The Curator of Schlock #72 by Jeff Shuster

Scanners II: The New Order

(Same as the Old Order)

scanners iiI have it on good authority that David Cronenberg refuses to give his blessing on a Scanners remake. This leads me to the inevitable conclusion that he must have approved the Scanners sequels. Oh yeah. I bet you didn’t know there were Scanners sequels. I bet you didn’t know there were four sequels to Scanners. There may be more than four, but I’m not digging any deeper. I’m also too cheap to buy these suckers, but luckily Hulu shows them free of charge, with some commercial interruptions. The asterisks thing worked last week, so why mess with a good thing?

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Scanners 2 starts out promising enough. There’s this whole Blade Runner thing going on with some Vangelis -nspired music (unless Vangelis was hard up for some cash and actually composed the score for this diamond in the rough.) Some homeless guy enters a video arcade that seems like a big hit with the younglings.

scanners ii 4The homeless guy steals some popcorn and quarters, plays a round of Operation Wolf without even touching the light gun, blows up a few pinball machines with his mind, and telekinetically throws some security guards around. You see, this is why I don’t like Scanners. They have no respect for private property! He collects mannequins too! Maybe he’s waiting for one to turn into Kim Cattrall.

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It’s only after the commercial break that I discovered that the creepy homeless guy isn’t our protagonist. Our hero’s name is Mr. Kellum and he’s studying how to do open bypass surgery on dogs. He likes puppies and is from Vermont. Now he’s living in the big city where random women ask him out to dinner at Italian restaurants and even kiss on the first date!

Scanners-II-2There are Scanner drug-dealing robbers who can scan people to death. The chief of police wants to find a Scanner with a virgin mind for some new order he’s creating. I have yet to see one head explode. So disappointing.

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Mr. Kellum goes to get some pesto sauce for at the request of his date. I think she’s boiling spaghetti in a pot. (I’m not a big fan of pesto. Just throwing that out there. It’s an overrated sauce.) A bunch of bank robbers decide to rob the convenience store, shooting some people in the process just for kicks. Mr. Kellum unleashes his scanner rage on the robbers managing to burst the brains out of the back of one of the robber’s skull. Not as good as the Cronenberg classic, but not too bad.

I’m only about 35 minutes into this movie and I can already tell this is a Canadian production.

Scanners-II-1It smells of those early 90s Universal Action Pack movies and syndicated television shows like Time Trax and Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. Scanners II: The New Order does hail from 1991 and was directed by Christian Duguay. He was born in Quebec. Aha! I knew it!

Entertainment News - June 29, 2011His directing credits include Hitler: The Rise of Evil and Lies My Mother Told Me.

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For the rest of the movie Mr. Kellum becomes a kind of scanner cop. He attacks a milk poisoner at a milk factory who goes by the name of The Milk Murderer. The Milk Murderer was angry that he never made manager at the milk factory so he poisoned two cartons with strychnine. The homeless makes some old guy blow his brains out. The chief of police makes Mr. Kellum scan Mayor Frazoni so he can become new acting dictator of the city. What? I can’t keep track of this movie anymore! I’ve lost the plot. Scanners II is just plain goofy!

 5 Things I Learned from Scanners II: The New Order

  1. Scanners can hear a person’s thoughts. Oh wait. Oh wait! I learned that from the first Scanners movie.
  2. There’s a lot of snow in Canada.
  3. Scanners aren’t tools to be used for the betterment of society!
  4. Scanners don’t think they’re human. See! They think they’re better than the rest of us!
  5. Scanners can never know true love.

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Photo by Leslie Salas

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102, episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA candidate at the University of Central Florida.
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