Videodrome

Videodrome

DVD - 2004
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A cable TV executive discovers an underground TV show called Videodrome, a hyperviolent torture show. His quest to find the origin of the show may result in the loss of his sanity.
Publisher: Irvington, NY : Criterion Collection : Home Vision Entertainment, c2004
ISBN: 9781559409520
1559409525
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (89 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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From Library Staff

In the early 80s Max Renn owned a rather sleazy cable channel that specialized in softcore sex films. He was looking for something edgier to set his channel apart when one of his technicians showed him an encrypted broadcast of something called "Videodrome", a show that seemed to show ... Read More »


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t
TheeAvebury
Oct 26, 2017

David Cronenberg's most visionary and audacious film up to the time of its making, Videodrome is a fascinating rumination on humanity, technology, entertainment, sex, and politics that is virtually incomprehensible on first viewing- which is why you probably should watch it more than once.

j
jimg2000
Oct 17, 2017

Saw this movie in a “Cult Movies” list from The Seattle Public library: https://sccl.bibliocommons.com/list/share/75166733_chricelle/217290416_cult_movies_-_part_1
and attracted by Cronenberg’s many other works that I enjoyed (Naked Lunch, Crash, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, A Dangerous Method, Maps to the Stars …etc.) Watched the entire film and a few scenes twice. Also read the “Production Notes” in special features as well. But still find the sci-fi concepts confusing or unrealistic, “horror” scenes just weird (see note) and the retina helmet, which could alter human mind and body, low tech (more advanced version of Oculus VR/ Google Glass.) Must be groundbreaking and scary in 1982 when the film was released (in perspective, IBM Personal Computer launched the Personal Compute in 1981) but average in all aspects today.

Note (quote from “Production Notes”):
Because Cronenberg is perhaps best known for the exploding heads in "Scanners," any mention of "altering" in his movies conjures up images of very bizarre occurrences. Videodrome lives up to expectations, but Cronenberg is quick to point out that, no matter how critical special effects are to the movie, they are absolutely not what it is about. In fact, he says, "I deliberately de-emphasized those elements. It's got a very seedy look to it, not high-tech at all. It's not an action picture, like 'Scanners.' Like 'The Brood,' it's a character study in the horror genre, although it does take a couple of extreme turns."

Aka_Aka_Aka Oct 24, 2016

To say that this one could have been a whole lot better would be an understatement. Though a little sick & twisted - It did have its interesting moments.

r
RobSW
Nov 25, 2015

I've seen this about three times now and I still lose track of what's going on half-way through. Seems I'm not the only one though.

j
JLMason
Feb 15, 2015

Except for the sex and violence, this reminded me of the Sci Fi B movies of the 50's and 60's. The acting is over the top and plot is laughable. One could be kind and say that it anticipates reality television and the increasing need to shock and titillate. I gave it an extra star for early screen roles by future Canadian TV stars Sonja Smits and Julie Khaner.

q
Quetzlzacatenango
Nov 04, 2014

Almost a prequel to "EXistenZ", it is the same ideas of corporation/media vs. society and technology vs. biology. James Woods is excellent and the practical effects are bloody and disturbing.

e
eusebius
Dec 14, 2013

It's wonderful to see Cronenberg as a young director working out some of the themes that are found in his mature work. Here the gun in the gut seems to look forward to the fantasy device in 'eXistence'. James Woods and Deborah Harry are entirely sympathetic to Cronenberg's intentions.

rocknrollphilip Mar 27, 2013

I dig this film. Very nice performance by Deborah Harry.

a
AtomicFez
Aug 08, 2011

An odd film. Given it stars James Woods and is written and directed by Cronenberg, what else would one expect, however? Oddly paced, somewhat un-even, but prescient examination of media's potential as society's mirror and simultaneous influencer / ruler. Disturbing, but with a point.

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j
jimg2000
Oct 17, 2017

Being an old cult classic, many many many quotes in IMDb already, likely these as well:

The television screen has become the retina of the mind's eye. That's why I refuse to appear on television, except on television. Of course, O'Blivion was not the name I was born with. That's my television name. Soon all of us will have special names, names designed to cause the cathode ray tube to resonate.

===
After all, there is nothing real outside our perception of reality, is there? You can see that can't you?

===
The battle for the mind of North America will be fought in the video arena — the videodrome. The television screen is the retina of the mind's eye. Therefore the television screen is part of the physical structure of the brain. Therefore whatever appears on the television screen emerges as raw experience for those who watch it. Therefore television is reality, and reality is less than television.

j
jimg2000
Oct 17, 2017

Why would anybody watch a scum show like Videodrome? Why did you watch it, Max?
-Business reasons
Sure, sure... what about the other reasons? Why deny you get your kicks out of watching torturing and murder?
===
Max, I'm so glad you've came to me. I've been through it all myself you see. Your reality is already half video hallucination. If you're not careful, it will become total hallucination. You'll have to learn to live in a very strange new world... I had a brain tumour and I had visions. I believe the visions cause the tumour and not the reverse. I can feel the visions coalsce and become flesh. Uncontrollable flesh. But when they removed the tumour, it was called Videodrome. I was the-- I... I... was... Videodrome's... first victim...
===
First it controlled her mind, then it destroyed her body... Long live the new flesh!

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a
AtomicFez
Aug 08, 2011

AtomicFez thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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