Videodrome Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 4, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
March 2, 2012
"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!
Samuel Riley
Super Reviewer
½ June 26, 2013
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.
Super Reviewer
½ August 5, 2009
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.
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
½ November 2, 2007
A well-paced, competently acted study on society's obsession with violence and sex on television, and what if catharsis was released on a more physical front, and the results that follow. David Cronenberg, the master of body horror, churns out another successful, memorable film, thanks mostly to the surreal-like atmosphere he implements that keeps the viewer constantly guessing if, like the lead character (James Woods), what you are seeing is real or a nightmare. It gets a little silly and full of itself near the conclusion, but begs a lot of interesting questions that can not be ignored. Woods' fine turn helps anchor the story to port, even in the shaky last 1/3.
Super Reviewer
½ October 27, 2011
Videodrome is David Cronenberg's masterpiece. It features amazing special effects and great performances from James Woods and Debbie Harry.
Super Reviewer
August 31, 2011
Max Renn: I'm looking for something that'll... break through. You know? 

"First it controls your mind... then it destroys your body"

Videodrome is quite the experience. After being less than impressed with the first two movies I saw from Cronenberg; I expected more of the same from this. I finally saw why Cronenberg is highly respected. This is a great concept that is incredibly well-made and doesn't make the mistake of overstaying its welcome. James Woods gives a really strong performance as Max Renn.

The plot is really cool. It centers on Max Renn, a tv executive who is looking for the next best thing in sexual fantasy. He believes he has found it when he watches a pirated clip of Videodrome. It's violent and thinks the public will like it; so he tries to find out as much about it as he can. That's when the "normal" ends and the surreal begins. My favorite thing about this movie was how it wasn't made in a straightforward way, yet it wasn't confusing. It had its share of twists and unreal sections, but it never got to the point where it was too confusing for its own good.

A fantastic movie from the 80's that is sure to please fans of horror and psychological thrillers. It's made with a very inspired and authentic feel to it, which just adds to the experience of it all. This movie definitely is going to make me want to watch more Cronenberg. 
Super Reviewer
½ February 25, 2007
The new flesh is now a reality, but it became the internet.
Super Reviewer
½ March 15, 2011
Prescient, powerful, perplexing, and just plain Cronenberg. Very ahead of its time and perfect for anybody who needed a visual aid to technology's rape of humanity.
Super Reviewer
December 24, 2007
An absolute twisted nightmare of brilliance.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
I love this movie, it's my favourite from Cronenberg, and I highly recommend it. It's so weird, gory, and freaky that it's just brilliant. I wrote a paper on it for a class once, I love it so much.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2010
David Cronenberg is the master of Bizarre cinema. He's Canada's answer to David Lynch. Many of his 80's films deal with the body horror genre. Videodrome is one the director's most sinister works. Like with every other Cronenberg film of this period, The film dwells on Cronenbergs favorite subject. The special fx here are incredible and Rick Baker's fx are one of the best aspects of Videodrome. This is one of Cronenberg's most inventive films and he delivers something astounding. Videodrome is a nightmare, it's strange, it's whatever word you need to use to describe it. If you want one of David Croneberg's most solid films. Then give this one a viewing.
Videodrome is in my opinion one of Cronenberg's greatest Achievements as a director. The film is the type of film that shatters your nerves and twists your imagination in every ways you can imagine. The film is haunting, chilling and downright disturbing. Videodrome has everything you'd expect from a David Cronenberg film. The film surrounds a local television station owner, who specializes in providing a sleazy viewing experience then stumbles on Videodrome, a channel that shows graphic torture and mutilation. It's not long after that, that Max Renn starts to hallucinate as Videodrome controls his mind. Videodrome is a solid Horror Sci Fi film, and is everything you'd hope from Cronenberg. Videodrome is a great film that showcases David Cronenberg's directing abilities to a whole new level of deranged genius. Also this film has some awesome special effects work done by Rick Baker and James Woods is excellent as sleazy TV Station owner Max Renn. Long live the new flesh indeed.
Super Reviewer
July 4, 2010
"Television is reality, and reality is less than television."
Max Renn(James Woods) is a sleazy president of Civic Channel 83 which shows softcore pornography and some violent material. He is always on the lookout for new cheap, erotic films for his station in this 1983 David Cronenberg disturbing yet watchable classic.
When his employee decodes a pirate video broadcast showing torture, murder, and mutilation(Videodrome), Max becomes obsessed with acquiring this series for his channel. Max's sado-masochistic girlfriend Nicki Brand portrayed by Deborah Harry a.k.a Blondie goes to Pittburgh,PA to audition for this series which is very much to her twisted liking.
As Max learns more and more about this particular snuff broadcast, it becomes clear that what he's dealing with is much more than a television program.
"Long live the new flesh".
Super Reviewer
January 8, 2009
As a film maker, Cronenberg reminds me a lot of David Lynch. Both think far outside the box and neither would let little things like good taste, conventional wisdom or the laws of nature stand in the way of making a great film.
Super Reviewer
½ December 6, 2009
A completely bizarre take on the power and future of television. It takes the idea of brainwashing to an entirely new level. James Woods was a great character who could be serious, but also lighten the mood when necessary. This is definitely groundbreaking for its time, undoubtedly the basis for movies like The Matrix. David Cronenberg's style makes absurd ideas very real and sometimes frightening.
Super Reviewer
October 29, 2006
Videodrome straddles the line between sociological commentary about the media, where its going, etc and early era David Cronenberg that's so fucked up even if for no other reason than the sake of pure entertainment. The hallucinations are twisted and worthwhile, the story's smart enough to justify any missteps that Cronenberg may have made and a naked Debbie Harry never hurts. At least it wasn't in 1983. The acting's a tad weak at times, James Woods' vagina-stomach had me scratching my head and I fell asleep twice before I managed to finally get through the whole thing. Videodrome is worth the time but not the effort...
Super Reviewer
½ November 6, 2007
If I viewed my film collection like they were artifacts in a museum, Videodrome would be in a glass case in the most lavish wing. Not just because of how good it is but because I've only ever seen the one copy and as soon as I did, I snapped it up. Not very commonly talked about, it's perhaps one of the rarest films I own. But anyway, on to the review.

Max Renn (James Woods, a cinematic great) is looking for new programs for his station, something much more sensationalistic than he's already being showing (mostly softcore pornography). He stumbles upon Videodrome, a program that consists of people getting tortured then killed. Max becomes obsessed with this program, to the point where he starts hallucinating. To say anymore would give away important details about the final act. Suffice it to say, it's quite bizarre. But then, it's Cronenberg so that's no surprise.

This is the first film I've seen with Woods in a leading role and it baffles me why he isn't seen in more these days. I found him out through voice overs, mostly cameos/supporting roles as himself, in shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy (coincidentally, his first appearance on Family Guy mentioned this movie) and the film Hercules. I would later finally see him in a live action performance (Riding In Cars With Boys) but to see him do the movie mostly on his own, it just reaffirms my notion that he's been overlooked. Maybe it's what he wants, to avoid the major spotlight and do character roles. If he does, well, more power to him. Just so long as he keeps making films.

(Slight spoilers below)
One of the greatest things about this movie is the special effects. They make even some CGI effects look like crap (League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I'm looking at your Mr. Hyde here) and really add to the atmosphere. You have video tapes pulsating, stomachs gaining openings for video tapes (told you it was that kind of movie) and a hand literally becoming a handgun. And what would an early Cronenberg film without someone's head "asploding"? Rick Baker was the genius behind most if not all of the effects. If he didn't win some kind of award for his work, it's just one more reason to give up on award ceremonies.

Thematically, the film explores our relationship with television, with our obsession with what it does to us, where it's taking us.
The message I picked up, however, ties in with the old adage "forbidden fruit is sweetest". To that end, my interpretation of the message is "Pursue forbidden fruit and the person holding it will use you to their own gains". Again, I can't say too much without giving away the final act, which has made this such a hard movie to review due to its cult-like status.

I understand the film will be getting a remake in 2011. Whether or not it should or could be remade remains to be seen. However, if it does bring attention to the original, I give a thumbs up to the discussion at the very least. Keep the talks going, get this film in the public consciousness!!
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2009
Cronenberg's disturbing but intelligent mind is brought to life in a visually original film. Videodrome is a disturbing social commentary, one that may be in a dated setting, but still holds relevance. It questions the moral responsibility held by broadcasters, but also our responsibility as viewers. The twisted nature of the Videodrome can be likened to today's reality TV madness. Woods is exceptional in his role, a man whom has his reality questioned by what he sees, and what he sees becomes reality. Wonderful effects bring it all to startling life and it's message is a caution rather than a preachy "Do this, don't do that". Plus vagina stomachs just have to be seen.
Super Reviewer
October 11, 2006
Barry Convex: You'll forgive me if I don't stay around to watch. I just can't cope with the freaky stuff.

A weird and graphic horror/mystery from director David Cronenberg.

The film stars James Woods as a cable TV operator who begins to hallucinate following his experience with a sick media program known as Videodrome.

This program turns out to be a front for something bigger and Woods' character is caught right in the middle.

I can't say this film isn't creative, but much of it is just too weird, and I consider myself pretty open minded.

The effects are pretty cool, but I really didn't get into this movie.

Max Renn: Have you been hallucinating lately?
Harlan: No. Should I be?
Max Renn: Yes, you should be.
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