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Videodrome

Videodrome (1983)

tomatometer

80

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 44
Fresh: 35 | Rotten: 9

Visually audacious, disorienting, and just plain weird, Videodrome's musings on technology, entertainment, and politics still feel fresh today.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1

Visually audacious, disorienting, and just plain weird, Videodrome's musings on technology, entertainment, and politics still feel fresh today.

audience

81

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 39,807

My Rating

Movie Info

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

R,

Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror

David Cronenberg

Sep 8, 1998

Universal Pictures

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Videodrome

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All Critics (45) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (35) | Rotten (9) | DVD (20)

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.

June 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

June 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (4)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comments (2)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though Videodrome finally grows grotesque and a little confused, it begins very well and sustains its cleverness for a long while.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

February 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

...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.

January 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

There's little denying that Cronenberg was way ahead of his time with much of Videodrome.

January 9, 2011 Full Review Source: FEARnet
FEARnet

... Videodrome is as contemporary and relevant as ever.

October 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Seanax.com
Seanax.com

[I]t stands out as one of Cronenberg's very best.

June 19, 2008 Full Review Source: ESplatter
ESplatter

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.

June 6, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Veers from being risible to sinister as it explores how viewers are brainwashed by TV.

March 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Videodrome is arguably one of Cronenberg's best horror films, and it holds up brilliantly.

July 12, 2006 Full Review Source: About.com
About.com

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.

September 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

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.

March 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Weekly | Comment (1)
Seattle Weekly

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.

September 29, 2004 Full Review Source: culturevulture.net
culturevulture.net

Cronenberg was ahead of his time with this gross-out horror flick.

September 20, 2004

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.

September 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

It certainly sets the skin a-crawl, I'll give it that.

May 22, 2004
Flipside Movie Emporium

A horror film of unusual substance and vision -- the first film from David Cronenberg that announced his true importance as a filmmaker.

May 12, 2003 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Home to the delicious Miltonic idea that what Adam dreams he wakes to find real.

March 9, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Audience Reviews for Videodrome

"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!
October 19, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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.
July 9, 2013
Samuel Riley
Samuel Riley

Super Reviewer

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.
December 7, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Cronenberg is for sure one of my favorite directors for his use of the surreal, his intense visual choices, and the underlying layers he uses to illustrate important points in the story. Videodrome has been described as techno-surrealism, but today it's more nostalgic about the world of pirate tapes and feeds, than anything. Its staying power comes from its intense, nearly prescient choices which have become partially true. The film focuses on the inane theory that we are what we watch, which is explored in the most macabre, sexually explicit, violent way possible. James Woods is the seminal sleazy executive, in a future not too far off, where his demeanor is socially accepted though understandably crude. He in turn is joined by Debbie Harry who is as insatiable as he, while retaining her own deluded grandeur. It isn't clear whether her views are challenged in this world or she is a product of the same programming that Woods' character is selling to the masses. In turn Videodrome, a pirated feed that he tries to use for his television station, is a complex and intricately layered concept that is certainly used to its full extent for the purpose of the plot. The entire film is grotesque from start to finish, beginning with slick images and ending with a political and social message that carries with it some pretension. The entire film is a bit heavyhanded, but with its surrealist quality and ability to shift attention with inventive visual choices it wins me over. The visuals include making a large abdominal wound, and the television into its own alive entity. I found the flow of the plot to be a bit confusing in places, as every Cronenberg is full of intrigue and mysterious circumstances, but the feel of it, the odd logic and the even stranger visuals, make it quite entertaining. Either way you will be entertained by the amazing choices and past techno effects of the director, who is for sure the most innovative voice in cinema of the past thirty years.
July 19, 2012
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

    1. Max Renn: Long live the new flesh.
    – Submitted by Bruce B (2 years ago)
    1. Max Renn: I'm looking for something... tough.
    – Submitted by Tim R (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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