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From the B-Movie Vault: Scanner Cop and Scanner Cop II

August 22, 2022 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Scanner Cop Image Credit: Republic Pictures

From the B-Movie Vault Issue #6: Scanner Cop and Scanner Cop II

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the latest From the B-Movie Vault. I’m Bryan Kristopowitz.

Why isn’t the Scanners franchise a bigger deal in the horror/sci-fi/low budget movie/B-movie world? The first movie is a classic of the early 1980’s and something people continue to look back at fondly. The sequels? The Scanner Cop spin-offs? Not so much. And I think that’s a shame.

I also think it’s a shame that the franchise hasn’t received much love from the boutique home video companies. The fine folks at Vinegar Syndrome have put out terrific special editions of the two Scanner Cop movies, but it took seemingly forever for that to happen. The first movie got a kick ass home video release from the Criterion people. Parts 2 and 3 received a decent enough Blu-ray release from Shout! Factory/Scream Factory, but why the heck didn’t Scream Factory go all out for both movies? Why did parts 2 and 3 get a “double feature” Blu-ray with no special features? It just makes no sense to me.

Wouldn’t it have been sweet if Criterion found a way to release the entire five movie franchise, sort of like how it released all four Bruce Lee movies not that long ago? You know that would have rocked hard.

And where is the book about the franchise as a whole? Or the documentary that looks at all five movies? And why hasn’t there been a remake or a reboot? A TV show? You’d think we would have had at least some or, hell, one of those things by now. It hasn’t happened, though. What the heck is the hold-up?

People really need to check out the entire Scanners franchise, either for the first time or for the millionth time. The franchise deserves way more respect than it gets.

Who else is with me? Anyone? Anyone at all?

And now, without any further what have you, the next From the B-Movie Vault completes its re-look at the Scanners franchise with classic reviews for Scanner Cop and Scanner Cop II. Enjoy.


The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #429: Scanner Cop

Scanners September: Week 4

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that David Cronenberg probably doesn’t read every week (I mean, he might read it, but I doubt it. He does seem to be a pretty busy guy), The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number four hundred and twenty-nine, Scanners September continues with Scanner Cop, which hit home video in July of 1994.

Scanner Cop

Image Credit: Vinegar Syndrome

Scanner Cop, directed by Pierre David (he produced the original Scanners and the two sequels The New Order and The Takeover), stars the now late but always great Daniel Quinn as Samuel Staziak, a rookie LAPD beat cop who also happens to be a scanner. As we see at the very beginning of the movie, where Samuel is briefly played by Elan Rothschild, Samuel’s father ( imdb seems to think that he’s played by Steve Parrish, the star of Scanners III: The Takeover but, to me, he doesn’t look anything like Parrish) is shot dead by the cops in the middle of going through a sort of scanners mental breakdown. The cop responsible for Sam’s father’s death, Peter Harrigan (Richard Grove), feels guilty about shooting a kid’s father right in front of him and decides to take Samuel home for the night, just to calm his nerves and give him something to eat before dropping him off at an asylum (not an orphanage or Children’s Services, but an asylum). While at the asylum, a doctor examines Samuel, finds out that he’s a scanner, and wants to start conducting brain experiments on Samuel immediately. Harrigan refuses to stand for that bullshit and removes Samuel from the asylum and decides, right then and there, to adopt Samuel and become his legal guardian. The story then shifts to fifteen years later and Quinn’s Samuel Staziak graduating from the police academy and getting his police academy diploma from Harrigan, who is now an LAPD commander.

So Samuel goes out on his first patrol with his veteran partner Riley (Christopher Kriesa) and manages to see some regular street crime up close, taking down a local street drug dealer which then leads to taking down a local drug smuggling operation at an ice factory. Samuel doesn’t get himself or Riley killed and is given high marks for his enthusiasm and professionalism. Riley is a little freaked out by the mysterious vial of pills that Samuel won’t tell him about (Samuel tells Riley that the pills are vitamins, but they’re actually ephemerol, the drug that suppresses scanner abilities), but, hey, Samuel is the commander’s son and he just isn’t getting involved in that potential political minefield. At least Staziak isn’t an idiot.

While Samuel excels at his first day on the streets, several of his fellow LAPD officers are killed seemingly at random. Cops die in a diner, at a newsstand, and in a hospital. The killers aren’t connected in any obvious way, and the deaths come off as random. When a janitor at the police station goes batshit with a shotgun and shoots multiple cops, including Riley, Harrigan and his confidante Lt. Harry Brown (Mark Rolston) suspect that the cop killings are connected somehow. But how? Why would random people just start killing cops unprovoked? What the hell is going on here?

In the middle of investigating the hospital killings, Harrigan speaks with LAPD psychologist Dr. Joan Alden (Darlanne Fluegel) and finds out that the doctor responsible for the hospital killings has been in a kind of trance since he went on his killing spree. The doctor won’t communicate at all. It’s at that moment that Harrigan concocts a plan to find out what the heck the doctor knows about these seemingly random police killings. Samuel will have to scan him. Now, Harrigan is sort of uncomfortable asking his son to scan anyone, as he’s seen, first hand, what can happen when a scanner stops taking ephemerol. So he asks Samuel if he’ll do it. At first, Samuel isn’t too keen on doing it as he doesn’t want to stop taking his ephemerol at all. Samuel, too, knows what happens when scanners stop taking ephemerol. But Samuel eventually relents and agrees to scan the doctor.

So Samuel scans the doctor and, after going through the scanner motions (staring, shaking, sweating, bulging veins and whatnot), reads the doctor’s mind and finds out that he’s been brainwashed to see people in police uniforms as monster zombies. And, as a result of the brainwashing, when he sees the monster zombies the doctor is supposed to do everything in his power to kill them. Because, really, what are you supposed to do when you see a monster zombie? It’s at that point that Harrigan decides to order every cop under his command to work in plainclothes until they figure out what, exactly, is going on. Who the hell brainwashed the doctor and the other cop killers?

Well, the cops have no idea who the brainwasher is. We do, though, because we’ve seen the brainwasher in action. And the brainwasher is Karl Glock (the immortal Richard Lynch), a disgraced doctor who was arrested after performing weird experiments on people and trying to form his own cult. Harrigan shot Glock in the side of the head as he tried to escape arrest, Glock was sent to an insane asylum, and then Glock escaped under mysterious circumstances. Glock then hooked up with a mega hot “psychic” named Zena (the great Hilary Shepard, of Peacemaker fame. Man, I have to see that movie again) and crafted his plan to take down Harrigan and the LAPD.

Now, Harrigan thinks that his plainclothes plan is good enough to buy his department some time to figure out what to do next. Unfortunately for Harrigan, Glock’s scheme is a little more flexible than originally assumed.

As the investigation continues, Samuel starts to lose his grip on reality little by little. Without ephermerol blocking his natural scanning abilities he can hear damn near everyone’s thoughts and his “scanner” headaches are growing in strength and frequency. Will Samuel be able to hold on to his sanity as he and the rest of his fellow cops track down Glock and stop him?

Image Credit: Republic Pictures

The first thing I noticed about Scanner Cop is that it takes place in a named city, an actual place, Los Angeles, and not some unidentified city somewhere. It actually helps ground the story and makes it seem slightly more plausible. The movie doesn’t have a “Los Angeles vibe” to it, though, or even a “low budget, direct-to-video 1990’s action movie that takes place in Los Angeles but was actually made somewhere in Canada” feel. I also noticed that the whole “scanner phenomena” isn’t as well-known in this movie as in the previous Scanners entries. Some of the scientists seem to know what scanners are and what scanning is, but no one else does. What the heck happened to the general public knowledge of scanning between The Takeover and Scanner Cop? Is it possible that the whole “scanner phenomena” just wasn’t as well known in Los Angeles and on the west coast of the United States at the time of the other movies? Was “scanning” more of an east coast thing?

I think it’s also interesting how there’s only one scanner in Scanner Cop. In the previous three movies there are multiple scanners, some good, some bad, and the villain, while not always a scanner, at least has scanners on his team/part of his gang. Zena isn’t a scanner, she’s a demonic con artist psychic. And Glock, while he knows about scanners, never once makes an effort to recruit scanners to his brainwashing cause. I think this may be evidence of the lack of prevalence of scanners on the west coast. Maybe if Scanner Cop took place in New York City or Philadelphia or even Toronto Glock would have known about scanners and found one to be a part of his big cause.

I am a little confused about the whole “Glock escaped the insane asylum and disappeared and no one knows where he is” thing. Why wouldn’t Harrigan have allocated resources to finding Glock once he became a commander in the LAPD? Why wasn’t there a task force tasked with tracking him down? I doubt that a guy like Harrigan would just forget about him or that the police force in general would just move on to other issues.

The gore special effects are excellent and exquisitely disgusting. The bulging veins, the gun wounds, the gnarly zombie monster flashbacks, they’re all terrific and gross and exactly what you expect to see in a movie like this. There’s a wonderful exploding head sequence and a great, gooey bit where a guy’s metal head plate is popped off and his brains shoot out like someone tossing chunky tomato sauce against the wall. And the scanner hallucination set piece involving Samuel’s father is one of the best freaky rubber head bits of the 1990’s. I’m still getting creeped out just thinking about it.

The flashback sequences are also quite good. The only bit that doesn’t quite work is the sequence where Samuel sort of goes into “hell.” It all comes off as someone trying to do a kind of Beetlejuice thing that never really feels right. I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be but, in the end, it’s a little too weird for its own good.

The cast is excellent. Daniel Quinn kicks ass as scanner Samuel Staziak. He has an innocence that automatically makes you like him and support him as he gets deeper into “scanner suffering” territory. He never looks ridiculous when doing the scanner thing, which is always a good thing in a Scanners movie. Quinn also looks good in the few action scenes he’s called on to do, another plus.

Richard Grove does a fine job as Harrigan. As both a beat cop and a top ranking police official, he exudes a natural integrity that makes you suspect that he’s up to something. No one can be that solid of a person in a low budget sci-fi/horror/action movie in the 1990’s. Harrigan is, though. Mark Rolston is funny as Harrigan’s old cop buddy Lt. Harry Brown. He’s world weary, he’s seen everything there is to see, and he’ll follow Harrigan to the end. Brown isn’t much of a believer in the whole scanner thing, which puts him at a bit of odds with Harrigan at one point. Brown never knowingly/willingly betrays his old friend, though. Good stuff.

Darlanne Fluegel is a bit of a drag as Dr. Joan Alden, the police psychologist/investigator that seems to be the most knowledgeable about scanners in the LAPD outside of Harrigan. She doesn’t really do anything beyond ask questions and occasionally freak out over Samuel not taking his ephemerol. She also has no real chemistry with Quinn, which is weird since you expect there to be some. I like the fact that they aren’t romantically linked at the end of the movie, but, still, you expect there to be some sort of chemistry between them. Odd stuff.

Image Credit: Republic Pictures

Richard Lynch does his usual top notch job as Karl Glock. He doesn’t do his usual full on demonic villain thing here (this isn’t Invasion U.S.A. or Trancers II: The Return of Jack Deth) but he’s still pretty scary. His final scene will stay with you for a bit after you see it. And Hilary Shepard is awesome as the Glock henchperson and psychic fraud Zena. She’s the true demonic presence in the movie, and lots of fun to look at (sorry for being a male pig but Shepard is absolutely gorgeous here).

Now, the now late but always great Brion James is listed in the main credits, always a boon for any movie, but his part as a doctor at the insane asylum is a small, blink and you’ll miss it role. In fact, it seems as though his voice has been dubbed over. Why the heck isn’t he a part of Glock’s scheme? Think about how awesome that could have been, Richard Lynch and Brion James trying to take down the LAPD.

I’d like to know why Scanner Cop and its sequel have never been released on DVD in North America. I think there was some sort of release in Canada but it was never widely available (it may have been only released in French or something like that. I’m not sure). There were VHS releases of both movies (I rented both after first watching both of them on cable. I think Scanner Cop may have been a part of HBO’s Thursday Night Prime programming scheme back in the mid 1990’s. Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence was the first). It doesn’t appear either movie is available via streaming on Amazon or YouTube (are either on Netflix?). I managed to record both off of cable years ago, which is why I’m able to review both of them as part of this Scanners marathon. I do hope, one day, that both movies end up on DVD. I’d love to have a high quality copy of both. Maybe the fine folks at Scream Factory can figure out how to do this one day? Writer’s note: The fine folks at Vinegar Syndrome came through for us by releasing Scanner Cop and its sequel on 4K and Blu-ray. I don’t own them yet but from everything I’ve read about the releases they are top notch stuff).

Scanner Cop is a terrific low budget sci-fi/horror/action flick. It’s a cool idea and a solid as all hooha venture. I loved it when I first saw it back in the day and I still love it now. It’s worth tracking down.

See Scanner Cop. See it, see it, goddamn see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: Less than 20.

Explosions: Yes.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: A nice opening theme, a kid playing with a tin toy cop car, Scotch tape hooey, clothes throwing, a messed up mirror hallucination, a straight razor, scanner attacks, cop thrown through a wall, double barrel shotgun blast to the chest, fried chicken eating, general explanation of scanners, electroshock therapy, a big cop party, cake cutting, multiple cop killings, an unprovoked diner attack, newsstand hooey, drug dealing, bullshit about needing to have a “sixth sense,” a zombie monster hallucination, a rack filled with bags of ice, bags of ice filled with drugs, more scanner attacks, face spraying, a major shotgun attack inside of a locker room, mind reading, off screen suicide via broken glass shard to the neck, a mugging, breaking up a mugging, a closed circuit talk with cops, a speed reading/speed scanning montage, off screen autopsy, kidnapping, lettuce cutting, unwanted butt fondling, a monster scorpion thing, gut stabbing, multiple headaches, more mind reading, fake psychic bullshit, a nosebleed, a composite sketch, a flashback, a bullet to the side of the head, a SWAT team assault, a tarot card message, another flashback, pen to the ear, a police shooting, death by ambulance, exposed brain surgery, exploding head, attempted brain experiment, exploding computer equipment, car stealing, gooey metal plate hooey, defibrillator attack, arm hooey, metal plate popping, a gross brain bit, and a happy ending.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: Explanation of what scanners are, radioactive glucose, Richard Lynch, Tarot cards, brainwashing, scanner stuff, police task force room, talk of “Manchurian candidates,” scanner using scanning ability to get the “right” desert, people using cigars to mask the smell of dead bodies, “reliving the incident,” dangling crystals, Brion James, Brion James with a dubbed voice (maybe), an exploding head, and a happy ending.

Best lines: “Do you have any left, Samuel?,” “This isn’t happening!,” “It’s too late, son, it’s too late!,” “I want you to leave us alone!,” “You hungry?,” “Try to get some sleep, son,” “He’s a scanner. A scanner?,” “Hey, take it easy, doc!,” “Damn scientists!,” “Death. Not so soon, I think we should play with him first,” “Take a look out there. It ain’t pretty,” “Shut up, scumbag,” “So, how’s business, doc?,” “He’s in a complete state of catatonia,” “Hey, partner, they’ve got snow in their ice,” “Staziak?,” “You want me to scan him?,” “Hey, Marvin, see the fight last night?,” “Who the hell is doing this?,” “This is not proper procedure,” “This is bullshit, Excuse me, lieutenant, this is not bullshit,” “He’s made a telepathic connection,” “What are you on, Staziak?,” “I know what you’re thinking, pal. Is that right? Yeah, that’s right,” “How did you do that? Power of suggestion,” “I’ve gotta control myself,” “Oh, Harrigan,” “Well, well, clothes do not make the man,” “Want to know your fortune?,” “Can I buy you dinner, officer? I’ve got a gun, I eat for free,” “You look like hell,” “I can’t put my men out on the streets without badges!,” “Frightened of insects, my dear?,” “I was almost there. Why did you stop me?,” “What’s this cop doing here?,” “Welcome to your future,” “Your session is over! Keep the change,” “This is the man,” “Coffee. Drink at your own risk,” “I’ll see you in hell. I’m not through with you,” “What do you want from me, Sam?,” “I want Glock!,” “You shouldn’t have scanned me, Sam. I was on my way to hell. But now you’ll take my place!,” “Welcome, scanner. So nice of you to drop in,” “You stay here and rot! I’ll go get Harrigan myself!,” “I believe this operation calls for a specialist,” “Say goodbye to papa,” “You can’t scan me, Sam,” and “What are those, sir? Vitamins.”

Rating: 8.0/10.0


Image Credit: PDX


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Check out previous issues of From the B-Movie Vault!

From the B-Movie Vault: Phantasm and Phantasm II

From the B-Movie Vault: Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead and Phantasm IV: Oblivion

From the B-Movie Vault: Phantasm: Ravager and John Dies at the End

From the B-Movie Vault: Scanners

From the B-Movie Vault: Scanners II: The New Order and Scanners III: The Takeover


The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #430: Scanner Cop II

Scanners September: Week 5

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that knows it’s kind of weird to finish off Scanners September in October but is generally okay with it, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number four hundred and thirty, Scanners September concludes with a look at Scanner Cop II, which hit home video in May of 1995.

Scanner Cop II

Image Credit: Vinegar Syndrome

Scanner Cop II, also known as Scanner Cop II: Volkien’s Revenge, Scanner Cop 2: Volkien’s Revenge, and Scanners: The Showdown, is the last official Scanners movie/Scanners sequel made to date. It’s also the only movie in the Scanners franchise that is a direct sequel to the previous movie (that would, obviously, be Scanner Cop). I don’t know why we didn’t get a Scanner Cop 3. I mean, Scanner Cop II must have made money because it was in every video store and it was on late night cable quite a bit. In fact, that’s the first place I saw it, although I can’t remember if it was on Cinemax or The Movie Channel (it was probably Cinemax. That’s the channel I recorded it from back in the day). I also rented it several times from multiple video stores. Was I the only person who frequented video stores back when they were everywhere and got annoyed when the store had a part two or three but not part one?

Anyway, Scanner Cop II, directed by Steve Barnett, stars the returning and now late but always great Daniel Quinn as “Scanner Cop” Samuel Staziak. Staziak is now a detective and is a sort of superhero cop that the brass calls in whenever there’s a major situation going on in Los Angeles. When we first see Staziak in his new detective position he’s called in by his boss, Captain Jack Bitters (Robert Forster), to handle a hostage situation (there’s some sort of corporate bigwig being held for some reason). Staziak makes quick work of the hostage takers, using his scanner abilities to throw the bad guys around and, at times, confuse them with mirages and hallucinations. Staziak is able to use his scanner abilities without major side effects because there’s a new kind of ephemerol out there that allows a scanner to use his or her scanning abilities without experiencing headaches or paranoia. It seems as though Staziak is the only one with access to this new ephemerol as he’s the only scanner who uses it. There are other scanners in Los Angeles, and they’re out and proud and getting their regular ephemerol from the Trans Neural Research Center, which is the center of scanner research. Staziak’s friend/girlfriend, Carrie Goodart (Khrystyne Haje) is the head researcher there, and a scanner, too.

Now, while all of that stuff is going on, the uber psycho scanner Karl Volkien (the immortal Patrick Kilpatrick) is running around Los Angeles, killing people and searching for his fellow scanners. Volkien isn’t searching for his fellow scanners so he can build his own scanner army so he can then rule the world. He isn’t Helena Monet in Scanners III: The Takeover. No, Volkien is looking for scanners so he can suck the life force out of them using a special scanner ability that only he seems to have. Volkien intends to become the most powerful scanner in the world, so he can then exact revenge on Staziak (hence the alternate subtitle Volkien’s Revenge). See, a few years ago Staziak killed Volkien’s brother and then arrested Volkien during a home invasion. Volkien wants Staziak to feel pain and then destroy him.

So Volkien breaks out of police custody, kills a bunch of people, and then heads for the Trans Neural Research Center so he can break into their computer system and find an address list for the city’s scanners. It’s here that Volkien comes face-to-face with Goodart and we see a bit of what Volkien has in store for his fellow scanners. He doesn’t kill Goodart, but he attacks her so bad that she almost dies. Volkien then goes to Staziak’s house, waits for him to show up and then has the first of several scanner fights with Staziak. There’s also a bit of gunplay here, with Volkien showing that he knows how to attack people with firearms, too (he was a common thug with scanner abilities before he became the uber psycho scanner, so it makes sense for him to be proficient with guns).

After the melee in the Neural Center and then at Staziak’s house, Volkien finds a mugger in a back alley who just so happen to be a scanner. So Volkien uses his life force sucking technique and completely destroys the mugger (this would be Jonesy, as played by Tony Fasce). We see Jones shrivel up in excruciatingly gross detail (the great John Carl Buechler once again provides the special effects makeup here and it’s quite possibly some of the best stuff he’s ever done for a genre movie) and we see Volkien have what amounts to an orgasm as he consumes Jonesy’s life force.

Now, with all of that going on, we find out that Staziak, with Goodart’s help, has been looking for his biological mother Rachel (Barbara Tarbuck). We’re never really told why Staziak is suddenly so interested in his biological mother, but it adds another element to Staziak’s final confrontation with Volkien. Because, obviously, knowing what Volkien’s personal quest is, it’s only a matter of time before Volkien finds Staziak’s mother and tries to take her life force (she’s a scanner, too).

Scanner Cop II is easily the most graphic of the five Scanners movies, and that really is saying something. Scanner Cop II only has one exploding head (which isn’t as spectacular as the first Scanners exploding head), but what it lacks in exploding heads it makes up for it in forced gooey body transformations. When Volkien succeeds at taking a fellow scanners’ life force it is an absolutely disgusting process that looks incredibly painful. The victim’s skin shrivels up, disappears, and his or her insides liquefy into slop. If Scanner Cop II was a zombie movie it would be the zombie movie of the 1990’s based solely on its special effects makeup. Every effect is an escalation over the last one and some of them will make you squirm (the double scanner life force removal sequence will make you cringe and then laugh, mostly because of Kilpatrick’s brilliant line of “I don’t know art but I know what I like.”). Why isn’t this movie more well-known for these effects?

Image Credit: Republic Pictures

It’s interesting how the scanner phenomena, which no one seemed to know much about in Scanner Cop, is well known in Scanner Cop II. There’s the Neural Center, there’s research on new ephemerol, ephemerol is doled out like methadone in a drug rehab clinic, and, again, Staziak is treated like a superhero of sorts. He pretty much does whatever he wants when he wants to do it, and his boss Bitters is totally fine with it. Staziak’s partner, Detective Jim Mullins (Stephen Mendel), isn’t freaked out by his partner’s abilities, and scanners aren’t treated like second class citizens. It makes you wonder how that kind of social change is started and who helps push the idea that scanners are not the enemy. You’d think there would be some tabloid newspaper or a crusading talk radio show host “exposing” scanners as monsters/bad guys. But then, when you look at the franchise as a whole, how much people know about scanners seems to change from city to city and movie to movie. What the heck do people actually know about scanners in this world?

And then there’s the whole “sucking the life force out of a scanner” thing. Daryl Revok mentioned doing that to Cameron Vale in the first movie but who knew that it was even possible? I figured that what Revok said was just “scanner talk” and it was his way of saying “I’m going to kill you.” And since Vale was Revok’s brother and just as powerful a scanner, perhaps that’s why their scanner fight was ultimately so gruesome. Revok wanted Vale’s life force and Vale fought back. In Scanner Cop II, we know that Staziak is one of the most powerful scanners in the world, and we know that Volkien is becoming more and more powerful with each new scanner kill. We also know that Volkien “discovers” the life force sucking thing by accident while in prison. Why couldn’t Staziak suck out the life force of Volkien? I don’t think he ever would, but the movie never lets on that Staziak can do it, but at the same time if he’s so powerful why wouldn’t he be able to do it if he wanted to? What the hell is so special about Volkien that he can figure out how to suck out the life force of a scanner? Is it an evolution thing where Volkien is a kind of anomaly that needs to reproduce in order to pass on the life force sucking scanner gene? Perhaps this stuff would have been explored in a Scanner Cop III?

And think about the new ephemerol that Staziak is using and allows him to use his scanner abilities with no consequences. How long would it take for that stuff to fall into the wrong hands? And outside of helping a good guy like Staziak use his scanner abilities for the good of humanity, why the hell would non-scanners allow that research to happen? Again, if the new ephemerol falls into the wrong hands and Staziak is unavailable/incapacitated, how the hell are the non-scanner authorities going to handle that threat? Another potential Scanner Cop III plotline.

Image Credit: Republic Pictures

Daniel Quinn once again kicks ass as Samuel Staziak. He’s rocking longer hair and the whole plainclothes sort of scumbum cop thing that we saw throughout the 1980’s and into the 1990’s. Quinn also makes Staziak much more confident than in the first Scanner Cop, which is interesting considering how reserved he was in the first movie. Staziak also seems to be fine with the burden of being the LAPD’s last resort when it comes to dealing with nasty situations. You’d think that kind of thing would be a giant pain in the ass, having to always be on call to deal with the truly awful stuff in Los Angeles. He has good “good guy/bad guy” chemistry with Kilpatrick, and he even has good chemistry with Haje. I would have loved to see what he would have done in a Scanner Cop III.

The great Patrick Kilpatrick is at his demonic bad guy best as the uber psycho scanner Karl Volkien. Kilpatrick has the face, the eyes, and the physical stature to make you terrified of him. And when he starts moving and talking he’s even scarier. And don’t get me started on the whole trench coat thing. How Volkien isn’t a modern sci fi/horror/action icon is simply beyond me. Kilpatrick really is that good here. Awesome stuff.

Khrystyne Haje does a fine job as Carrie Goodart. I was surprised that she turned out to be a scanner mostly because she isn’t a severely damaged person or someone trying to hide something. Goodart may be the first well-adjusted scanner in the entire Scanners franchise. She’s actually a nice person. Amazing. Stephen Mendel also does a fine job as Staziak’s partner Detective Jim Mullins. He doesn’t do much, but he works well with Quinn and seems like a natural fit for Staziak’s partner.

Robert Forster is in the movie for some reason as Captain Bitters. He doesn’t really have anything to do besides talk occasionally with Staziak, give out orders, and look concerned. I’m assuming that he was picked for the movie solely for his name value. Regardless, Forster does a good job here, and if there was a Scanner Cop III I’d assume he would have come back. His character doesn’t die so, why not?

Be on the lookout for Kane Hodder as one of the hostage takers that Staziak deals with at the beginning of the movie. He doesn’t fight Staziak or anything, but he does die in a graphic manner that will make you think twice about eating extra cheese pizza or long noodle spaghetti. Why was Hodder in this movie in such a bit part after Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday? Was it a favor to special effects man Buechler, who directed Hodder in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood? That would be my guess.

Scanner Cop II is a great movie, a true 1990’s B-movie classic. It should be more well-known than it is. The special effects, the performances, they’re all amazing stuff. We need a special edition DVD of this movie now. We really do (Thank you Vinegar Syndrome for making these movies widely available. It had to be done. It really did).

See Scanner Cop II. See it, see it, goddamn see it!

Image Credit: Republic Pictures

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: Well over 10.

Explosions: A few.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: Cops talking on the radio over the opening credits, attempted questioning, a nosebleed, a brutal scissors death, a bitching trench coat, attempted shotgun attack, grand theft auto, scanner headaches, a hostage situation, multiple scanner attacks, multiple attacks on hostage takers via radio, a melted ear, a brick of C-4, multiple forced hallucinations, bomb scanning, breaking and entering, face touching, window breaking, noodle eating, picture fixing, fucking around with a loaded double barrel shotgun, exploding door, gruesome life force sucking, a major bulging body scanner attack, hotel room stealing, more nosebleeds, forced sketching, coma fixing, off screen shotgun blast to the head at point blank range, one weird bath, a flashback, a floating bar of soap, more gross body melt stuff, deflation, vehicular assault, warehouse attack, forklift attack, a falling stack of PVC pipes, life force sucking through a metal fence door, a fucking gross body falls out of its skin bit, double life force sucking, suicide, blocking, janitor killing, screwdriver to the gut, dead body reanimating, a gross as fuck face splitting effect, some body morphing, and an exploding head.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: Patrick Kilpatrick, Patrick Kilpatrick keeping a newspaper clipping with him at all times, an explanation of what scanners are just in case you don’t know, Daniel Quinn, a beeper, Robert Forster, Kane Hodder, Patrick Kilpatrick experiencing an orgasm after sucking the life force out of someone, a video of Patrick Kilpatrick in prison, laundromat hooey, a backspace key being used as part of a computer password, sculpture welding, Patrick Kilpatrick actually referring to Daniel Quinn as “Scanner Cop” multiple times, and an exploding head.

Best lines: “Why does he look so weird? Probably because he’s on something,” “Goddamn power,” “How are you feeling?,” “Do you have any medical condition we should know about?,” “Ephemerol? You’re a scanner?,” “Out of ammunition, sheriff?,” “Are you going to arrest me, Detective Staziak?,” “I need a vest and a headset,” “What the fuck is going on? Where is my goddamn helicopter?,” “Billy? Where the hell have you been?,” “Oh, God help me,” “You’re trying to scan me. I can feel it. Barely,” “Fix it,” “What are you doing? I’m hungry for you,” “Call a medic! She’s in shock,” “Volkien! What the fuck are you doing here?,” “I’m hungry. Fuck you, go to a restaurant. I don’t have any food,” “Yes! The power!,” “Was it good for you, Jonesy?,” “Hit by lightning?,” “I’ve never seen anything like this. I thought you were the expert,” “You know she’s a scanner, right?,” “Pretty girl. Yeah,” “Who is this guy? A scanner,” “Why didn’t you stick around earlier, Karl? I hate it when people shoot and run,” “It’s Volkien,” “We have four dead guards, one dead scanner, and one escaped prisoner. This has not been a good week. It’s only Wednesday,” “Shut up you bitch!,” “I’m gonna kill you. Kill you so bad,” “Didn’t something like this happen in the early 80’s in Toronto?,” “I never rented the room,” “Looks like plenty to me, pal,” “Sarge, who did this?,” “Reload,” “Crush the cop,” “So, you’re asking me to dinner? Yeah, but you’re picking up the tab,” “Fucking perfect,” “Wait! Slow down! Are you saying he’s sucking the life force out of scanners he’s attacking? Like a vampire?,” “What? Volkien just killed another scanner,” “This is a private studio. That’s okay, what I want isn’t so private,” “I may not know art but I know what I like,” “Sam, if you don’t stop him he’s going to kill all of us,” “She always was an odd duck,” “The only thing better than taking you would be taking him,” “I’m waiting for you, scanner cop!,” “Hiya, Sam, long time, no see. Fuck you,” “That tickles. And you’re pathetic,” “I’m going to take my time with you, scanner cop!,” “You’re a real funny guy, Karl,” “I don’t think you have the strength to kill me, Staziak! Think again,” and “Volkien? He won’t be available for questioning.”

Rating: 9.0/10.0



Ranking the Scanners franchise

It’s hard to rank the Scanners movies because, in an overall sense, there are no real stinkers in the series. But, since the internets is all about ranking things, here’s how I see the Scanners franchise. Spots 2 and 3 are essentially tied, although Scanner Cop II may have the edge based on the special effects. Agree? Disagree? Let me know.

1. Scanners
2. Scanner Cop II
3. Scanners III: The Takeover
4. Scanner Cop
5. Scanners II: The New Order


Well, I think that’ll be about it for now. Don’t forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

B-movies rule. Always remember that.

Scanner Cop

Daniel Quinn– Samuel Staziak
Richard Grove– Commander Pete Harrigan
Darlanne Fluegel– Dr. Joan Aldean
Richard Lynch– Karl Glock
Hilary Shepard– Zena
Mark Rolston– Lt. Harry Brown
Christopher Kriesa– Riley
James Horan– Melvin
Gary Hudson– Damon Pratt
Cyndi Pass– Sarah Kopek
Savanah Smith Boucher– Margaret Harrigan
Brion James– Dr. Hampton
Elan Rothschild– Young Samuel

Directed by Pierre David
Screenplay by John Bryant and George Saunders, based on a story by Pierre David and characters created by David Cronenberg

Distributed by Republic Pictures Home Video and Screen Media Ventures

Rated R for strong, gory violence and language
Runtime– 95 minutes

Buy it here or here


Scanner Cop II

Daniel Quinn– Detective Samuel Staziak
Patrick Kilpatrick– Karl Volkien
Khrystyne Haje– Carrie Goodart
Stephen Mendel– Detective Jim Mullins
Robert Forster– Captain Jack Bitters
Brenda Swanson– Glory Avionis
Tony Fasce– Pickpocket Jones
Barbara Tarbuck– Rachel Staziak
Kane Hodder– Kidnapper #1
Rick Avery– Kidnapper #2

Directed by Steve Barnett
Screenplay by Mark Sevi, based on characters created by David Cronenberg

Distributed by Republic Pictures Home Video and Screen Media Ventures

Rated R for graphic violence and some language
Runtime– 95 minutes

Buy it here or here