Canadian horror and sci-fi auteur David Cronenberg has made a career out of presenting shocking imagery, unsettling situations, and generally creeping out audiences worldwide. Few moments are as memorable as the notorious that head exploding scene in his 1981 classic Scanners—”did you ever see that scene in Scanner when the dude’s head explodes?” Now you’ll be able to relive that scene over and over again in the highest possible resolution as Criterion is set to release a special edition Blu-ray of the terrifying feature.
Though Cronenberg already had a number of films under his belt by 1981—including notable genre fare like Rabid and The Brood—it was Scanners that is generally regarded as his breakout hit. You don’t generally associate Criterion releases with excessive gore, but there’s so much more to the film than just that. It’s creepy, shocking, thought provoking, and stars Michael Ironside as a guy who blow up your head using only his mind. There’s an evil corporation, battling telepaths, and did I mention Michael Ironside? I really love Michael Ironside. In short, there’s nothing not to like about this movie. Except for the subpar series of sequels.
And to celebrate this release, Criterion has assembled a hell of a package, one that fits perfectly with their reputation for putting together extensive collections of bonus features. All of the extras that this Blu-ray will reportedly contain should provide a well-rounded, complete, and in-depth look at Scanners.
Cronenberg himself supervised a new 2K digital restoration of the film transfer, which also includes an uncompressed monaural soundtrack. So you know that the film will both look and sound fantastic. The disc also comes with The “Scanners” Way, a new documentary that digs into the special effects of the film, which were, at the time, groundbreaking, and still hold up remarkably well. There is also a new interview with Ironside, another with actor and artist Stephen Lack, and an excerpt from a 1981 interview with Cronenberg on CBC’s The Bob McLean Show.
And you think that’s all? Oh, hell no, this is Criterion we’re talking about. The Blu also includes Cronenberg’s first feature, 1969’s Stereo. There’s also a version of the film’s original trailer—maybe you want to watch that instead of actual movie for some reason—and because this wouldn’t be a complete package without a little reading material, there’s a booklet that features an essay from film critic Kim Newman.
The Criterion Collection Blu-ray of Scanners will be available on July 15.