On a purely technical level, Scanner Cop is a competently made B movie. On the other hand, in all creative ways, it is utterly pedestrian. It is a hack plot that never bothers to think about how brainwashing or even police departments work in the real world. It should at least be complemented over the other sequels for having only one requisite head-exploding effect. The nearest it has to an original idea is a silly scene where Daniel Quinn scans a police identikit computer.
Lead Daniel Quinn, who looks remarkably like a young Brad Dourif, is not a particularly good actor but does have a certain intensity that suits the part well. Brion James is billed on the credits but appears for all of about one minute. John Buechlers makeup effects are typically cheap there is one extremely silly effect with miniature heads popping out of a scanners face near the start.
Scanner Cop marked the directorial debut of Canadian producer Pierre David, who heads the Image Organization production company and produced all the sequels as well as the Cronenberg original. From about this point on, Pierre David became better known as producer of a host of psycho-thrillers that included the likes of The Paperboy (1994), The Secretary (1995), Daddys Girl (1996), The Dentist (1996), Man of Her Dreams (1997), The Nurse (1997), The Perfect Tenant (1999), Someone is Watching (1999), Alone with a Stranger (2000), Blind Obsession (2000) and The Perfect Nanny (2000), among many others.
The other Scanners films are: Scanners (1981), Scanners II: The New Order (1991), Scanners III: The Takeover/Scanner Force (1992), Scanner Cop II: Volkins Revenge/Scanners: The Showdown (1995).