Monday, February 2, 2015

Superhero Media: Scanners

Ok, so this one's a little odd, so stick with me. Scanners is a cult 1981 Horror film by David Cronenburg in which "Scanners", people with psychic powers are secretly recruited and trained by major drug corporations and sent out to kill each other. With the signature Cronenburg plot twists and extreme violence, this is surely no fodder for supers right? Psychic Powers including telekinesis, telepathy, pyrokinesis, mind-jumping and mind control certainly all have their place in Superhero adventures. Monolithic drug corporations experimenting on unborn children to create an army of super-soldiers and a villain with a freaky scar on his head caused by self-experimentation. Sounds like a good start to me. 

As well as being VERY Cronenburg, Scanners, in trying to evoke the futuristic and the bleeding edge, is also very 1980s. Even considering adapting the story to a more "traditional" Superhero setting still evokes that Iron Age feel. Say Rand Industries discovers that Parnival Plunder is attempting to artificially produce mutants to sell to Rouge States, or something along those lines. Even Darryl Revok, the villain, though he's really just the worst of a bad bunch, wants to use an army of psychic super soldiers to carve an empire that will rule the Earth. Just stick him in a goofy costume and he's ready to take on the rest of the long-underwear crowd. 

I watched Scanners because I'm trying to get more into horror, a genre I've never been keen on, but would like to build an appreciation for. I was actually painting Superhero miniatures as I was watching the film, so it was a nice surprise to see some ideas I can use. Probable more for supers roleplaying that wargames, but I could see elements appearing in a campaign.

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