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Videodrome (1983)

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When he acquires a different kind of show for his station, a sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a terrifying new reality.

Director:

David Cronenberg
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3,664 ( 176)
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Woods ... Max Renn
Sonja Smits ... Bianca O'Blivion
Debbie Harry ... Nicki Brand (as Deborah Harry)
Peter Dvorsky ... Harlan
Leslie Carlson ... Barry Convex (as Les Carlson)
Jack Creley ... Brian O'Blivion
Lynne Gorman ... Masha
Julie Khaner ... Bridey
Reiner Schwarz Reiner Schwarz ... Moses
David Bolt David Bolt ... Raphael
Lally Cadeau Lally Cadeau ... Rena King
Henry Gomez Henry Gomez ... Brolley
Harvey Chao Harvey Chao ... Japanese Salesman
David Tsubouchi David Tsubouchi ... Japanese Salesman
Kay Hawtrey ... Matron
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Storyline

Max Renn is the President of Channel 83 Civic-TV, a small television station on the UHF dial. He defends his programming of largely X-rated shows - which depict graphic sex and extreme violence - as a pure matter of economic survival as a small station. Behind closed doors in specific company, he would admit that he enjoys such programming, but as President will stay away from associated activities that may be dangerous for him in its purchase. His current girlfriend, radio personality Nicki Brand, who he met on a television talk show, is sexually aroused by light mutilation on her person, that despite or because her radio show is like an open air crisis hotline. On that same talk show, the other guest via video feed was Professor Brian O'Blivion - solely his stage name - who believes that television and video broadcasts will one day overtake the world as reality, which may make Max's programming in combination more dangerous. In Max's search for the next big thing in like programming... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

First it controls your mind...then it destroys your body See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 February 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Videodrome See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,952,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,194,175, 6 February 1983, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$2,120,439, 13 February 1983
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During filming of the Cathode Ray mission sequence, the film's gaffer, Jock Brandis, walked in and casually informed the crew that the power lines to the building were smoking because of the load imposed on them by the TV sets. See more »

Goofs

When Max returns to Spectacular Optical near the end of the film, a sign for prescriptions reads 'perscriptions'. See more »

Quotes

Barry Convex: You'll forgive me if I don't stay around to watch. I just can't cope with the freaky stuff.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The VIDEODROME title experiences a TV white noise distortion. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original UK cinema release featured the U.S R-rated print. The initial 1987 UK video version was pre-edited by 3 minutes before submission and the longer US R-rated version was released uncut on video in 1990 (this is the currently available UK DVD version). The unrated U.S 'Director's Cut' has also been released on laserdisc in the UK, rated 18. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Comix Scrutinizer: Squeak the Mouse #1 (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Television Screen Is the Retina of the Mind's Eye
22 August 2006 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

The president of the Civic TV - channel 83, Max Renn (James Wood), is always looking for new cheap and erotic movies for his cable television. When his employee Harlan (Peter Dvorsky) decodes a pirate video broadcast showing torture, murder and mutilation called Videodrome, Max becomes obsessed to get these movies for his channel. He contacts his supplier Masha (Lynne Gorman) and asks her to find the responsible for the transmission. A couple of days later, Masha tells that Videodrome is real, actually snuff movies. Max's sadomasochist girlfriend Nicki Brand (Deborah Harry) decides to travel to Pittsburgh to have an audition to the show. Max investigates further, and through a video of the expert Professor Brian O'Blivion (Jack Creley), he learns that that TV screen would be the retina of the mind's eye, being part of the brain, and Videodrome transmission creates a brain tumor in the viewer, changing the reality in video hallucination.

"Videodrome", in my point of view, is a prophetic movie of David Cronenberg. The first time I saw this movie was in 1985 or 1986, when video-clubs where novelty in Brazil, and the local price of a videocassette was more than US$ 650.00. In that occasion, I recall that I was visually impressed with this gore, weird and bizarre movie. Twenty-three years later, I have just seen it on DVD and I realize the vision of this great director. He was able to foresee the importance of television for mankind, influencing people with sublimated messages, manipulating audiences and becoming very powerful, and how violence on screen can generate violence. I particularly like the following quotes: "The television screen is the retina of the mind's eye" and "Television is reality, and reality is less than television." Last but not the least, Brazil is not located in Central America, but in South America. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Videodrome – A Síndrome do Vídeo" ("Videodrome – The Syndrome of the Video")


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