[REVIEW] Scanners

ScannersThis film was written and directed by David Cronenberg. Now you know if you want to see it.

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.

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[REVIEW] Retro Puppet Master

Retro Puppet MasterIt’s taken a really, really long time for me to get through the Puppet Master series. Much longer than I intended, actually. My original thought was that I’d knock these reviews out in a couple or three months, checking in with Andre Toulon’s creations every week or so. But I hemmed and I hawed and eventually just forgot completely about reviewing any of them, thus creating a four-year gap between my reviews of the fifth and sixth films.

I’ll say that Curse of the Puppet, the sixth film, did not give me a whole lot of hope for the series. It was cheap and dull and lacking that certain something that makes a low-budget picture palatable. My wife actually laughed out loud at the climax, which was meant to be totally serious, and that’s a black mark indeed. But I didn’t want to let another four years pass before I checked in with the Puppet Master movies again, so I quickly moved on to Retro Puppet Master, the seventh installment in the one-billion-part series.

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