AKA Scanner Cop II: Volkin’s Revenge, Scanners IV: Scanner Cop, Scanners: The Showdown
Starring Daniel Quinn, Patrick Kilpatrick, Khrystyne Haje, Stephen Mendel, Robert Forster, Brenda Swanson, Jerry Potter, Jewel Shepard, Tony Fasce
Directed by Steve Barnett
Expectations: Hmm, kinda high. Scanner Cop was dope.
On the general scale:
On the B-Movie scale:
Following up the incredibly entertaining Scanner Cop is a hard task for any filmmaker, but the team behind Scanner Cop II did their best and came away with a pretty fun movie. It’s not nearly as intriguing or well-written, but it makes up for those faults with sheer numbers, as there has to be more scanning going on in this movie than in all four previous Scanners films combined. Every time someone is scanning, they play haunting choral music that seeps into your pores and unsettles your very being… and it’s playing almost constantly during Scanner Cop II because they hardly ever take a break from scanning! They’re scanning people, they’re scanning scanners, they even scan a bomb at one point; simply put, there’s a whole lotta scannin’ goin’ on.
And when you have someone like John Carl Buechler on FX duty, that money translates directly to awesome visuals on-screen. We’re talking heads swelling, tumors popping out of foreheads spontaneously, fucking ears getting melted off, and, of course, a glorious head explosion. Scanner Cop II keeps you glued to the screen in every one of the aforementioned scanning encounters by building tension to a fever pitch, all the while I’m wondering if this is the scene where the head will explode. There’s many fake-outs contained here, and each one is nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat stuff. When it finally does happen, it is a perfect ending to the scene it’s in, and it definitely does not disappoint. None of the head explosions in the sequels really match the meaty look of the original, but the one in Scanner Cop II perhaps packs the most emotional weight of them all. Not only is it gratifying as a horror/gore fan, it caps off the film’s main storyline nicely.
I don’t have a lot to say about Scanner Cop II other than if you enjoyed the previous films in the series, you will definitely enjoy this one. It’s not as good as Scanner Cop, but it has great FX and it’s nothing but fun for fans. It also features Robert Forster in a very small role as a police captain, proving to me once again that he’s a fantastic unsung actor. This was only two years before his big role in Jackie Brown, and he is clearly bringing a level of talent to the table not generally seen in a lot of B-Movies.