Scanners II: The New Order (1991)
|Category||Science Fiction||Main Menu Audio|
|Year Of Production||1991|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Christian Duguay|
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Scanners II: The New Order is the first of the non-Cronenberg sequels packaged with the original Scanners in the Region 4 box set release. It is not hard to see why this was done, as it is unlikely that anyone would willingly pay money for this film alone.
Scanners II is not as bad as the next sequel in the series, but it’s not a good movie either. The plot follows a corrupt police commander, Forrester (Yvan Ponton), who is plotting to use scanners to take over the city, and then to restore order to America. To control the scanners, Forrester has enlisted the aid of Dr. Morse (Tom Butler) whose new drug Ephemerol 2 helps scanners to control their power, despite its addictive nature. But with the scanners under the drug becoming less and less capable, Forrester finds himself searching for a new scanner who is in control of his powers. Enter David Kellum (David Hewlett), student of veterinary medicine and all round nice guy. He just also happens to be a scanner and doesn’t know it. But once David gets in over his head with Forrester, can he prevent the ‘new order’ from being established, or will he be murdered by Forrester’s scanners – particularly the psychopathic Drak (Raoul Trujillo) who is just itching for someone to kill.
What’s wrong with this film? There are weaknesses in just about every aspect of it – from the acting, to the scripting, the direction, the casting and the music. That said, this is not an atrocious movie, and is fairly entertaining as a solid B- kind of flick. But as a net result of these faults, it turns out to be not an especially good movie either, and definitely a pale shadow of the original. I have seen worse films – I have seen the sequel to this. But there is scant little that I can pull out of Scanners II: The New Order for endorsement either. It reminds me a lot of a low budget horror movie, which – surprise, surprise – it is. In that respect, at least it delivers on the gore. But it is just too camp at times and too melodramatic at other times for me to take it seriously. The net result is an overall unevenness that does not work to the film’s advantage.
If it’s late at night and you’ve got nothing better to watch, maybe think about giving this a try. But it is not my pick as 1am movie of the week – maybe 3am.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. Though unconfirmed, I believe the original aspect ratio was 1.85:1, so this isn’t far from it.
As with the original, the transfer is a little soft which also counteracts graininess.
Shadow detail is pretty good although most of the night shots are still fairly well artificially lit.
Colour is well balanced, but seems a little faded, without any contemporary radiance which we are used to for big budget Hollywood flicks.
MPEG artefacts are absent, and film-to-video transfer artefacts were minimal, limited to some background moire effect on grille plates and the like.
There is some dirt on the print which is to be expected from a low budget movie from the early 1990s, but nothing disastrous.
There are no subtitles.
This is a single layered disc.
Audio is only available in 2.0 Dolby Stereo in English.
This track is pretty good as stereo tracks go, with nicely rendered dialogue, and only minor syncing issues.
The score is not bad, retaining much of the original themes done by Howard Shore for the original.
There are some left right cues, but nothing significant, and it took me a while to work out that this was stereo not mono.
There is no subwoofer use.
|Surround Channel Use|
All menus are 16x9 enhanced. The main menu has the score playing in 2.0 Dolby Stereo.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
As far as I can tell, this DVD is currently not available in R1 on DVD.
Scanners II: The New Order is decent as a B-movie, but not terribly inspiring otherwise. Although made 10 years after its predecessor, you wouldn’t know it to look at it.
Video is a touch soft, but not spectacular.
The 2.0 Dolby Stereo track get the job done without being anything flash.
|DVD||Panasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output|
|Display||Beko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver.|
|Speakers||Energy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer|