“10 Seconds: The Pain Begins. 15 Seconds: You Can’t
Breathe. 20 Seconds: You Explode.” Heads exploded at Avco Embassy Pictures
when Cronenberg’s film grossed an unexpectedly
hefty $14 million, setting the company on a course of profitable genre pix
throughout the early ’80s. Two sequels (The New Order, The Takeover) and two
spinoffs (Scanner Cop 1 and 2) appeared in the following decade. In 2007 a
remake was announced but hasn’t happened.