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Videodrome [1983] is the science-fiction classic (by critically acclaimed director David Cronenberg) which introduces Max Renn, a cable TV executive on the search for the newest frontier of sexually explicit and violence-centered programming. Max Renn (acted by James Woods) is alerted to ‘Videodrome’, a pirate signal exclusively broadcasting scenes of violence, torture, and murder.

Unexpected turn. The setup is a perfect beginning for a captivating mystery thriller. Further into the film, weird imagery pops up thick and fast. Part frightening, part disturbing, part nauseating.  From one scene to the next, convoluted and silly sci-fi elements creep in and figuratively consume any semblance of logic. How the hell did we get here?

Deborah Harry. Playing love interest to Max Renn, she sells each line and is mesmerizing in her scenes. Written intriguingly complex for a supporting role. Besides being Nikki Brand, the masochistic psychiatrist, and radio host, you never get to find out what her deal is. Videodrome avoids going into depth about anything besides the science-fiction story line.

Remarkably unusual. A male extra wears too much eye shadow. Inanimate objects start to pulsate. James Woods loses the plot. Deb Harry likes it rough. An old woman is peddling porn. So strange, in fact, it differentiates itself to the point of becoming unforgettable. The extremely gory special effects (relative to the movie gore in the 80's) just intensifies the weirder elements and oozes a degree of David Lynch.

 

Heavy on the fiction. Heavier on the weird.

Watch Videodrome on iTunes or Amazon

Videodrome
3.5Overall Score
Reader Rating 2 Votes

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