SCANNERS II: THE NEW ORDER
All the ideas of the original are translated into absurdly physical terms. The originals head exploding trick was a show-capping novelty but here the effect is overused to the point of tedium now heads explode every time scanners battle. The sequel is a film devoid of any intellectual content it is only a show being put on by the special effects men. The opening with the incredibly badly overacting Raoul Trujillo going berserk in a video arcade, sending guards flying through the air and blowing the entire place up, is an absurd display of pyrotechnics it has no effect, it is not anything that is being acted out by human beings.
If Scanners II: The New Order has any purpose as a film, it seems to be one of sadism. It may seem odd to criticise a horror film for sadism. Oddly though, this is a film that is far more sadistic than the crude obviousness of Friday the 13th (1980) and the slasher cycle even if it may not be until you think about it afterwards. More often than not, the film seems to lead up to long involved mental struggles between the hero and various villains on screen, resulting in the bad guys head protractedly blowing up or their meltdown, even one victims impalement on his own syringes. In voyeuristically lingering on these scenes, the film surely justifies and dramatically sanctions sadistic murder on the part of the heroes.
The other Scanners sequels are:- Scanners III: The Takeover (1992), Scanner Cop (1994) and Scanner Cop II: Volkins Revenge/Scanner Cop II: The Showdown (1995). All of these are dire. Sensibly, David Cronenberg has taken the money, distanced himself from any involvement in any of the sequels and discreetly refrained from making any comment in the press.
Scanners II: The New Order was the directorial debut of Christian Duguay who would go onto make Scanners III, the human bomb thriller Live Wire (1992), the comic-book superheroine tv pilot Model By Day (1993), the interesting sf film Screamers (1995), the action film The Art of War (2000), the dire Hitler: The Rise of Evil tv mini-series (2003), Human Trafficking (2005) and the horror film Boot Camp (2007).