I’ve already shared a favorite scene from David Cronenberg’s landmark scifi/horror film Scanners over a year ago that saw a head explode. For October’s horror-themed month I picked another great scene from this film that always stuck with me long after I’ve finished watching the film each and every time.
The scene I’m talking about is the climactic showdown between Good Scanner Cameron and Evil Scanner Revok. This scene was filmed before the advent of CGI-effects and Cronenberg never had the sort of big-budgets to hire the top FX make-up artists to work on his films. Yet, Cronenberg ended up creating one of the best scenes ever put on film about two people fighting each other using their minds. We never see their mental abilities shooting off psychic blasts at each other but the performance by both Michael Ironside as Revok and Stephen Lack as Cameron was so believable that it made the scene work when it could’ve turned so cheesy and disastrous in the hands of a different filmmaker and other actors.
The battle ends but we’re left to believe the good guy lost and evil triumphs. This feeling pretty much plays out right up to the final scene before fade to black and even then we’re not sure if the final reveal is true or not. Either way there’s no better way to bookend the exploding head intro than with two psychic beings duking it out mentally with blood, spontaneous combustion and creepy white eyes added in for style.