The 334th review!
I went to my first corn maze yesterday, or as Lincoln calls it, "corn factory." It was a lot of fun. Then we came home and Notre Dame won its fourth straight against USC. I'd say it was a pretty successful day. Then after fighting my desire to launch my laptop out of our second story window, I checked out...
What the hell did I just watch? This movie is so unbelievably weird. James Woods plays Max Renn, the owner of a Canadian UHF station that plays smut, softcore porn and other sensationalist content. One of his engineers picks up the signal for a TV show called "Videodrome." It's a low budget show taking place in one small room. In it, people are tortured and then brutally murdered. Thinking this is the future of television for some reason, Max tries to find out as much as he can about "Videodrome" and bring it to his station.
From there we're treated to a LOT of bizarre hallucinations. Come to find out the "show" is more than a show, and anyone who watches it loses their mind and develops a malignant brain tumor. We find the people behind "Videodrome" are using Max to eliminate their enemies and get the show across North America. They want to end the cultural decay of the continent by killing off anyone who would be so obsessed with sex and violence that they'd watch "Videodrome."
That's the best I can explain it because it's so out there. There's a homeless shelter run by the good guys where people are encouraged to watch TV at all times, to realize the founder's dream of TV taking over every aspect of a person's life. Max has a slit shaped like a vagina that forms in his abdomen that he hides a gun in and the baddies shove a cassette tape to get him to do his bidding. The gun becomes fused to his hand and has a weird gunk all over it. The ending too, I can't quite wrap my head around this movie.
It's funny, Max and two others are on a talk show discussing TV taking over people's lives. I can imagine if this movie ever gets remade, Max won't be the owner of a TV station, but a renegade video-sharing site and the O'Blivion character will be talking about phones instead of TV.
What's there to say about this movie outside of how weird it is? It's a David Cronenberg film so you know the effects are going to be awesome and gross. People get shot, people explode, video tapes throb and Max makes out with the TV at one point. The story is engaging enough but it's just so strange that it's hard to really talk about. It basically goes; violence, sex, weird, violence, weird sex, weird, weird, weird violence, weird, weird and fucking weird. I don't recommend this movie, but I'm glad I watched it so I can say I saw it.
6 Dr. Chainsaws!
Sci-fi horror filmmaker David Cronenberg's (Scanners) diabolical invader is a television show that seduces and controls its viewers. Featuring rock star Deborah Harry (in her first major film) as a kinky hostess, James Woods as a cable programmer looking for the ultimate in viewing thrills, and special make-up effects by Oscar®-winner Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London, Star Wars). Videodrome is a pulsating science fiction nightmare about a world where video can control and alter human life.
Provider: NBC Universal
Release date: 1983 James Woods, Deborah Harry, Sonja Smits, Peter Dvorsky, Les Carlson, Jack Creley, Lynne Gorman
Director: David Cronenberg
Producer: Claude Héroux
Writer: David Cronenberg