Creating Scanners’ Explosive Effect

A warning is probably in order, both for those who want to avoid spoilers and those who don’t want to lose their lunch. For everyone else, watch this fascinating clip from a new Criterion documentary about Scanners’ special effects, directed by Michael Lennick and available as a supplement on our new edition of the film, out next week. In it, four of the film’s essential crew members—special makeup artists Stephan Dupuis and Chris Walas, director of photography Mark Irwin, and special effects supervisor Gary Zeller—talk about how they created the cult classic’s signature effect. You may be surprised by the rather simple solution they ultimately arrived at.

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