In retrospect, Scanners 3: The Takeover (1991) is a very funny movie, although serious, about a scanner, Helena Monet, who has telepathy and telekinesis powers. Not only that, in this film, she is rich and CEO of a biotech corporation, but she is kept under control with a drug called EPH-1.
To start, the pharmaceutical drug EPH-1 makes Helena crazy. After killing everyone at a scanner institution aka asylum which held her as a kid, she tells the remaining patients, saying, “We are scanners. We do not belong on the bottom of the dung heap. We belong on the top.” With that, she laughs and frees the scanners at the asylum.
They’re scared of them down at the precinct.
In the past, Helena’s life was hell. “No, not again. These damn migraines. Any time I get in a crowd or any pressure situation, I get paralyzed. No wonder I can’t hold a job. How am I supposed to?” Helena tells Joyce.
However, Helena’s terrible past does not stop doctors from prescribing drugs which they have no clue about the unknown side effects. “I just believed her [Helena] when she told me there were no side effects. Maybe there are,” Dr. Joyce tells a shocked Alex.
In any case, these drug side effects are devastating to Helena. “You got to stop taking the drug. The psychological side effects could be devastating,” confesses Dr. Joyce about the possible drug side effects to Helena.
Of course, Helena’s father, being the creator of the scanner drug, knows better than anyone else about the dangers of EPH1 and EPH-2. “As soon as I finish testing. We don’t know, if any, what the side effects are. As you know, there is no such thing as scanner lab rats. But I found two terminally ill scanners who volunteered.”
During the film, Helena comes into inheritance, after she kills her father. “He was obsessed with having a heir to the family business. It just might be [Helena] if you don’t come back,” says Michael, the family lawyer, to her brother, Alex Monet.
Helena puts her powers to good use in this film. She humiliates the current CEO of her father’s corporation and takes over his position. As well, she uses her power to spill his drink and toss him across the room into a piano. Helena does a funny job of her powers.
Needless to say, Helena loses her mind in this movie. “When a scanner loses control, there are these forces, strange feelings inside. It’s almost like a rage. It just builds and builds inside,” discloses Alex about scanners.
Not only that, Helena takes control of peoples’ minds. “Nothing can stop us now. It is a new world order. And we are in control,” smiles Helena.
Being the only living heir, Helena gains her father’s estate in fee simple. “However, because both my brother and father are now gone, I have through this tragic accident been left in the position of being my father’s sole heir. And after a great dealing of soul searching as chairman and CEO,” she tells the board of directors who just tried to put their own person into CEO.
Helena lays out her strategy to the board. “However, I am not. So here is the game plan. First, annihilation of MPI’s competitors in the pharmaceutical field. Second, strategic diversification and expansion into new areas. Third, total domination of all new markets and territories. Things have changed around here guys and it’s going to be a bumpy ride. So if you want to bail out, bail out now.”
With that, Helena becomes a human test subject for untested drugs. “Helena! How could you do that! Taking an untested drug!” Joyce, the leading biochemist, screams at Helena.
Additionally, it should be said, Helena has TV networks across the world, so she can broadcast anything. “I do have ASN or what was it again, 15 stations in 54 countries… Now that I think of it, it was 54 stations, 15 countries.”
Having said all this about Scanners 3: The Takeover, if you boil this movie down to the serious issues without the humor, what are they really saying? Basically, this film points out the fact that drugs are causing hidden side effects in children like birth defects. Moreover, these latent side effects in children are having an impact on future generations in ways we don’t fully understand. Finally, this movies poses the question: Where is all the accountability and regulation of the big pharma industry; further, what about current vaccines being developed and their long-term effects on children? This movie exposes the pharmaceutical industry in a subtle way.
If you take the analysis further about Helena’s character in this movie, you are forced to conclude that having no accountability or unregulated big pharma is not desirable for society. For example, after having come to her senses at the end of the movie and having stopped taking the scanner drug EPH-1, Helena kills her self when realizing she killed her father. Here, we get the movie’s main message, which may be political in nature, that it is not good for society to have an unregulated and unaccountable big pharma industry. Regulate big pharma is the secret message underneath Scanner 3: The Takeover.
Oddly, too, in this film, psychological complexes are revealed about the characters of Helena and her father. During the hot tub scene, Helena reveals her father’s God complex, when she tells him that he just wanted her all for himself. That being said, at the same time, Helena reveals her own Electra complex when she’s involved in an incestuous relationship with her father. Indeed, this movie has all the psychological complexes of a Shakespearean tragedy.
That being said, tragically speaking, there was no way out for Helena in this movie. Her father only wanted her worship, and Helena felt she was given no choice. Helena, becoming manic and under the scanner drug, ended up killing her father, while later killing herself.
Overall, I liked this movie. Although a serious issue like bad pharmaceutical drugs, it had lots of good laughs. I got a funny out of Helena’s use of her ESP powers. If you need a chuckle, watch this movie like I did.