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LEON WHITESON
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Granada, London, 1981
(price: 1.25; 160 pages)


The blurb on the back:

10 seconds: excruciating pain
15 seconds: arrested breathing
20 seconds: brainfire


David Cronenberg's movie of Scanners was one of his finest - not as raw as Shivers, not as sophisticated as Videodrome, not as disturbing as Dead Ringers, but still damn fine by the standards of pretty much anyone else. The key set piece, you'll remember, is the exploding head sequence, which comes at the beginning and the end of the film, but there is some subtler stuff inbetween.

Theoretically, this story of a transnational company exploiting psychics could translate to a novel quite well. The exploding head is never going to be as impressive on the page, but some of the arguments about the relationship between mind and matter and the crazed conspiracy theory stuff should work. Unfortunately this quickie novelization doesn't do justice to Cronenberg's story and script and you're left feeling unsatisfied. They should have given it to John Farris or someone of that stature to have a go at it. Never mind.

Incidentally, is this the same Leon Whiteson who ghost-wrote David Thibodeau's account of surviving the Branch Davidian siege in A Place Called Waco? I guess it must be.

back cover
an exploding head yesterday


ARTISTIC MERIT: 2/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
3/5


from the maker of...

Rabid

Videodrome

visit an excellent David Cronenberg site
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