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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
Barry Convex proclaims Lorenzo de Medici as the author of the two famous ocular quotes. The first, "love comes in at the eye", is from a William Butler Yeats poem called "A Drinking Song". The second, "the eye is the window of the soul", is not definitively attributable to any one source. Seemingly similar variations exist in Cicero, European proverbs and the Gospel of Matthew. See more »
Great Concept, but Degenerates Into Stupidity & Gory Effects
It had a great concept, a sleazy cable channel operator, Max Renn, always on the prowl for more sleaze, finds this mysterious cable channel full of pointless sex and violence, which turns him and his degenerate girlfriend on. Then throw in some Marshall MacLuhan professor type who communicates to the world via video cassettes and runs a mission where society's outcasts are rehabilitated by letting them watch TV in their own cubicles. There is lots of messaging about bad media addictions and a polluted TV culture, But this Videodrome pirate channel is more than just a new low of non-stop sex and violence, it reprograms the TV addict's body to do things like grow a VCR tape slot in the stomach and have wild violent hallucinations. Here is where it gets the Cronenberg gore special efx touch which eventually undoes the movie.
In one scene, after the changed Max fights back against the Videodrome people with the help of the professor's daughter, his old technical wizard attempts to reprogram him by sticking a new pulsating lifelike VCR tape in his stomach slot. Just like the Thing, his hand goes into Max's stomach but instead of Max's whatever is inside him just chomping the tech's hand off, it turns the tech's hand into some sort of grenade that causes the tech to explode, blowing a few precut cinder blocks loose. Then Max goes on some more gory revenge scenes and it ends up really dumb in the end.
So Cronenberg takes a good concept and theme and essentially does little better than what his fictitious cable channel did, feed us some gore and R light sex under the guise of exploring the dark side of the media. This is why I never regarding the director as anything more than a clever shock jock with little artistic or social vision. But in Canada, he is still a hero, small country I guess.
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