3 items from 2015
Stars: James Woods, Deborah Harry, Sonja Smits, Peter Dvorsky, Leslie Carlson, Jack Creley, Lynne Gorman, Julie Khaner, Reiner Schwarz, David Bolt, Lally Cadeau | Written and Directed by David Cronenberg
Out of all the David Cronenberg films I’ve seen, Videodrome always sticks with me as my favourite and some of his best work, if not The best. Having not seen it in a few years, Arrow Video’s new Blu-ray release was the perfect chance to catch up with the movie and see if my memories of it were purely nostalgia. Thankfully, they were not.
Max Renn (James Woods) is a sleazy cable-tv programmer looking for more extreme ways to entertain his viewers. When he discovers “Videodrome” it appears to be exactly what he was looking for. When he starts hallucinating though, he suddenly finds reality becoming warped to the point where he is not sure what is real, or what is Videodrome. »
- Paul Metcalf
Directed by David Cronenberg.
A cable TV channel owner wants to broadcast ‘Videodrome’, the most extreme programme on the network, but discovers that the show is front for a sinister global conspiracy.
Videodrome was the right film at the right time for director David Cronenberg (The Brood/Rabid). Cronenberg’s previous two movies – 1979’s The Brood and 1981’s Scanners – had seen the director rise above the grimy aesthetic of his early works and the quality of his productions get smoother but still retain his core themes of body horror, mutation and disease, and with the burgeoning home video market bringing all sorts of fears about moral corruption into the media headlines, Cronenberg was at the right place in his career to make a statement in his own unique way.
- Gary Collinson
It’s not uncommon for a science fiction film to prophesy the future, in terms of technology, the social state of humanity, or even certain global scenarios. It is, however, relatively rare for a film to have as its basic premise particular subject matter that, while relevant in its year of production, grows increasingly pertinent and frighteningly accurate as years go on. This is the case with Videodrome, David Cronenberg’s extraordinary 1983 film starring James Woods as Max Renn, a sleazy television programmer who has grown sensorially flaccid by the stale material he peddles on air.
The shows that run on his Civic TV Channel 83 just aren’t cutting it. Max is not content with straight porn, not even niche markets that cater to particular fetishes. Samurai Dreams, which we see a few seconds of, is just too soft. Yes, as Max puts it, “Oriental sex is a natural,” but is it tacky enough? »
- Jeremy Carr
3 items from 2015
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