Videodrome

1983

Action / Horror / Mystery / Sci-Fi / Thriller

73
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 80%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 81%
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 70891

Synopsis


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June 19, 2018 at 03:34 AM

Cast

James Woods as Max Renn
David Cronenberg as Max Renn in helmet
Deborah Harry as Nicki Brand
Jayne Eastwood as Woman Caller
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
550.87 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 27 min
P/S 13 / 55
1.39 GB
1904*1024
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 27 min
P/S 7 / 35

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Jakealope 5 / 10

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.

Reviewed by crystallogic 8 / 10

Long live the New Flesh

This is a deeply disquieting film that never loses it's power to make me feel unsettled. It's my favourite Cronenberg picture by a considerable margin, tough admittedly I haven't tried them all yet.

You might find, in 2018, the tech to belong in a museum. maybe you don't like TV very much and so the problems of a person finding themselves in the videodrome seem remote to you. but think about it this way, then. What would today's videodrome be like? Nope, this isn't an invitation for some idiot to re-make Cronenberg's film. i'm just saying: surely this film is even more powerful today than it was in 1983? I don't like TV either. Haven't had cable for nearly twenty years! Don't miss it or want it. But ... I, and in fact most of my friends, spend an awful lot of time on the internet. I even got an Android phone, which can be used to view all kinds of video content. We don't need networks anymore. All we need is a distribution system (much cheaper and more flexible than the television network) and the people to make content.

I love the notion of a signal activating something in the brain that creates a new "growth" that can lead to mind-altering halucinations, which stay with you and affect your reality even when you're not watching the box. That's brilliant. Also very scary to contemplate. The movie does an excellent job of pushing the "horror" buttons, particularly with regard to Max's situation and descent to becoming a pawn in other peoples' games. I love the way the film sets up this terrible situation and makes the audience itself feel the mounting paranoia. By the end I didn't feel anyone was trustworthy. I feel like Cronenberg revisted a lot of his films in the adaptation of The Naked Lunch, another film I really appreciated, almost as much as this one, really.

Reviewed by Scott LeBrun 8 / 10

It has a philosophy, and that is what makes it dangerous.

This stunning film, grim and graphic at nearly every turn, is an incredible early work by David Cronenberg when he was still into his "body horror" cycle. ("The Dead Zone", done the same year, broke him free for a moment.) James Woods delivers an amiable performance as Max Renn, operator / part owner of a small time cable TV station. He's looking for edgy new programming, and his employee Harlan (Peter Dvorsky) shows him the pirated transmissions of a hideous series dubbed "Videodrome". There are no stories to speak of, it's just straight-ahead torture and degradation. Well, as it turns out, viewing Videodrome causes freaky and strikingly violent hallucinations for just about anybody.

Taking a journey into the worlds of David Cronenberg is always interesting, if nothing else. And "interesting" is never a bad quality to possess. Some people may wince at the effects sequences in these early movies, but they are evidence of the way that Cronenberg could often appeal to adult intellects as well as affect them at gut level.

Here, he hypothesizes that television and technology are so ingrained into human experience and existence that they can become part of our physical makeup, so to speak. His themes are prophetic; "Videodrome" could be seen as a way-ahead-of-the-game forerunner to the "torture porn" sub genre that exploded in the 21st century. And the desire for some networks and stations to try to draw people in with entertainment that they can't get anywhere else has remained relevant over the decades.

Approximately 35 years later, the wonderfully gross Rick Baker effects lose none of their power to amaze. This viewer was particuarly delighted by the pulsating videotape and television set, and by that "flesh gun" that results when a regular gun is fused into Max's body.

Cinematographer Mark Irwin and composer Howard Shore do typically excellent work. This is also a nice showcase for a solid cast: Woods, Sonja Smits, Deborah Harry (the Blondie singer looks VIVACIOUS, and is intriguing as an enigmatic woman who gets off on physical pain), Lynne Gorman, Jack Creley, Dvorsky, and Les Carlson as Barry Convex, the villain of the piece.

After all this time, the new flesh is still living a very long life.

Eight out of 10.

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