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Videodrome (1983)

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1:13 | Trailer
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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Popularity
3,032 ( 534)
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 ... 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:

A terrifying new weapon. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of five Sci-Fi/Horror movies that were heavily promoted by Universal Pictures prior to their impending releases in 1982 and given prospective release dates. The others were: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Thing (1982) (both set release dates for that summer), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) (October), The Dark Crystal (1982) and this film (December). This ultimately changed when Universal pushed back the film from its original slated release date to February 1983. 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: I think that you'll find a little S&M will be necessary to trigger off a good healthy dose of hallucinations.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

Some TV prints of the film have an extended ending. While the original film ends with James Woods holding a gun to his head, the TV version continues on to show images of cast members as dialogue from the film is heard. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Movie Suicides (2014) See more »

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

Gross USA:

$2,120,439

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,120,439
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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