(1994) is the first of two spinoff movies of Scanners
, followed by Scanner Cop II
In Los Angeles, a scanner is living in a rundown apartment with his son while going mad with psychic strain. When the police investigate the disturbance he is killed for attacking them, leaving his son behind. A cop on the scene takes the boy in after he sees the horrors of institutionalized psychics.
Years later, the now adult Sam Staziak graduates from the police academy to follow in his father's footsteps. Shortly afterwards a mysterious killer starts targeting police officers through brainwashing random people, putting the LAPD on high alert. Sam's father, now chief of police, enlists his son's powers to stop the threat.
This film provides examples of:
- Big Bad: Karl Glock.
- Cop Killer: The villain's plot to brainwash random people to murder Los Angeles police officers, which he is doing out of revenge for being sent to prison previously.
- Grand Theft Me: While Zena is dying, Staziak scans her to find out where Karl Glock is hiding, following her into a mental world (that is heavily implied to be Hell. She then tries to pull this trope on Staziak by taking over his body and letting him die in hers. He prevents it by scanning her mental projection.
- Happily Adopted: Samuel Staziak has a very good bond with his adoptive parents, who took him in after his biological father (a deranged scanner) died. His new father is also his boss at the LAPD. They don't appear in the next film.
- The Hard Hat: The Big Bad initially resists the protagonist's psychic attack because of his steel plate, though it peels away the hair on his head. The cop then concentrates really hard and gets the desired result.
- Magical Defibrillator: The hero uses a defibrillator - using his telekinesis to move it - to kill the Big Bad.
- Technopath: Sam controls a computer with his mind to speed up the facial composition software.