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

June 29, 2022 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Scanners III Image Credit: Republic Pictures

From the B-Movie Vault Issue #5: Scanners II: The New Order and Scanners III: The Takeover

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

My reviews of the Scanners franchise continue here with Scanners II: The New Order and Scanners III: The Takeover, two movies that were in almost every video store I frequented back in the day. No one ever seemed to have the first movie, but the second and third? Damn near all of them. The fine folks at Shout! Factory put out a double Blu-ray/DVD combo pack thing back in 2013, which is how I watched both movies when I did my reviews. I had hoped that by now Shout! Factory would have put out extras filled editions for both movies as there isn’t much in the way of solid production info for either movie on the internets and I would love to know more on how the sequels were put together, why it took almost a decade to get a sequel, and why David Cronenberg wasn’t involved in any of them. I know I’m not the only one wanting to know more about these movies.

And now, without any further what have you, the next From the B-Movie Vault reviews: Scanners II: The New Order and Scanners III: The Takeover . Enjoy.


The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #427: Scanners II: The New Order

Scanners September: Week 2

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never had to subdue gun wielding psychos committing a convenience store robbery using telekinesis because, in the real world, telekinesis is bullshit, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number four hundred and twenty-seven, Scanners September continues with Scanners II: The New Order, which hit movie screens in June of 1991.

Scanners II: The New Order

Image Credit: Triton Pictures

Scanners II: The New Order, directed by Christian Duguay, doesn’t seem like the kind of movie that should be a “part two” in a franchise that started with something like the first Scanners. Instead, The New Order feels like it should be a part 4 or 5, something that was created to cash in on the success of the first three movies that would have formed the “original Scanners Trilogy.” The New Order came out ten years or so after the first movie and it looks like the kind of movie that you would find in a video store back in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s (I believe The New Order did receive some sort of theatrical release but I can’t outright confirm that), and when you look at its plot it seems a little too low rent to be a direct sequel to the first movie. But that isn’t to say that Scanners II: The New Order is a bad movie. It isn’t. It isn’t a great movie or a great sequel, but it is very watchable and fun.

The New Order stars David Hewlett as David Kellum, a smart/sort of slackerish college student studying to be a veterinarian. He’s in the big city for the first time and seems to have an issue showing up on time for his classes (we see him show up late for a surgery class). David also has weird headaches at random times, headaches that make him miserable when they occur as there’s no real relief for them. David is sweet on Alice Leonardo (Isabelle Mejias), a fellow vet student who just so happens to have the hots for him. In fact, Alice actually asks David out on a date and damn near jumps his bones on a public escalator. While grabbing some groceries from a convenience store, two psycho robbers show up and jack the place, killing two clerks while stealing Alice’s purse (those bastards!). In the midst of the robbery, David reveals/realizes that he has the ability to control people and things with his mind and he springs into action, disarming both criminals and popping the skull of one (one of the movie’s top gore moments). David’s sort of vigilante justice/amazing ability is caught on the store’s surveillance camera and the footage draws the attention of John Forrester (Yvan Ponton), a police commander with major plans to take over the city.

How the hell could Commander Forrester take over the city? Forrester is working with a Doctor Morse (Tom Butler), a scientist researching the scanner phenomena. Morse is in the midst of developing a new drug, F2, that’s used to help control scanners and their scanning ability. The drug is successful to a point, as scanners can become super addicted to it, and when they become addicted to it their scanning ability is essentially non-existent. Forrester’s big scheme is to use the scanners that he finds roaming the streets, give them to Morse in order to make them malleable, and then use their scanning ability to take over the city government and control the minds of the people living in the city. Forrester is tired of the crime and whatnot he deals with on a daily basis and seems to think that his scanning scheme will allow him to, once and for all, rid the city of crime and criminals. However, Forrester is pissed with Morse’s research as too many scanners end up addicted to F2. He needs as many scanners as he can get to “do what needs to be done.”

So Forrester sees the David Kellum footage, realizes David is a scanner, and immediately tries to recruit him to his plan. Forrester doesn’t tell David his entire plan, as he’s pretty sure that David wouldn’t cooperate if he knew the truth, but he does feed him a story about how he can help people if he uses his scanning ability in conjunction with the police. David is a bit leery of teaming up with the police at first, but he eventually agrees to work with Forrester and Morse because, hey, who wouldn’t want to stop the bad guys? David’s first task is to find out who is poisoning the city’s milk supply (he roots out the culprit fairly quickly and is heralded as a kind of hero).

Now, while all of that is going on, we see Forrester engaging in what amounts to seriously unethical behavior in setting up his overall scanner operation. With the help of psycho scanner Peter Drak (Raul Trujillo) and some other “zombie” scanners (I don’t know what else to call them), Forrester takes out multiple underworld figures, killing lawyers and stealing money and cocaine. We also see Forrester annoy his boss, the police chief (Chief Stokes, as played by Tom Harvey), and the mayor (Dorothee Berryman) by staging unauthorized press conferences. Forrester sends Drak to kill the police chief in his own home, which leads to the mayor having to pick a new police chief. Forrester was not on the mayor’s list.

And that’s where David, naïve about what the hell is really going on, comes in. Forrester takes David to the big hooha press conference where the mayor is set to announce her new pick to be chief of police and has David use his scanning ability to cloud the mayor’s mind and pick Forrester for the job. After accepting the position he was never supposed to get, the mayor decides to make Forrester an interim police chief (she wants to find out how the hell she messed up her own press conference). Forrester is fine with the “interim” label because it will allow him to make the next step in his big city takeover plan.

Now, while all of that is going on, David realizes he’s been had and goes to see Morse to get some answers. Did the injection of F2 he received mess with his mind? David wants to know. Morse refuses to provide adequate answers, and Forrester shows up pissed off that David wants answers about anything. After some scanning shenanigans, David breaks out of Morse’s lab and heads to Vermont to see his parents to see if they have any answers regarding this scanner stuff. How did all of this happen?

So David arrives in Vermont, talks to his parents (George and Susan Kellum, as played by Murray Westgate and Doris Petrie), finds out that George and Susan are not his real parents, and that his scanning ability is something he was born with. His parents, Cameron Vale and Kim Obrist from the first movie, gave him up when he was a child. David also finds out that he has a sister, a Julie Vale (Deborah Raffin). It’s at this point that Drak and main police henchman Lt. Gelson (Vlasta Vrana) show up at David’s parents’ house and start killing people. David manages to escape. So David finds his sister, connects with her, and then the shit’s on. Forrester, Morse, and all the rest, they’re going down.

What’s weird about The New Order is how the whole scanning phenomena isn’t more well-known in the general society. The government doesn’t seem to be all that engaged in tracking scanners/searching for scanners/exploiting scanners, something you’d expect to see with this kind of story. And regular people, twenty or so years after the end of the first movie, don’t seem to be aware of the presence of telepaths at all. Even if the number of scanners is still fairly low (the first movie claimed that there were like 235 scanners in the world. There would be, maybe, a few thousand now in the world of The New Order?) wouldn’t the media have found out about them by now and created mass hysteria? It’s also strange that there are so many scanners in this one city. What the hell is so special about this city that it attracts so many scanners? The movie never gets into that.

And think about this: Forrester is a freaking psycho. The man has delusions of grandeur, he’s hell bent on controlling everyone and everything, and he’s all about power. Why would he only want to take over the city? Why not want to take over the state, the country, and eventually the world? Forrester’s big scheme seems like a big waste of villainous resources.

And then there’s the Morse Neurological Research Institute. Why is the institute only based in this one city? Why doesn’t it have a larger overall footprint both nationally and internationally? How many research institutes do you know that only work in one city? And why does it seem as though Morse only works on scanners? How does the institute know about scanners but no one else does?

And then there’s the big question: how the hell does David “look” like his father, Cameron Vale? What, exactly, does that mean? David’s sister Julie tells him that he looks “so much like father.” What? In a way, Hewlett does have a passing resemblance to the first movie’s star, Stephen Lack, but Stephen Lack doesn’t really exist anymore at the end of the first movie. I mean, right? Lack’s Vale was a burned up husk at the end of Scanners and his consciousness passed into the body of Michael Ironside’s Darryl Revok. Revok did, sort of, have Vale’s eyes at the end of the first movie, but is that what Julie was talking about when she first meets David? I doubt that. So what the hell happened? Shouldn’t David look like Michael Ironside? Did Vale’s sperm somehow pass into Revok’s body, too, when they had their “scanner off” at the end of the first movie? Am I thinking about this too much? Maybe. It could be all about the eyes.

If you can just accept the movie as it is and keep those big questions out of your mind, The New Order is pretty good. It’s a little too long, it drags every so often, but it has solid action and gore moments and a good cast. Once again, there’s a terrific exploding head scene (it isn’t as gooey as the first movie but it would be difficult to top that scene in terms of gooiness anyway). There’s also a cool, absolutely disgusting scene where the top of a guy’s head pops open and his brains ooze out. It’s like watching someone pop a giant zit. There’s also a great practical effect at the end of the movie involving a face and head morphing into a grotesque “Elephant Man” type deal. Scanners can do that? Yes, apparently they can.

The New Order relies more on action than the first Scanners, which was pretty action packed in terms of gun battles, car chases, and explosions. I’m assuming the action was amped up because the movie wasn’t going to get into any philosophical stuff about what scanners are, why scanners exist in the big scheme of things, and what should be done about them, etc. And, since this is a ten years later sequel and was likely produced to make money on home video, who has time to think about any of that stuff? Bring on the gore and exploding heads and whatnot. I can appreciate that, and I do. Do I wish there was more discussion about the presence of scanners in the world? Sure. But if there’s no time for that, blow up another head. Or shotgun someone in the face. You know, whichever is easier.

David Hewlett does a good job as David Kellum. He knows when he has to be a hero and he knows when he has to be a “regular” person with a strange affliction. Hewlett also doesn’t look ridiculous in “scanner” mode, which is what you need when appearing in this kind of movie. Shaking, staring, that whole open mouth thing; that can all look insanely ridiculous if not done right. Hewlett never looks ridiculous. Since a third Scanners was made, why didn’t Hewlett star in that movie? Why didn’t the franchise revolve around him going forward?

The now late but always great Deborah Raffin doesn’t show up until the last third of the movie, but when she does show up she’s game. She doesn’t really get to do the full on scanner thing like Hewlett but she does get to do a few neat scenes where she stares off into space wearing weird contact lenses. They will freak you out. She also a weird chemistry with Hewlett that could have been exploited further if part three had focused on their further adventures. I’m sure it would have been good stuff.

Isabelle Mejias does a fine job as David’s girlfriend Alice. She’s smart, she’s strong, she’s persistently understanding, and she’s hot, which makes her the greatest girlfriend of all time. I think you’ll dig how she’s totally okay with David’s scanning ability. And check out the scene where she throws a pot of hot soup into a bad guy’s face. That’s what you call resourcefulness.

Yvan Ponton is absolutely despicable as Commander John Forrester. You don’t like him at all the first time you see him because you just know he’s up to some bullshit, and when you find out what he’s up to you hate him even more. Yes, his ultimate goals are a little too small, in the long run, but that doesn’t make him any less heinous. It’s always nice to root against a piece of shit when you get the chance to.

Tom Butler, as Doctor Morse, is a slightly different situation. He’s a villain, his experiments on scanners, his drug development scheme, it’s all appalling, but at the same time he doesn’t seem to be all that heavily into the villain thing. He isn’t as committed, or at least he doesn’t come off as dedicated, to villainy as Forrester. Why did Butler go that route with the character? Did director Duguay want Butler to be that low key or is that what Butler wanted to do?

And then there’s Raoul Trujillo as Peter Drak, the first scanner we see in the movie. He’s just as awful as Forrester but he’s also a scanner who is totally down with being controlled by Forrester and buys into Forrester’s scheme. That seems counterproductive to the scanner cause. But then Drak is also addicted to the F2 drug and is all about setting up his next hit. That’s all he cares about (well, he also gets a kick out of killing people, so he has that going for him, too). Check out Drak’s scene in the arcade that opens the movie, where he scans a Operation Wolf game cabinet and goes batshit with the Uzi. Terrifying, hilarious, and weird as hell.

Scanners II: The New Order isn’t what I expected out of a Scanners part two. It doesn’t feel like it should even be a part two. But, since it is the part two that we have, it’s pretty good. It could have been better, sure, but it’s not bad. It’s a fun movie. I liked it.

So see Scanners II: The New Order. See it, see it, see it. It’s worth checking out, even if it doesn’t exactly live up to the promise of a potential Scanners sequel.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: Around 20.

Explosions: One (I’m including the exploding head here).

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: Multiple overhead shots of an unnamed big city somewhere, a brief foot chase, video arcade hooey, popcorn stealing, popcorn throwing, quarter stealing, video game playing, a weird overload experience inside of the arcade, multiple exploding arcade cabinets, window cleaning, a room full of mannequins, multiple scanner meltdowns, metal shelf breaking, mannequin destruction, tranquilizer gun hooey, fucking with a cop’s mind, flashbang grenade attack, tranquilizer dart to the neck, a secret lab, a neck injection, animal surgery, a seriously diseased puppy, dog mind reading, flirting, kissing on an escalator, a surveillance operation, using zombie scanners to do underworld crime stuff, lawyer killing, money and cocaine stealing, security guard killing, multiple instances of body throwing, a puppy present, a convenience store robbery that turns incredibly violent for no reason, some serious head popping, a nosebleed, crime solving, fucking around with a nurse, off screen hospital room sex, press conference hooey, more tranquilizer dart hooey, serious shotgun hooey, old people beating, firing a gun up against a phone receiver, a wicked headshot, machine gun hooey, bike cop attack with crash, puppy abuse, hot soup to the face, death by being forced to lay down on top of a bunch of needles, exploding head, guard booth guard killing, more machine gun hooey, forced double Uzi suicide, spinning, a wild scan off, serious body melt, some serious body transformation, and a major confession.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: A guy controlling a video game with his mind, a radio news update, street music players that have a set up where the only way to hear the music is via headphones, Trooper the puppy, a “Sorry! No milk today!” sign, measuring psychic energy waves, a guy using a water pick, a forced suicide, Vermont, Deborah Raffin, a wicked pipe ramp car stunt, weird smoky white eyes, exploding head, and a major confession.

Best lines: “I think we found another one. Get ready,” “Shut up!,” “What are you looking at? You’re not allowed to look at me!,” “Scanners? Are you sure?,” “My name is Dr. Morse. My specialty is the study of scanners,” “What’s the matter? Squeamish?,” “Pathology? On a Friday night? David, that’s pathetic,” “Scum,” “You call that functional?,” “What we need is a clean scanner. A virgin mind,” “What kind of sicko would stick strychnine in a kid’s milk?,” “You tell me. A beautiful, beautiful scanner,” “The migraines are more than just headaches?,” “I need another shot,” “Power obliges us, David,” “God, what are you doing to me?,” “Put the gun under your tongue,” “Aren’t you going to tell me what’s the matter?,” “See what a clean scanner can do?,” “Now, David, two things to remember. First. Never question my authority. And two, never, ever scan me!,” “God, you look so much like father,” “Don’t scan me! I don’t like it,” “Have a cigarette. I don’t smoke!,” “If you want to slip into my mind, go gently,” “Get behind my eyes and look out,” “I’ve waited eight years for this,” “Let’s give the doctor a taste of his own medicine,” “This is fun. It’s like playing with a puppy,” “Excuse me, sire, apparently there’s been an emergency,” “I did it to save society!,” and “No more killing.”

Rating: 7.5/10.0


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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


The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #428: Scanners III: The Takeover

Scanners September: Week 3

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never once thought about going to Thailand to mellow out, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number four hundred and twenty-eight, “Scanners” September continues with Scanners III: The Takeover, which hit home video in May of 1992.

Scanners III: The Takeover

Image Credit: Republic Pictures

Scanners III: The Takeover, also known as Scanners 3: The Takeover, is the second Scanners sequel directed by Christian Duguay, and, much like Scanners II: The New Order,, it has very little, if anything, to do with the first Scanners by David Cronenberg. In fact, The Takeover has almost nothing to do with The New Order, which came out one year before The Takeover. I have no idea why the movie’s producers and director Duguay didn’t do a direct sequel to The New Order or why The Takeover is a part three instead of a part six, but The Takeover is a highly entertaining bit of low budget sci-fi horror action insanity. It may even be better than The New Order.

The Takeover stars Steve Parrish as Alex Monet, a scanner who, after accidentally killing his best friend while fucking around at a Christmas party (people at the party egged Alex on to do a “scanner trick” that ended with Alex’s best friend being launched off a tall building), decides to go off to Thailand to meditate and center himself and whatnot. While Alex hangs out in Thailand dealing with his guilt and shit, his sister Helena (the uber sexy Liliana Komorowska) tries to live her life in the big city as best she can. She has a good job, an attentive friend (Joyce Stone, as played by Valerie Valois. Joyce also happens to be Alex’s girlfriend), and a doting scientist father (Elton Monet, as played Colin Fox). Her scanning powers, though, are a major problem, as Helena gets splitting headaches again and again. After taking out some muggers while shopping with Joyce, Helena finds out that her father has been working on a new scanner drug called EPH-3. This new drug, which is still considered experimental when she finds out about it, is supposed to help with the scanner headaches and make life easier for scanners. However, since EPH-3 is, again, considered experimental, it may have debilitating side effects. Helena’s old scanner drugs are just not cutting it anymore. She needs some kind of new relief. So Helena decides to become a kind of guinea pig for her father’s new scanner drug. What’s the worst that could happen?

As soon as Helena attaches the EPH-3 apparatus to the spot behind her ear she starts to feel better. Her headaches are gone and, amazingly, she has a new confidence that she never quite had before. She feels as though she can seize the goddamn day and, who knows, maybe take over the world? So with that new confidence Helena decides to start acting in her own self-interest. She makes a fool of famous person and sort of business client Mark Dragon (Peter Wright), she takes out her old tormenter, the sleazy as hell Dr. Baumann (Harry Hill), in the classic scanner way (it’s a head explosion that rivals the first movie’s head explosion, and Helena takes a polaroid of it, which is just hilarious), and she kills her father. Kills her father? The guy who doted on her so much?

Yes. One of the side effects of the new EPH-3 is a kind of paranoia that makes the user a telepathic psycho. Helena wants to continue to use EPH-3 to “make her life better,” and she sees her father as an impediment to that. Dr. Monet, even after seeing his daughter’s “success,” wants her to discontinue use of the drug. It’s killing her mind and making her dangerous. Well, that kind of talk is a threat, and Helena deals with it the only way she knows how: she gets naked, gets in her father’s hot tub, uses her scanner abilities to make him come to the hot tub, and then drowns him in that hot tub. Was he really asking for that? Helena thought so.

So after her father’s “apparent accidental death” in the hot tub, Helena tries to take over her father’s pharmaceutical company. However, her father’s right hand man/business partner Michael (Daniel Pilon) is against Helena taking over the family business. Dr. Monet had always intended for Alex to take over in the event that something happened to him. On top of that, Michael can see that Helena has changed and suspects that she could be directly responsible for her father’s death. Michael intends to track down Alex and make him aware of what’s going on. But where the heck is Alex in Thailand?

So Michael goes to Thailand, finds Alex, and tells him what the heck is going on. Alex, upset about his father’s death, isn’t all that interested in taking over the family business. Alex still has his own personal stuff to figure out, and doesn’t want to mess up that progress by going back home. The Buddhist monks Alex deal with in Thailand disagree with his assessment of his personal progress, but Alex still can’t get over what he did to his best friend.

It’s at this point that Alex finds out that it doesn’t really matter what he personally feels about his life progress, he needs to get back home and deal with his sister. See, she sent a scanner henchman to Thailand to shadow Michael and, when he found Alex, shadow him, too. The scanner henchman, who was also abused by Dr. Baumann back in the day and is a EPH-3 user, hires some local kung fu hooligans, gets them to kill Michael and assault Alex, hoping to kill him, too. However, Alex, despite being distraught about all of the violence around him, isn’t going down without a fight and uses his own scanning abilities to take out the hooligans and the scanner henchman (one of the greatest small explosions in low budget movie history). What the hell is really going on here? What has Helena set into motion?

So Alex goes back home, meets with Helena, and realizes she has to be stopped before she does something so horrible that she can’t walk back from it. At the same time, Helena is upset that her brother is back in town. She still loves him, sure, but she loves her new position in life more than him, and she isn’t going to allow him to screw up what she has managed to build. The family business has expanded into other areas of potential profitability. She thinks she’s found a way to mass produce EPH-3 without any nasty side effects. She has a cable network to exploit (she gets that while using her scanning ability on poor Mark Dragon, who dies in absolutely brutal fashion). And she thinks she’s found a way to exert her direct influence on people outside of the family business. Helena is also way more sexual than she ever was before. She isn’t giving up banging hot dudes who work for her for anyone, so sweet brother Alex can go fuck himself.

Even though Scanners III: The Takeover starts in essentially the same way as The New Order (The Takeover actually starts with a quick explanation of what the EPH drugs are but the movie doesn’t really need that opening explanation), once we find out who the scanners are you can tell that the movie is going to be different from The New Order. It’s going to be a little more personal and it’s going to deal with some actual scanner family stuff, something that the previous two movies only sort of touched on. And the scanner phenomena is also now more well-known and isn’t all that scary. You’d think that the knowledge of scanners would freak people out. I mean, telepaths that can control people and kill people with their minds? How is that not, at least, deeply concerning?

The Takeover is also even more action oriented than The New Order. The New Order actually seemed like it strived to be more of a sci-fi/horror movie. The Takeover makes an effort to feel more like an action movie. The Thailand subplot helps (think about how many action movies over the years feature people travelling to far off places to find themselves only to come back home to deal with violence), as well as the whole “Helena creates her own scanner army of henchmen” thing. The sequences on the roof, where Alex is being chased by heavily armed scanners are also a fine example of this. And check out the underwater scene. How many massive explosions do you see like that one? And check out that mugging scene in the alley. That’s a great action scene. And since we don’t see what happens to the muggers after they go into the garbage truck, that’s how you know The Takeover is more of an action movie. A horror movie would have shown those muggers getting crushed to death.

That exploding motorcycle stunt? Holy shit. That’s all I can say about it. You have to see it. Again, holy shit.

The scenes in Thailand were apparently actually filmed in Thailand, which is always a worthwhile action movie location. It would have been cool if Alex engaged in some actual martial arts fighting while doing the scanning thing, but that doesn’t happen. I would like to know why the Buddhist monks that train Alex to calm his mind and all that didn’t also teach him martial arts as part of that calming plan. Maybe the production didn’t have enough time to get Steve Parrish in fighting shape? At least the actual Thailand locals kick ass as real deal martial artists and stuntmen.

The Takeover is also the first Scanners movie to feature on screen nudity, which helps give the movie a sleazy quality that even the first movie didn’t try to do. That seems weird considering that David Cronenberg directed that movie, but that’s the way the franchise worked itself out. I’m also going to assume that the nudity is in the movie to give it an extra selling point on the video store shelf. Yes, The Takeover has gore and action in it, but it also has nudity! Boobs! Wouldn’t you rather watch that than two or more people having a conversation? Of course you would. And, heck, when you have an actress as hot and sexy as Liliana Komorowska and she’s willing to disrobe, why wouldn’t you take advantage of it? Valerie Valois also gets naked, too, which is cool. Now, I don’t want to oversell this nudity like The Takeover is some softcore cable porno movie. It isn’t. But the boobs on display here provide another dimension to the movie. Why did it take three movies to get to that dimension?

The end credits do not have music playing over them. In fact, I don’t think The Takeover even has a theme like the first two movies. Why is that? I don’t get it. It’s not like the ending is so shocking that the movie doesn’t need music over the credits.

And then there’s the way the story plays out at the end. Helena’s big scheme doesn’t play as big as it should be. If she’s trying to take over the world, shouldn’t she be using her TV signal to overwhelm other stations and take them over, too? The football scene is pretty cool, though. How often do you see stock footage sequences end with someone’s brains oozing out of a football helmet?

The main cast is great. Steve Parrish, who actually gets third billing in the opening and ending credits, is a fine, conflicted hero as Alex. He sells the whole “needing to go to Thailand to deal with his personal issues” thing, which could have been ridiculous with a lesser actor. Parrish also sells the “manipulating people with his mind” thing, which is what all good scanner actors need to do. I do wish he engaged in some martial arts stuff as that would have made his Thailand excursion so much cooler. Parrish has only done a few things in his career (his imdb says that he took time off from his acting career to raise his son, which is commendable), but it seems like he’s trying to get back into the acting game. I’d like to see more from him.

Image Credit: Republic Pictures

Lilian Komorowska is brilliant as Helena. She’s sweet and nice at first, but when she starts taking the EPH-3 drug she becomes damn near demonic. And that’s awesome. She’s mean, she’s awful, and she has no problem killing people to get her way because, goddamit, she wants more from life. And she’s also incredibly sexy, which makes watching her onscreen easier. Check out the scene where she discovers she can manipulate people through a video camera. If you don’t find that sequence hot as hell there’s something wrong with you. My favorite Komorowska scene? The one where she makes Peter Wright’s Mark Dragon jump into an empty pool. Compare that to her first scene with Dragon in the restaurant. That scene was funny. The pool scene? It will make you cringe. The exploding head thing is pretty awesome, too. Komorowska really sells that bit. After The Takedown why didn’t she become a bigger horror or sci-fi star? She should have. She really should have.

Valerie Valois also does a fine job as Joyce Stone, Alex’s girlfriend. You feel for her when Alex goes away and she’s forced to interact with Helena, and when Helena starts manipulating her you feel even more for her. Is she even going to survive Helena’s rampage? Daniel Pilon does a god job as Michael, Dr. Monet’s right hand man who is suspicious of Helena and her new behavior. I think you’ll be surprised at how bad things go for him. The same goes for Peter Wright, the poor Mark Dragon. Check out what he goes through.

And then there’s the great Colin Fox as Elton Monet. He gives the movie both a humor and a gravitas that only he could, as he knows how to be both super serious and kind of goofy effortlessly. His hot tub death scene is a great example of what I’m talking about here. Fox goes from being pissed off and terrified about what’s happening in front of him to shocked and goofy while being forced by his naked daughter to drown himself in the tub. It’s an amazing scene.

And Scanners III: The Takeover is an amazing sequel. It’s fun, terrifying, sexy, and superbly entertaining. It peters out a bit at the end, but it still strives to be super watchable. I said at the beginning that The Takeover may be better than Scanners II: The New Order. After writing about it and thinking about it, The Takeover is better than The New Order. It has nothing to do with the superior Scanners, but it’s still worth seeing. Track it down and check it out.

See Scanners III: The Takeover. See it, see it, see it. It’s awesome.

Image Credit: Republic Pictures

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: Around 20. It can’t be less than that.

Explosions: Yes, both big and small. A big improvement over The New Order.

Nudity?: Yes, and it’s pretty goddamn awesome.

Doobage: Bullshit about “the scanner gene,” a big hooha Christmas party where scanners are allowed to attend, a sweet necklace, a scanning demonstration that ends badly, body falling, a brief scanner meltdown, car window smashing, testicle kicking, attempted rape, body flinging, off screen death via garbage truck crusher, a nifty briefcase, a freaky flashback, abuse, pills in the refrigerator for some reason, bird shit, exploding bird, bird feathers, meditation, spilled champagne, forced dancing, an impromptu striptease, boxer shorts that have kissy lips on them, guy being flung into a piano, exploding bloody fingertip, mega exploding head, a flashlight that subdues scanners, attempted tranquilizer gun attack, needle through the tongue, a scanner army, a forced death inside of a hot tub, apple crushing, customs bullshit, a slow motion kick to the face, referee kicking, serious neck breaking, more body flinging, scanner kung fu, three wheel taxi stealing, exploding three wheel taxi, cigar smoking, a scary speech, sex with a guy named George, some very hot red lingerie, a bit where a guy is forced to extinguish a cigar in his hand, a laptop computer, death via guy being forced to dive into a pool with no water in it, a sort of sex tape, forced cigar smoking, an old motorcycle, a hot blonde nurse, attempted sex on a pool table, a sort of scanner mafia, a torture table with duel lasers, a wicked window jump stunt, a motorcycle/short bus chase through the streets of the big city, seriously red eyes, shotgun hooey, an insane exploding motorcycle stunt, forced swimming, an underwater scanner fight, a second exploding head that could actually be an entire exploding body because the whole thing takes place underwater and we only see the aftermath of it, more sex, more meditation, a rooftop scanner fight, grappling hook hooey, Uzi attack, exploding statue, multiple shotgun explosions, bloody arm removal, windshield wiper hooey, a funny autopsy bit, a violent decapitation during a football game on TV, fried chicken hooey, forced bullet to the head suicide, woman thrown through a glass window, death by swirling door that somehow turns a guy’s body to bloody mush, multiple fake walls, exploding TV equipment, a collapsing TV set, bulging heads, a gross as hell neck bulge, electrocution, and a bizarre ending.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: Scanners 3 instead of Scanners III, people talking about scanners, scanner butt grabbing, Thailand, Colin Fox, swanky restaurant with a live piano player, a TV guy named Dragon who is a douchebag, exploding head, a flashlight that can subdue scanners somehow, Path of Enlightenment book, a guy reading Shakespeare at bedtime for some reason, loud music, a three wheeled motor taxi, Thai kickboxing, a yuppie douchebag exercise bike, rape accusations, an explanation of internal scanner rage, a pathologist washing his hands while listening to classical music, stock footage of a football game that everyone in the world is allegedly watching, a lack of closing credits music, and a misspelled last credit.

Best lines: “You know what they say, the moment that they look at you they have you,” “Scan? You guys talking about scanners?,” “Party pooper,” “Come on, Alex, you can do better than that,” “Hey, lady, suck on this!,” “I haven’t scanned anyone since I was twelve years old,” “Helena, are you all right? I have a headache, Dad,” “As you know, there’s no such thing as a scanner lab rat,” “You stupid creature,” “What’s with her?,” “What exactly am I doing here Mr. Dragon?,” “You want to be the big cheese one day? Watch a master at work,” “Don’t take it personal, Mark, but you just fucked with the wrong person,” “Hey, lady, looking for someone?,” “Did you ever play doctor when you were a kid?,” “I killed my best friend with my special power,” “It’s the drug! Take it off!,” “Nothing personal, Daddy, but with you around I’d never get control of your company,” “Welcome to Thailand. Yeah, right,” “There’s a long way between theory and practice,” “Hey, Alex! Long way from Bauman’s clinic, huh?,” “Do you have a girlfriend? Yes. Ditch her. You’re going to be a very… busy… boy,” “Ooh, yeah, let’s make it with the naked nasty,” “Helena? Who the hell let you in here?,” “Well, let me tell you something, you don’t have a hope in hell, because I, personally, am going to rip off your balls and shove them down your throat. I don’t have any balls, Mark,” “How about a nice, cool dip in the old pool?,” “It was deliberate, calculated, cold-blooded murder!,” “Can you keep a secret? Yeah, they’re not real,” “Faster! Faster!,” “I had to kill a man today,” “I hate this bloody city,” “I wanted to get you between the sheets but this is ridiculous,” “Who are you? I’m temporary. Not too temporary, I hope,” “Mind if I use your phone? Is it a local call?,” “Are you ready for the second act? I’ll give you a second act,” “Give it a rest, Helena,” and “You pathetic weakling!”

Rating: 8.5/10.0


Image Credit: Scream Factory


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.

Scanners II: The New Order

David Hewlett– David Kellum
Deborah Raffin– Julie Vale
Yvon Ponton– Commander John Forrester
Isabelle Mejias– Alice Leonardo
Tom Butler– Doctor Morse
Raoul Trujillo– Peter Drak
Vlasta Vrana– Lt. Gelson
Murray Westgate– George Kellum
Doris Petrie– Susan Kellum
Dorothee Berryman– Mayor
Tom Harvey– Chief Stokes

Directed by Christian Duguay
Screenplay by B.J. Nelson, based on characters created by David Cronenberg

Distributed by Image Entertainment, Media Home Entertainment, Video Treasures, and Shout! Factory

Rated R for strong violence and graphic sci-fi action
Runtime– 104 minutes

Buy it here or here

Scanners III: The Takeover

Liliana Komorowska– Helena Monet
Valerie Valois– Joyce Stone
Steve Parrish– Alex Monet
Colin Fox– Elton Monet
Daniel Pilon– Michael
Peter Wright– Mark Dragon
Harry Hill– Dr. Baumann
Sith Sekae– Monk

Directed by Christian Duguay
Screenplay by B.J. Nelson, Julie Richard, and David Preston, based on characters created by David Cronenberg

Distributed by Republic Pictures Home Video, Screen Media Ventures, and Shout! Factory

Rated Rfor graphic violence, language, and nudity
Runtime– 101 minutes

Buy it here or here