Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Videodrome

"Videodrome" (1983, Canadian Film Development Corporation, Famous Players, Filmplan International, David Cronenberg) explores porn and how we view life in our advancingly technology-dependent world in an excellently (Rick Baker) gore-soaked way.

Max Renn (James Woods) is a TV executive for a cable channel. It's the 80s, VHS and Betamax are still shiny new technologies, and he thinks he's found the most interesting thing ever to show on TV: foreign snuff porn of questionable quality! The underground programme is called "Videodrome" and Renn is determined to get to the bottom of it. He has become sinisterly obsessed.

As his life becomes more entwined into the cult-like Videodrome lifestyle, his view on life changes and he begins to see things that he is not sure are real or not... Is he losing his mind or is he becoming part of a new reality? His femme fatale friend, Nicki (Debbie Harry of Blondie), also gets herself involved as she and Renn fall into the Videodrome trap together.

His searchings lead him to the hub of the technological cult, but has he gone too far?

This film was a slighlty different step for Cronenberg at the time and hinted towards where he would take his movies next. Videodrome manages to balance slightly obnoxious cerebral plot with a message about society's obsession with technology, with the confusing, but gory action his audience had come to expect. He manages to make a social comment on video and technology while also exploiting just that as his platform to do so. The film remains ever relevant and the effects make for undated, uncomfortable viewing.

[Image: FilmPlan International, et al]
Hani