GOLD MEDAL FILM
Screenplay by David Cronenberg
Produced by Claude Héroux
Starring James Woods, Sonja Smits, Deborah Harry, Peter Dvorsky, Les Carlson, Jack Creley,
Running Time: 87 minutes
Max Renn (James Woods) is a sleazy TV-cable operator who discovers what appears to be a snuff television broadcast which is known as "Videodrome". However, it is not just a regular television program. "Videodrome" is a program which uses what seem to be regular TV transmissions in order to permanently alter the viewer's perception by giving them brain damage. His girlfriend, Nicki Brand (Deborah Harry), decides that she will go ahead and audition for the show. Max eventually finds himself within the forces which have created this "Videodrome" program and his body soon transforms into a weapon that can fight this conspiracy.
There's already something that I find particularly fascinating about how David Cronenberg can already craft horror. When I am watching regular horror films from Hollywood, I am generally finding myself disappointed because most of them are just built up on jump scares which only last a few seconds and that gets on my nerves real fast (though the most impressive mainstream horror movie from recent years which I can note would be James Wan's The Conjuring), but Cronenberg has created a unique kind of horror which no other director could ever possibly match themselves up with. While Videodrome is not exactly what I would consider to be his best film, I still believe that it is a masterpiece in the horror genre not to be missed.
When I was sitting right through Videodrome, I was already convinced that I was sitting through probably one of the most absurdly surreal horror movies that I would ever come across in quite a long time. I have seen incredibly weird Cronenberg before (Naked Lunch, which I believe to be a highly underrated masterpiece), but never at all have I seen the great Canadian film director ever create such a weird atmosphere that already would have him up on the same level of David Lynch. The absurdity of a film like Videodrome keeps me admiring it more and more when I am just thinking about it. I think that it's a brilliant achievement with this surrealistic nature being among the many reasons I have for appreciating it.
Although I will admit that I truly admire Videodrome for its originality and its nature, I have to admit that when I look at the special effects, it already seems to give the film the look of a B-movie. However, the more that I keep thinking about the cheesiness of the special effects, I already realize that there is so much more to admit about a fantastic horror film like Videodrome. Sometimes, there are cases in which I believe that a B-movie nature can already entertain me as I sit through the film, with a prime example being Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark (don't you question me on this one, because he himself said that he made the film as a B-movie). The B-movie approach seems to give the movie a very entertaining feel the more I think about it.
Horror does not scare me, but David Cronenberg's visions intrigue me. Every last moment of the film is so unpredictable thanks to how exactly is Cronenberg presenting it to us. It seems as if it can already draw comparisons to Sidney Lumet's Network but instead inside of the horror genre. There are surprises galore in Videodrome, and I am already left to say, how can you not love a film that is just so full of surprises like this one? You think you know what will happen in the next scene, but in reality you don't. The film gives you something else, and it already satisfies. That's what I can already trust a director like Cronenberg for. And I believe in him to be the greatest living Canadian film director for specific reasons. This here is one of them.
I believe Videodrome is a particularly remarkable film, not only in the horror genre. It's not at all like anything else which I have ever seen before in my entire life. As I sit around thinking about what I had just witnessed, I continue appreciating Videodrome. While it did not scare me, it sure as hell did surprise me here and there. Horror films nowadays would never at all be as surreal as something like this one. David Cronenberg has left us a gem to be treasured for all of time. It's as fascinating as it could ever get.