Because of the oddities of Canada's film financing structures at the time, it was necessary to begin shooting with only two weeks' pre-production work, before the screenplay had been completed, with Cronenberg writing the script between 4 am and 7 am each day throughout shooting.
It was the nearest thing to a conventional science fiction thriller Cronenberg had made up to that point, lacking the sexual content of Shivers, Rabid or The Brood; it was also his most profitable film until The Fly six years later.Scanning an assassin, Vale learns of a drug company, which he then infiltrates.He finds large quantities of ephemerol are being distributed under a computer program called "Ripe", run by Revok himself through Con Sec.When Con Sec officials attempt to take the "volunteer" into custody, he kills them and escapes.Stung by this embarrassing experience, Con Sec security head Braedon Keller advocates shutting down Con Sec's scanner research program. Paul Ruth disagrees, saying the assassination and escape demonstrate scanning's potential.Vale and Obrist return to Con Sec, where Ruth suggests Vale cyberpathically-scan the computer system to learn more about the Ripe program. Ruth while Vale and Obrist flee the Con Sec building.Vale cyberpathically-accesses the computer network through a telephone booth and pulls ephemerol shipment information.Ruth as a tranquilizer for pregnant women: Ruth learned about the drug's side-effect by providing it to his wife during her pregnancies; Revok reveals that he and Vale are actually brothers and Dr. Because their mother received the highest dose of ephemerol, Revok and Vale are the most powerful scanners.By mass-distributing ephemerol to unwitting doctors, who prescribe it to their pregnant patients, Revok plans to create a new generation of scanners to take over the world, which he will control. The two have a final telepathic battle against one another, Revok declaring that that he'll 'suck your brain dry' if he won't side with him.Obrist and Vale are ambushed by Revok's men and abducted.Revok reveals to Vale ephemerol was originally developed by Dr.