There was no serendipity involved this time around. Well, I suppose if you count me going out of my way to track a copy of it down via Amazon, buying and subsequently watching it as 'serendipity,' then it totally is. I actually had to decide whether to get this, Scanners II or Scanners III, since the shipping cost was adding up to be twice my actual order cost due to them all being from different suppliers. Based on what I've read, I made the right call. Will I go back and get the other Scanners films later? More than likely. In the meantime, I have this movie to go over. To clear up any confusion, this movie does have a couple of other titles, including Scanner Cop II, Scanners: The Showdown (my copy) and Scanners IV: Scanner Cop. Of course, this follows the exploits of the Scanner cop from the titular film, so why is this anything but Scanner Cop 2? The story sort of goes on its own path, choosing to simply use the same characters and barely address the previous films. Before this gets any more confusing, let's force our way into the mind of...
Scanner Cop 2: Volkin's Revenge
The film begins with a serial killer (Patrick Kilpatrick aka the evil cop from Gamebox 1.0) being taken into a sheriff's office. He acts very strangely and says nothing, which is a curious behavior. We also get a super quick summary of what you need to know: scanners have powers, but taking a certain drug- Ephemerol- will make them not able to use them. The reason that they take this: to not go insane. Choices, choices. The killer, as you may have guessed, is a Scanner and uses his powers to escape. Mind you, his powers involve mind-control, which is a bit of stretch for the series. Mental suggestion- yes, control- no. We cut to our hero- Stan Staziak- who is going to see his therapist/girlfriend. The films key subplot comes up: Stan's search for his mother. A new and random plot thread in the fifth film- sign me up! Let's ignore that for a while and focus on a hostage situation...for some reason that is being handled by...Robert Forster! I'd say that he was too good for this, but he made this movie between Maniac Cop 3 and Uncle Sam. Our hero breaks up the situation by taking over man's body (why not) and scanning the rest of them through their headsets. One man is scanned so hard that his skin is peeled off when he tries to remove it! Gross-out effect for no good reason- get used to that.
The bulk of the movie involves the evil Scanner going around and attacking other Scanners. He begins with Stan's lady, but is stopped before he can kill her. Next up is a weird man who is in alley way. He tries to sell some Ephemerol to our villain, who, instead reveals his plan: to kill Scanners and steal their powers in order to enhance his own. This is a long, arduous process that involves Scanning the man so hard that his skin starts to melt! I have no idea how this is supposed to work, but it's...um, interesting. Basically, a lot of loud music blares and people turn into the zombies from Return of the Living Dead. This actually happens several times & reminds me too much of Heroes, so let's just skip over them. If you like insanely-weird movie gore, though, check this stuff out. The 'Revenge' part of the title comes into play as Volkin hates our hero for breaking up a hostage situation (it's his hobby) and forcing the villain to kill his brother during it. Yeah, that's a good reason. One poor guy gets stuck in the crossfire between the two powered men and gets more veins in his head than a giant breasted stripper's body. What did he do to deserve it?
Things only get worse for our hero as he is very outmatched. Apparently, the man's powers had grown dramatically by telepathically-dehydrating those guys. Hey, maybe he could exploit the guy's insanity by creating an illusion. Incidentally, our hero takes a special form of Ephemerol that allows him to use his powers, but not get the side effects. He tries to battle the guy again, but it does not go well. If only he could make illusions and trick the guy. The dangling plot thread about Staziak's mom comes up again as he finds her, but so does the bad guy. Of course, the bad guy gets there first because, well, it increases the dramatic tension. He confronts the man yet again, but is tossed away. Maybe he could make an illusion to trick him and win the day. I belabor the point because the movie does. Seriously, the lady tells him that about four times before he figures it out. By the way, Staziak's mom dies and he barely registers an emotion- acting at it's finest. Using two dead bodies, our hero distracts the villain by making him think that he killed him...twice, causing the man to use up all of his energy. Just to close out the series properly, he blows up the villain's head and makes a one-liner to the police back-up when they arrive. The End.
This movie is extremely-weird, but entertaining. The plot is odd and the title makes you think that it is a build-up from the previous film. Well, that is, if you don't get the stupid title that makes no sense (Scanners IV: Scanner Cop). This film suffers/benefits from 'sequel-itis' and it is very obvious. I get that the original film is famous for the exploding head, but there is no reason to go this overboard with it! Did the middle films set up some idea that you could kill other Scanners for their powers? If so, they may have wanted to explain that in Scanner Cop! The acting is, well, terrible. On the plus side, the villain seemed aware enough of the silly writing and seemed to be be enjoying himself. If you can't get past the odd 'Scanning' sound and the blaring music, you cannot enjoy this movie though. If you love freaky, prosthetic gore though, this is a form of Heaven for you. It's worth the time to track it down, even if it is for all the wrong reasons.
Next up, Dolph Lundgren directs a tale of the Russian government, terrorists and a thinly-veiled Miley Cyrus character. This will be...interesting. Stay tuned...