If you’ve been following my recent movie review tread (and if haven’t, why not?) Videodrome continues in my look back at sc-fi movies that explore the concept of reality vs delusion (which began with the Inception review). Directed by acclaimed iconoclast David Cronenberg and starring James Woods and the gorgeous Debbie Harry, Videodrome (released in 1983) looks positively dated (due to technological advances) but its themes and concepts are still relevant.
IMDB synopsis –
Sleazy lowlife cable TV operator Max Renn discovers a snuff broadcast called “Videodrome.” But it is more than a TV show–it’s an experiment that uses regular TV transmissions to permanently alter the viewer’s perceptions by giving them brain damage. Max is caught in the middle of the forces that created “Videodrome” and the forces that want to control it, his body itself turning into the ultimate weapon to fight this global conspiracy.
As with most movies, Videodrome begins very promisingly but alas loses steam somewhere to the end and becomes somewhat incomprehensible as well. Of course, this may have something to do with the fact that most of the plot narrative is an elaborate hallucination in Max Renn’s damaged mind. And so what may be perceived as a weak plot may actually be lack of understanding on the part of the audience. Again, that may be the point of it all.
But this is Cronenberg after all, so there’s more than enough sex and gore to satisfy fans of both sci-fi and horror. Cronenberg is really after one major theme – does video ultimately alter our perception of reality? As I mentioned earlier as Videodrome was made in 1983, much of the tech looks very archaic by modern standards and thus would be ripe for a remake where Cronenberg’s theme is even more valid. True to form, Universal has snapped up the rights to do so BUT will this remake even come close to being as disturbing as the original. I seriously doubt so. In the meantime, get your minds scrambled once again…