Media Home Entertainment knew what was up. We wanted more Scanners and we didn’t care where we got it. Christian Duguay, who would direct the third film in this series and Screamers, took over for David Cronenberg and suddenly, we had a whole new story to watch.
David Hewlett plays David Kellum, a veterinary student that gains the power to hear thoughts. Soon, this becomes overwhelming. Yet when he stops a robbery by exploding the head of a criminal, police chief John Forrester offers him a job tracking down criminals, like a man who is putting strychnine in milk containers, making this movie in the poisoned milk genre along with The Cat O’Nine Tails, The Two Mrs. Carrolls, Impulse, The Woods, Confessions, Edge of Darkness and Revenge of the Living Dead Girls.
Of course, Forrester just wants to take over the city and is using another Scanner named Drak to murder the mayor and to kill our hero’s parents. Well, adoptive parents, as his real mom and dad are Cameron Vale and Kim Obrist from the first movie. He has a sister who leads him to a secret place filled with captive Scanners and a final battle with Drak.
This movie is so Canadian that Aldo Nova plays over the final credits.
You can watch this on Tubi.
Although I like the idea of David and his sister being the children of Cameron Vale and Kim Obrist, that does raise the question of when this movie is set. Assuming “Scanners” was set in 1981, and David is old enough to go to college, that would mean “Scanners II” takes place in 1999. But everything seems 1991. As we know now, 1999 wasn’t that different from 1991, and any movie that predicted huge changes would have turned out to be wrong. But you’d think there’d be some attempt to show a little near-futurism, like in the “Alien Nation” TV series which wisely predicted 1995 would be like 1990 but with slightly rounder cars and slightly better computers.
Or maybe this movie retcons “Scanners” as taking place in 1973?