After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally kills his wife, and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa.
After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.
The residents of a suburban high-rise apartment building are being infected by a strain of parasites that turn them into mindless, sex-crazed fiends out to infect others by the slightest sexual contact.
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
When Max returns to Spectacular Optical near the end of the film, a sign for prescriptions reads 'perscriptions'. See more »
What about it, Nicki? Is it socially positive?
Well, I think we live in overstimulated times. We crave stimulation for its own sake. We gorge ourselves on it. We always want more, whether it's tactile, emotional or sexual. And I think that's bad.
Then why did you wear that dress?
That dress. It's very stimulating.
[looks at Rena]
And it's red. You know what Freud would've said about that dress.
And he would've been right. I admit it. I live in a highly excited state of overstimulation.
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The VIDEODROME title experiences a TV white noise distortion. See more »
The director's cut (available in the US on VHS and DVD) contains the following additional footage:
During the "Samurai Dreams" scene, a dildo, only partly shown in the "R" rated version, is fully visible.
The first shot of videodrome in Harlan's workroom runs longer.
The next scene in Harlan's workroom shows a different, and more graphic take of videodrome broadcast.
The scene in which Max pierces Nicki's ear has been extended.
The shot of Max shooting his second partner is slightly longer.
Videodrome is truly a surreal experience. I do not want to include too much information as that would spoil the film for "virgin" viewers. If you are familiar with Cronenberg's work, you may have an inkling of what you're in for. Videodrome can drive one to the brink of madness, and then tell you you've been there for an hour and a half. From scene to scene you can't tell what's real and what is in James Wood's imagination. It's utter insanity, but it's great at the same time. This film is a good companion piece with Cronenberg's Existenze. When you can wrap the audience up in your movie, you have accomplished something few have. And David Cronenberg seems to do that time and again. Cronenberg is not for the faint of heart, definitely.
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