89 min., 1983
Written by David Cronenberg
Directed by David Cronenberg
My rating: ★★★★
Techno-horror at its (almost) finest.
* * *
Max Renn (James Woods) works at (is president of) CIVIC-TV and is trying to push the television envelope by finding more bizarre and edgy shows/movies to broadcast. One day Harlan (Peter Dvorsky) shows him a pirated satellite broadcast called Videodrome. Max is completely pulled in and just can’t get enough with all the channel has to offer, which is torture and murder. His “girlfriend” Nicki (Deborah Harry) is also unable to stop watching, and she wants to be the next “contestant” on the show. Max wants to find out more about Videodrome and possibly get it on his own channel, but he’s having some problems and warnings from other people. That’s when things start to get strange.
James Woods is really good as Max. He pulls of the sleazy TV president great, always looking for something to exploit, but he also pulls of the used pawn, and you almost (almost) feel bad for him. Deborah Harry shows that she can actually act (kinda). She’s believable enough, but at the same time she is very stiff. With a little more work she could have actually gone on to a movie carrier. Everyone else is just fine, some being great and others being just blah, but that’s okay because they aren’t the main focus.
The effects are just great, with a few hitches sprinkled throughout. The “mouth” stomach is awesome, making you just want to check your own stomach to make sure you don’t have one yourself (hold on…….okay I’m fine). The “gun-hand” is kinda hokey and doesn’t really fare well by today’s standard, but one glitch amongst the other great ones is forgivable.
I don’t know where the hell David Cronenberg is getting his information, but he really nailed this one on the head. Technology is consistently getting pushed even further and getting more personal with the user. Your cell phones, MP3 players and computers might as well be the giant “mouth” in Max’s stomach, as we aren’t able to go anywhere without them and it’s like the technology is slowly taking over our entire lives (…shivers…).
This is a great movie with pretty darn good effects that (for the most part) stand the test of time well, and acting that hasn’t gone stale. If you’re in a particularly thought provoking mood and also want some good (but strange) gore, this is for you. But if you’re looking for mind numbing crap…stick to TV (this movie has it sooooo right).
A special thanks goes out to Goregirl for the movie.Have You Read...?