Filmed (and released overseas) as SCANNER COP 2: VOLKIN'S REVENGE, this head splitting film tilts back in the direction of horror from the more action-oriented previous entry in the series.
Now a detective, scanner Sam Staziak (Daniel Quinn) has become curious about his family and enlists the help of Carrie Goodart (Khrystyne Haje), the director of the Trans Neural Resource Center. While she is looking up information on his past, she is visited by Carl Volkin (Patrick Kilpatrick), a
criminal scanner whom Staziak once put away but who is now out, seeking revenge. The encounter leaves Goodart in a coma; visiting her in hospital, Staziak scans her and discovers the identity of her attacker. Volkin begins visiting other scanners around the city, draining their life forces like a
psychic vampire, to build up his own in preparation for his confrontation with Staziak.
Goodart recovers and helps Staziak track Volkin, but the villain manages to consistently elude them. At the same time, Staziak and Goodart continue the search for Staziak's mother and track her to a local nursing home. But Volkin finds out and attacks her, threatening to scan her to death. Rather
than submit to his psychic assault, she jumps from the roof. The outraged Staziak finally confronts Volkin, and the two engage in a hideous scanning duel. Despite Volkin's incredible powers, Staziak manages to overpower him and finishes him off in the traditional scanner way: by exploding his
Some of the dialogue in the film is clumsy and overly expository, which is not helped by the rather flat performance of Quinn, here clothed and coiffed to resemble Mel Gibson in the LETHAL WEAPON movies. The other performers fare better, including the persuasively malevolent Kilpatrick and the
appealing Haje (though she appears a bit too young for the character, having just come off the high school sitcom "Head of the Class").
Steve Barnett's direction keeps the story moving, while Mark Sevi's script makes an admirable attempt to develop both the scanner mythology and Staziak's character. Volkin's scanning attacks unfortunately run on too long, overemphasizing John Carl Buechler's ghastly makeup effects to the point
where they become gross instead of scary. (There is one bravura set piece, however, involving a female scanner melded with a screen door.) The best scan scene, in fact, is a bloodless one in which Staziak psychically compels the comatose Goodart to draw a picture of her attacker. SCANNERS: THE
SHOWDOWN is entertaining exploitation fare, though one has to wonder how much further this idea (which is now five films old) can be stretched. (Graphic violence, profanity.)
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: R
- Review: Filmed (and released overseas) as SCANNER COP 2: VOLKIN'S REVENGE, this head splitting film tilts back in the direction of horror from the more action-oriented previous entry in the series. Now a detective, scanner Sam Staziak (Daniel Quinn) has become cu… (more)