Watchable, if on the idiot box.


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Stupid, yes, but surprisingly enjoyable!
Infofreak8 June 2002
I really didn't expect ANYTHING from 'Scanner Cop', and only rented it to see two of my favourites Richard Lynch ('Open Season', 'The Ninth Configuration', 'Little Nikita') and the late Brion James ('Blade Runner', 'Crimewave', 'Tango & Cash') on screen together. The bad news is that they never share a scene, and that James only has a pointless cameo of around two minutes. The good news is that the movie is surprisingly enjoyable above average b-grade sci-fi action.

Daniel Quinn ('Wild At Heart') plays a young man with "scanner" powers who has been adopted by a kindly cop (Richard Grove - 'Army Of Darkness'). The movie begins showing how to two met but quickly flashes forward fifteen years with Quinn's first day as a rookie cop, Grove by this stage being police Commander. Cops, including Quinn's partner, suddenly begin getting murdered by seemingly normal citizens. Quinn finds himself on the trail of the criminal mastermind behind this fiendish plan (yup, you guessed it, it's Richard Lynch), but to do so he must stop taking the medication which suppresses his scanner powers. By doing this he risks permanent damage and possible insanity, so the case becomes a race against the clock, and one he can't afford to lose.

Stupid but fun, with Lynch at his most villainous, and having a hammy good time.
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Scanner Cop is far better than you might think.
tarbosh2200010 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
As a little boy, Sam Staziak was taken in by a police officer named Harrigan (Grove) after his own father freaked out because they both have the scanner bloodline. Little Sam grew up to be a cop like his adoptive father, and now, as an adult (Quinn), he looks to follow in his father's footsteps on the L.A.P.D. But an evil, unhinged brain surgeon (aren't they all?) named Karl Glock (Lynch) is using unsuspecting normal citizens and using them for his sick, twisted experiments. He makes them believe all cops are supernatural, grotesque monsters, so when they see them, they snap and start killing them. Now trying to figure out and combat an amorphous, confusing threat before more boys in blue get killed, Staziak must tap into his scanner abilities which have caused him nothing but pain in the process. But too much scanning can lead to insanity and sensory overload. Dr. Joan Alden (Fluegel) is helping, but truly only Sam can come to terms with who he is and stop Glock in the process. Will he do it before it's too late for the L.A.P.D. - and himself? Find out today! Much like we said in our Scanner Cop II (1995) review, not being sci-fi fans, we weren't going in expecting much. But there is more to Scanner Cop than you might think, and there are plenty of interesting ideas at work here that raise the level of enjoyment considerably. You can tell the writers actually thought about the plot a lot, which goes a long way and is much appreciated. The intelligence and serious, downbeat tone would surely do Cronenberg proud. Just the idea of a "scanner cop" is rife with possibilities, and the movie, thankfully, capitalizes on them. We couldn't help but wonder why movies about other scanner professions never materialized: "scanner firefighter", "scanner teacher", "scanner professional boogieboarder" - the options are endless.

After a long career as a writer and producer, this was director David's directorial debut. He'd worked with fellow Canadian Jeff Wincott a lot, as he was a writer on Mission of Justice (1992) and Martial Law II (1992), and produced Marked Man (1996). David clearly learned a lot during his time doing other roles on film sets, because it has a professional look and you'd never know it was his debut. While the humorless, somewhat bleak approach he took was a good one this time around to sell the bizarre subject matter, some levity would have helped, and as David did not return as director for part II, seemingly a little more fun was had the second time around.

The cast is plentiful with B-movie stars: fan favorite Richard Lynch does his classic baddie thing, Brion James is in it for about 2 seconds, Hilary Shepard of Peacemaker (1990) fame plays Lynch's assistant named Zena, predating Xena by a few years, Cyndi Pass of Mission of Justice is here too, and Billy "Sly" Williams plays a drug dealer named Eightball, among other names in the cast. While Richard Grove did a fine job as Harrigan, we can't help but think Stacy Keach would have been a nice cast addition in that role. He even played a similar part in Irresistible Force (1993). But maybe that's why he didn't do it.

The Scanner Cop series was big on cable and in video stores at the time, and while that doesn't seem that long ago to us, clearly it is, because in the movie characters smoke cigarettes indoors and in government buildings. Which tells us intelligent, well-thought-out sci-fi (or any types of movies for that matter) are getting farther and farther away in the past. Just compare this to the "syfy" channel's "original movies". The difference is crystal clear. As with its sequel, Scanner Cop is far better than you might think.
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An amusing b-class movie.
bato-28 February 1999
You know, it doesn´t really need to be a high-budgeted, well-acted movie to be amusing, right? As long as the movie is at least a little bit original. The only actor that really shows up is Richard Lynch, always casted as a villain (Just look at his face and you´ll know why) Everyone else does their part normally. This movie talks about telepathic-telekinetic people who go to the good side or to the bad side. The main character is a cop that´s one of those people. The villain uses a telepathical kind of machine that kinda traumatize people and make them kill anyone wearing a batch. I say this movie is amusing, but it still needs some category.
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Not bad...
blindnes25 May 1999
Opening scene Special Effects were really Cheesy, and I mean REALLY!!! Cheesy. The plot wasn't that bad, and overall the acting wasn't all that bad either. Special effects were done well for a low budget film. If you're going to the movie store to rent one movie, don't rent this one. If you're got a 5 movies 5 bucks deal...pick it up, it's worth it then! :)
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Flat out better than the original "Scanners" ..........
merklekranz21 August 2010
While the original "Scanners" was a ground breaking entry in the exploding head genre, "Scanner Cop" takes scanning to a new level. Daniel Quinn is quite good as the cop with brain reading powers. Naturally this asset can be very useful in a police investigation. Ordinary citizens have been programmed to kill cops by the always intriguing Richard Lynch and his fortune teller accomplice, Hilary Shepard. The story is fast moving and engaging as hallucinogenic programmed assassins think they are killing a programmed entity. As entertainment, this one is totally acceptable from any angle. Recommended. - MERK
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Fantastically gruesome B-movie fun
Leofwine_draca10 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This surprisingly enjoyable B-movie is a cut above most efforts from the early 1990s, thanks to a plot which takes the series in a new, interesting direction, plenty of gore and violence, and some decent acting. It's a movie with no pretensions which really packs in the groceries when it comes to gory action - I've never seen so many policemen get violently murdered in a single film! You know exactly what you're going to get with a film like this and it doesn't disappoint.

The opening is admittedly cheesy, with a scene where a hallucinating man sees lots of little screaming faces appear in his forehead (nice effects, but there's something just too rubbery about it). After this arresting sight, things slow down in pace as we are introduced to the film's main hero, played by Daniel Quinn. Quinn is very charismatic in his role of the cop, torn between wanting a normal life and using his special powers as a method to fight crime. In fact, I really liked his performance and most of the performances in this film - some, like Richard Lynch's, are deliberately over the top yet still highly amusing. Hilary Shepard is an alluring femme fatale, while Richard Grove provides solid support. Only the introduction of Darlanne Fluegel as an unnecessary love interest rings false - her character is completely worthless to this film's development.

The film focuses on a series of violent murders committed by members of the public who have been "programmed" to kill officers on sight. The unwilling murderers hallucinate that their worst fears are in front of them (bugs, gang members, etc.) leading them to attack with extreme violence. Of course, this is just an excuse for the special effects guys to show as many different monstrous beasties as possible. All of the classic 'scanning' action is saved for the film's finale, where the grue really flies.

One clever scene has our cop hero scanning a dead woman - and following her soul down into hell. This scene is actually pretty highbrow for a simple film like this. There's a grand total of one exploding head, which is nice and meaty, and lots of disturbing imagery of asylum patients abusing themselves. The build-up to the ending is rushed and full of plot holes (including one of those staple moments from the Bond films and many others, where the chief villain traps the hero and leaves them to a fate worse than death, only for the hero to escape in the nick of time). However the final hospital battle is an intense one, with full of gooey bits and even some brief, effective stop-motion thrown into the brew. It finishes with the baddie's metal head-plate blasting from his skull in a spectacular fashion. SCANNER COP may not be an epic, but it sure is a lot of fun.
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I actually thought it was better than the original.
poolandrews12 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Scanner Cop starts in a grotty Los Angeles apartment block in a flat where a scanner has gone several days without Ephemerol & is going crazy from the pain, his son Samuel (Elan Rothschild) watches on as he screams & hallucinates. The apartment manager has called the police & they burst into the flat, in the ensuing incident Sam's Father is shot dead. Officer Peter Harrigan (Richard Grove) feels sorry for Samuel & together with his wife Margaret (Savannah Smith Boucher) decides to adopt him. Jump '15 Yaers Later' & Samuel Staziak (Daniel Quinn) is following in his adopted Father's footsteps & is now a Los Angeles police officer. Harrigan is now a Commander & is dealing with a worrying case, it seems random totally unconnected civilians are killing police officers for no apparent reason. Hospital orderly Damon Pratt (Gary Hudson) has stabbed officer Dooley (Wayne Grace) to death but appears to be in a comatose state & psychiatrist Dr. Joan Alden (Darlanne Fluegel) can't get anything from him. Harrigan has no choice but to ask his boy Samuel to stop taking his Ephemerol & scan Damon in an attempt to try & give them some clues to go on & stop the senseless killing...

Produced & directed by Pierre David this is technically the third sequel to David Cronenberg's original Scanners (1981), although this takes the the basic scanner element & tries to do something a little bit different. The script by John Bryant & George Saunders takes itself very seriously, moves along at a nice pace & is as much a thriller as it is horror. It's a surprisingly decent film with good character's, some nice scenes & overall the whole concept bizarrely works rather well. Samuel isn't presented as some sort of superhero & the film manages a nice balance between someone vulnerable with problems & someone with a unique gift which makes him powerful & frightening. On a disappointing note I didn't think there were enough exploding body parts, I mean the fabulous exploding head is the scene everyone remembers from the original (& the other two previous sequels as well I suppose but the original in particular) & it's equivalent here is very weak by comparison & seems to be there for the sake of it, blink & you'll miss it! I also didn't like the eventual reasoning behind the cop killings, just one single person out for revenge against one cop just felt far too small in scope & throughly routine.

Director David does a fine job, Scanner Cop isn't going to win any awards for artistic merit or anything like that but it's competently made throughout. He keeps the story quite tight & he keeps it moving along. The special make-up effects are not too bad but sort of average as we get some bulging veins, a few creatures & a scene where little faces pop out of someones forehead. The obligatory exploding head is less than spectacular & overall the gore level isn't that high.

Technically Scanner Cop is OK & it's generally well made. The acting was alright although Quinn looks a little nervous at times. There are a couple of familiar genre faces here, even though he is listed quite high in the opening credits Brion James appears for less than one minute, Aliens (1986) actor Mark Rolston is here, veteran Richard Lynch plays the villain & Hilary Shepard as his sidekick.

Scanner Cop isn't a half bad film, it's certainly better than a lot of low budget horror/thriller's that clutter video shop shelves. I think it's well worth a watch if this is your type of film & I personally prefer it to Cronenberg's dull as dishwater original. A sequel Scanner Cop II (1995) was made the following year.
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almost the end of a series that perhaps should have stuck to one film: Scanners (1981)
FieCrier20 February 2005
Pretty disposable sequel of sorts to the Scanners series. I've only seen the first Scanners film, which I didn't think was one of Cronenberg's better ones.

Anyway, in this one a poor father and son are taking drugs to suppress their abilities as scanners, but have run out for lack of money. The father is going crazy, hallucinating, and becoming violent. The police arrive, and the father gets killed. The boy gets adopted by one of the cops.

Years later, the boy is now a cop and his father the Commander. Throughout the city, ordinary people are killing cops without provocation. They're seeing the cops as things they fear. The Commander hopes that his son would be willing to go off his medication to try to use his abilities as a scanner to find out what is going on.

There are a couple head explosions (something memorable from the first Scanners), but mostly the psychic powers are used here to read minds, or throw people through the air.

There's a Scanner Cop II, oddly also known as Scanners IV when it should seemingly be the fifth one, if this is the fourth. Evidently Scanners is also being remade; really, Hollywood, enough of the remakes of horror movies already!
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not that good
disdressed1218 September 2007
this is a B movie,no doubt about it.that isn't always a bad thing.i f you have good acting,decent characters,and a decent storyline,it could work.does this movie have any of that?maybe a little.the story is mildly interesting.none of the characters are,except for one.that would be the villain,played by Richard Lynch.Lynch has a certain quality about him that makes him watchable.the rest of the characters,i didn't really care one way or another.the reason for that is the suspect acting.the other thing i didn't like(in fact,it really annoyed me)was the unbelievably cheesy.sound effects/music that was used every time somebody was being drove me up the wall.while this is nowhere near the worst movie i have seen,it is closer to the bottom than the top. 3.5/10
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Scanner Cop
Scarecrow-881 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
A former neurosurgeon named Glock(great heavy Richard Lynch)was put away thanks to cop Harrigan(Richard Grove). Through manipulating a doctor at a psycho ward, Glock escapes, taking up with a "fortune-teller" named Zena(Hilary Shepard). He seeks revenge for Harrigan's putting him away(Glock was conducting "brain experiments" on a group of followers)and, through a series of brainwashing tactics, has civilians killing cops they thinks are various evil concoctions based on their worst fears.

Years prior to this, Harrigan was working a beat where a father was going through madness thanks to his overwhelming scanner attacks..this mental throbbing which work as excessive migraines(we see these mini-heads bulge from the poor guy's forehead)as multiple voices from anyone in the general area chime in only adding to his misery. The father hadn't taken medication for his illness for days and his son Sam can only watch in horror as he almost kills not only Harrigan but throws another policeman through a wall. In an unfortunate turn of events, Sam's father is killed because of his attempts at killing those policemen. Without a home, Sam is raised by Harrigan. Sam(Daniel Quinn), now an adult rookie cop, will have to help Harrigan(now a Commander of the police force)stop Glock by temporarily stopping the routine of medication which kept the scanner abilities dormant and quiet. As Sam remains off of them, his mind is slowly coming apart..he must find Glock & Zena before a repeated case of what happened to his father occurs to him. Darlanne Fluegel(TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA)stars as Dr. Joan Alden, someone who will work closely on the case as the voice of reason who tries to keep Sam focused while assisting the police. If things get hairy or appear out of hand regarding Sam and his scanning, she'll try to be a guiding hand in him not taking things too far.

Not a bad film, but nothing all that special or memorable. I can't say I didn't enjoy it, but I wasn't that overwhelmed, either. Quinn is actually quite good in the lead and Lynch is at his usual slimy best. There are some okay make-up effects showing how scanning another's mind can lead to the exposing of brain hemorrhage is one keeps the meld on too long. There's a head-explosion which is almost expected in the series. The interesting little gimmick added to the film has Lynch's baddie plated with metal on one side of his brain making it hard for Sam to scan him.
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From one mind to another.
michaelRokeefe4 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Scanner(one who can make a telepathic connection reading someone else's mind). Los Angeles rookie cop Sam Staziak(Daniel Quinn)happens to have inherited the ability to scan. An evil wrong-doer Karl Glock(Richard Lynch)is brain-washing common people into killing cops. It is easy to see that there is hardly a budget for special effects; nevertheless some scenes are pretty gory and disturbing. This movie is more science fiction than horror. The latter is more believable of course: if you have nothing else to choose from...SCANNER COP is OK.

Lynch is probably the only actor you'll recognize. Others of note: Brion James, Darlanne Fluegel, Richard Grove and Luca Bercovici.
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