David Cronenberg’s Scanners, more accessible than Videodrome, less refined than The Fly, remains along with The Brood one of the Canadian director’s most accessible of his bodily mortification films. What a pity that it had long languished in a subpar DVD edition in North America, what joy when Criterion announced it as one of its July titles, and what disappointment when early reviews from otherwise reputable review sites such as DVDBeaver and Bluray.com noted and provided screen captures of a director approved video transfer that appeared something on the cooler side. The transfer reported by these sites was a wash of blue, distinctly different than any previous incarnation of the film’s transfer, without any presence of accurate white balance. And yet it was director approved. Hesitant to purchase what I assumed would be an aberrant transfer from what remains an otherwise impeccable roster from Criterion, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the transfer lacking any of the aberrant blue. The colour palette of the film was instead accurately balanced. I must surmise, in the absence of corroborative evidence, that the screener copies sent to these reviewers were defective, and that Criterion has since addressed the issue. In short, ignore any concerns of a blue wash to this picture and feel confident that this film is indeed presented in a lush and brilliant transfer.
I don’t have access to my BD-ROM drive presently, but when I do I’ll be sure to post screen captures for comparison and evidence.