I have a somewhat tumultuous history with Scanners. It wasn’t that it was released when I was eleven years old, as I had been watching and devouring pretty hardcore movie fare for a few years at that point, but rather because it was a piece of forbidden fruit. My parents had extremely odd ideas about what was appropriate and inappropriate for me to watch, so I was allowed to go to the theater alone to see Alien when I was nine years old, but I was not allowed to watch something like Scanners, which is arguably weirder, but no more graphic. So Scanners was off limits, even though I’d heard from all the usual sources — other kids, mostly, but also from science fiction and horror magazines — that it was a sight to see.
I did manage to get a glimpse of it on cable when it showed there. I didn’t see the infamous exploding head, but I did catch the final scanner-on-scanner battle that inspired the poster and was treated to the sight of the star, Stephen Lack, having his eyeballs burst. That was something that stuck with me. But it wasn’t until years and years later that I was actually able to sit down and watch the whole movie from beginning to end.