Videodrome Screen 88 of 4 reviews

Videodrome

1983

Videodrome Poster
  • Cronenberg’s sense of outrageous comedy sets up a brisk descent into madness and paranoia and sexual dysmorphia: a kinky-junkie bad trip. Harry traverses it with her seen-it-all veteran’s shrug, but she wouldn’t seem out of place in a pre-Code Hollywood oldie bantering with Jean Harlow or Joan Blondell either.

  • Violent, erotic, and relentlessly weird—in other words, classic Cronenberg—Videodrome pits the CEO of a trash TV station (a superb James Woods) against a mysterious broadcast signal airing real violence and torture, content so visceral it thrusts its viewers into a fit of violent hallucinations.

  • Renn's transformation into a piece of technology, whose only purpose is to execute commands programmed into him by the insertion of a videotape, is a modern-day cautionary tale; the audience is forced to reflect on Renn's failure to distinguish between "Videodrome" as a product and "Videodrome" as life. Cronenberg cleverly confuses those two opposites to the point that they become fused.

  • Tricky one. Intelligent, provocative, in many ways prescient...but I don't find it terribly satisfying, and I think that's because it's really just a bunch of half-digested ideas thrown together in an essentially meaningless narrative... Any given five or ten minutes of the movie look fantastic, but watched start to finish it plays like a compilation album of Cronenberg's Greatest Hits, even though some of those singles hadn't yet been recorded at the time.

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