Scanner Cop II: The Showdown (1995)

Scanner Cop II: The Showdown (1995)
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.

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Scanner Cop (1994)

Starring Daniel Quinn, Darlanne Fluegel, Richard Grove, Mark Rolston, Richard Lynch, Hilary Shepard, James Horan, Gary Hudson, Cyndi Pass, Luca Bercovici, Christopher Kriesa, Savannah Smith Boucher, Ben Reed, Brion James, Elan Rothschild

Directed by Pierre David

Expectations: Moderate, but hopeful. Anything with a “______ Cop” title is usually worth a watch.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


I didn’t expect much going into Scanner Cop. As the fourth entry in the Scanners series of unrelated films, I figured they were probably fairly close to the bottom of the barrel. There are lots of cop movies from around this time, so I figured Scanner Cop was just another in a long line of clichéd cop movies (even if the naming convention of “______ Cop” always gets me excited for a movie). It is clichéd, without a doubt, but you can’t discredit the fact that Scanner Cop is actually a pretty damn good movie. It gets two key things right: amazing FX work by none other than unsung genre hero (and one of my favorite FX artists) John Carl Buechler, and a killer story. Unfortunately, the writing isn’t always up to par with the premise, featuring inventive lines such as “My men are dying! It’s a war out there!” populating a lot of the film’s cop dialogue exchanges. All of that is a moot point as the wild inventiveness of the situations take hold of your soul and never let go.

Consider the opening scene. A man, obviously a scanner, crashes through his dingy apartment looking for his medication. His young son looks on in fear as his father gets more and more outraged at his inability to find his pills. The father locks himself in the bathroom and while looking at his haggard face in the mirror, small human faces start pushing themselves out from his forehead. If that doesn’t sell you on Scanner Cop, then you’re beyond hope. I was howling with laughter, I was cringing in horror, I was abso-fucking-lutely riveted.

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