Critics Consensus: Visually audacious, disorienting, and just plain weird, Videodrome's musings on technology, entertainment, and politics still feel fresh today.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
Hardcore pornography, sadomasochism, mind control, and living televisions all play crucial roles in Videodrome, one of director David Cronenberg's explorations of dangerous sexuality and technological obsession. The morally questionable hero of the tale is one Max Renn (James Woods), a television executive searching for an intense new program for his sex-oriented network. He ultimately discovers an underground program called "Videodrome," which appears to broadcast pornographic snuff films of actual murders. Horrified but perversely intrigued, Renn sets out to find the truth behind the program. During his search, he meets alluring femme fatale Nicki (Blondie lead singer Debbie Harry), technology cult leader Bianca O'Blivion, and other mysterious figures. Things become even more disturbing for Renn as his addiction grows, and the program begins to infect the outside world -- or perhaps merely destroy own his sanity. Cronenberg mingles his cerebral concerns about the nature of reality in the video age with enough visceral gore (courtesy of Rick Baker) to satisfy the film's intended horror audience. … More
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for Videodrome
Film is dotted with video jargon and ideology which proves more fascinating than distancing. And Cronenberg amplifies the freaky situation with a series of stunning visual effects.
Never coherent and frequently pretentious, the film remains an audacious attempt to place obsessive personal images before a popular audience -- a kind of Kenneth Anger version of Star Wars.
There are distinct signs of strain in the plot convolutions, not least in the spectator's loss of faith over indiscriminate and cheating use of hallucination; what certainly survives is Cronenberg's wholesale disgust with the world in general.
Though Videodrome finally grows grotesque and a little confused, it begins very well and sustains its cleverness for a long while.
Here, Cronenberg is a provocateur only to a point - boldly striding past boundaries of comfort but getting the heebie-jeebies upon approaching true profundity. But he wasn't too far from figuring out which incisions could cut the deepest.
...an intriguing, deeply interesting film that over the course of almost three decades has acquired a prescient quality, but it's also schlock; a kind of cyberpunk rewrite of Network that indulges Cronenberg's taste for venereal horror.
There's little denying that Cronenberg was way ahead of his time with much of Videodrome.
David Cronenberg's most visionary and audacious film up to the time of its making, Videodrome is a fascinating rumination on humanity, technology, entertainment, sex, and politics that is virtually incomprehensible on first viewing.
Veers from being risible to sinister as it explores how viewers are brainwashed by TV.
Videodrome is arguably one of Cronenberg's best horror films, and it holds up brilliantly.
The director captures the worst-case scenario of what might happen at the dawn of the video era, going all the way back to our parents' warning us not to sit too close to the television.
Underbaked, but you can't argue with its otherworldly aura. One disappointment: we don't get to see the belly-slit sex organs Baker designed for the never-used orgy finale.
By the time it reaches its...inevitable-feeling conclusion, 'Videodrome' has become more than a mere horror film--it's an indictment of everyone represented by its characters.
Cronenberg was ahead of his time with this gross-out horror flick.
Thematically, it connects easily with most other titles in the Cronenberg oeuvre, with the added treat of having been released far ahead of its time.
It certainly sets the skin a-crawl, I'll give it that.
A horror film of unusual substance and vision -- the first film from David Cronenberg that announced his true importance as a filmmaker.
Audience Reviews for Videodrome
There is a very thought-provoking idea about mass media control and paranoia in this strange hallucinogenic film, but despite that and the exceptional visual effects, it is rather confusing (not in a good way though) and does not flesh out (yes, there you are) its premise so well.More
"Videodrome" is undeniably original and it boasts from extremely impressive visuals for it's time, but it sometimes goes way over the top and becomes almost too disgusting to watch, which is not necessarily a bad thing, seeing that the visuals are brilliantly done. Max Renn (James Woods) discovers a new show called Videodrome, which has been found to create hallucinations in peoples minds, eventually leading to death. The hallucinations that Max succumbs to are very very interesting for the first few times, but it becomes so disgusting that you almost turn your head and laugh at the writers. Still, overall, this film is extreme on all levels, with great witty writing, fantastic visuals for it's time, a very good cast, and a story worth telling. "Videodrome" is fantastic!More
A truly fascinatingly disturbing film. The idea of how humanity is so dependent on technology, its not just a necessity, its becoming part of us. Featuring some unsettling topics, such as hardcore snuff films and brain tumors, Videodrome will not be the most pleasant ride for anyone. As well as and superb effects, Videodrome is topped with a strong performance from James Woods, who I felt wasn't the most sympathetic character or someone you could connect with, but it was one performance that stood out regardless. David Cronenberg's Videodrome has a chilling message, which is rather relevant for today, on how technology is becoming more advanced, which then leads to the demand in explicit/graphic entertainment rise. This may not entertain everyone, however, its power and messages should be looked at in detail.More
One of the craziest and creepiest mindfuck type of movies I've ever seen. This is a really interesting and original idea. I liked it, but jeepers is this movie creepy and disturbing. I'm definitely gonna have some more interesting than normal dreams now, and that's saying something.
The plot follows a TV executive who is all about ratings and sensationalism. He hits the jackpot when he comes across a video feed that appears to be broadcasting pornographic snuff films of actual murders. He's both horrified and hooked, and things really get intense when it seems like the feed is beginning to alter his reality and sanity.
YEah, it sounds totally off the wall, but that's because it is. It's Cronenberg though, so ithat explains a lot. It's got his trademark blending of man and technology, shocking visuals and effects, a warped sense of humor and life, and is really quite an experience to go through. It's also a rather sharp commentary on society, too, and it's handled with lots of intelligence and care, and I couldn't be happier about that.
You should really see this movie. It's not for all tastes, but for people who want something surreal, cerebral, and horrific, then this is the film for you.
Discuss Videodrome on our Movie forum!