Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: James Woods, Deborah Harry, Sonja Smits, Peter Dvorsky, Leslie Carlson
Director: David Cronenberg
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
No Description Available. Genre: Horror Rating: UN Release Date: 12-APR-2005 Media Type: DVD
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Member Movie Reviews
James B. (wandersoul73) from TYLER, TX
Reviewed on 6/18/2009...
A rather strange film. No wonder it's such a cult classic.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Michael J Edelman | Huntington Woods, MI USA | 10/01/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"TV will rot your brain, some say- and in the world of Videodrome, that's exactly what happens. A group working with a media philosopher (a nice parody of Marshall McCluhan) has created a signal that can be superimposed on a video program that will, quite literally, mutate the brain. It may be a tumor- or it may be a new organ. It's infected cable TV president Max Venn (James Woods), and is starting to change him and his world in bizarre ways.Videodrome is a wonderfully original movie that mixes a well crafted script with some novel (for the time) special effects and a marvelous darkly comic sensibility. Puns abound; the president of "Spectacular Optics"- itself a pun- is named Convex. Brian Oblivion (the Marshall McCluhan parody) founded the "Cathode Ray Mission" (as in "cathode ray emission"), where the homeless and destitute are re-integrated into society by providing them with exposure to television.Underneath this is a dark, sexual theme- Max's attraction to the images of bondage and sadism that are his undoing, and to radio psychologist Nikki (Debbie Harry, in a compelling if inartful performance) who is willing to go a lot farther than is Max in her pursuit of kinky thrills.Is Max really being physically transformed, or is it all in his head? Is the New Flesh real, or another delusion? All in all, a compelling and original film that will delight any fan of cult films and erotic horror."
One of the Best Criterion DVDs
J. MacAyeal | libertyville, illinois United States | 09/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Videodrome is not only one of the top three horror/sci-fi movies made in the last 25 years it also has the distinguishing trait of having been given one of the best royal treatments from Criterion. If you need basic plot and such look elsewhere. This review is more about why this is one of the greatest films of all time.
First, the film: A must-have for any film collector, not just a horror or sci-fi buff. James Woods plays a Cable-TV station owner who broadcasts soft-porn and adult entertainment. His favorite technician shows him a pirated TV show called Videodrome in which people are tortured and killed. Woods pursues this show, watching more and more of it until his investigations lead him to two sources: The Videodrome show producers itself and the show's arch-enemy, The Cathode Ray Mission. Woods discovers that the show transmits a signal that creates a tumor in the brain that leads to S+M hallucinations. Woods begins to hallucinate incredible sexual/violent nightmares ( the fleshy TV set)and finds himself as a pawn between the two entities. Videodrome plans on using Woods' station to transmit the violent Videodrome show in order to kill the audience of porn. Videodrome owner Barry Convex "programs" Woods to kill his partners at the station and the Cathode Ray Mission Leader, Bianca O'Blivion. Bianca "counter programs" Woods into killing the Videodrome people. Bianca declares that Woods has "evolved" (Darwinism on its ear) into The New Flesh, an allegory of an information-age human with a body that mutates via hallucination. In the end, Woods, alone and his head filled with tumors, is prompted by his now dead girlfriend (Deborah Harry in the flesh TV set) to "evolve" into the next stage by shooting himself. Woods kills himself exactly as the fleshy TV set instructs him to do, declaring: "Long live the New Flesh."
Cronenberg gathered many parts of a script and ideas together to create a near avant-garde film that uses TV and fanatical programmers as villains. This movie sets the thriller basis for which The Matrix and The Ring would so heavily borrow from. Cronenberg's approach is different from his previous film SCANNERS in that the protaganist's perspective (a tremendous James Woods) becomes the actual subject of the movie. Since Videodrome has probably been seen my almost everone who reads this I need not bother to summarize the plot any further. Suffice to say that what starts out as an already interesting and challenging portrait of a soft-porn Cable-TV station owner looking for the next big thing in the adult entertainment world evolves into a nightmare that relentlessly never eases until the very last frame. This psychotic world and body (called The New Flesh)that Woods now finds himself becomes an allegory for our dependance and adhearance to Media and TV in particular. The concepts of "downloading" and "programming people" was, back in 1981, revolutionary. Kafka meets Tom Edison. The villains are evangelical and are either using the cancer-tumor inducing "videodrome" signal to kill sinners (Barry Convex looks like Jimmy Baker) or, in a twist of Darwin, the Cathode Ray Mission using the signal to "evolve" people to the next state of our existance: a personified information society of hallucinating, mutated people. This film was ahead of its time by decades and is still a significant movie using TV/Media as the vehicle for great evil, as prompted by an already receptive audience. Cronenberg suggests that we have created a TV Pornographic Frankenstien that is out of control.
The DVD: Two discs, both essential. The commentary from Cronengerg and James Woods is particulary interesting. Deborah Harry comments as well. The extras on Disc two feature excellent interviews with the special effects team, and a TV interview show from Canadian TV with John Carpenter, John Landis, and Cronenberg. The making of film is good and the actual torture and porn videos shot especially for the film are just bizzare to see, and they are provied with commentary. The DVD case is made to look like a betamax cassette that reads: Long Live the New Flesh. I love this movie, I always have. Yes, it has dated a little bit, but its one of those few movies that gets better with age. In fact, the dating of the effects adds significance to the visionary horror concept itself, light years ahead of its time. This is Cronenberg's masterpiece and everyone associated with it can consider themselves lucky. Make yourself among these lucky and get this DVD set."
Cronenberg Terrorize the Audience through Brilliant Delusion
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 10/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The TV producer Max Renn (James Woods) works for a sleazy TV network that focuses on violence, sex, and other bizarre programs. Max's job is to search and find programs that keep pushing the aggressive nature of the network and can keep the viewer numbers up. Years of exposure to violence and sex have diminished the effect that the brutality and sexuality have on Max. As a result Max continues to search for something rough and more sadistic, and through an employee of the network he finds a pirate cable show, Videodrome.
The nature of the Videodrome is as Max refers to it as, "It's just murder and torture. No plot. No characters." It is the cutting edge, no pun intended, of cable TV for Max as it is rougher and more brutal than anything else that he has seen. Max tapes the show and becomes fixated with the pirated shows. This also begins to affect Max's social life as he meets Nicki (Deborah Harry) with whom he initiates a sadistic romance. Max begins to track the source down for Videodrome, which initially seems to be sent from Malaysia. However, further investigation leads Max to Pittsburgh, and he realizes that it is connected with a nightmarish cult.
David Cronenberg creates a terrifying atmosphere where reality and delusions begin to blend. This shadow land draws the audience into a paranoid cinematic experience where the threat is located directly in front of them, the television. The exceptional special effects are a big part of creating the bizarre atmosphere, which are startling with the breathing video tapes, open stomachs, and a sensually moving television. Videodrome carries Cronenberg's distinctive insignia as it is unique, disturbing, and groundbreaking. As usual with Cronenberg, his films always create room for cerebral participation and reflection as there are always several messages, which can be seen in other films by Cronenberg such as Spider and Naked Lunch. When Videodrome's end credits roll over the screen the audience will have experienced a truly unique film, which will cause much room for debate and pondering.