Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Film Review: Videodrome (1983)

Videodrome (Review)
Canada/1983
Format Viewed for Review: VUDU
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"It's not perfect and it might not even be for everyone, but it is undoubtedly interesting, entertaining, and relevant."

Max Ren (James Woods), president of CIVIC-TV, descends into madness after he stumbles upon a program that depicts real torture and murder.

Videodrome is an extremely interesting film thanks to its compelling themes and surreal presentation. The plot follows Max Ren, a cable-TV programmer who is searching for the next 'big' thing. For his niche, however, he's searching for something sleazy and immoral—something that pushes the boundaries. He finds what he's looking for in Videodrome, a program that depicts torture and murder without plots. Although he initially believes it's fake, he quickly realizes it's real and that it's part of a bigger picture. He can't fully wrap his head around it, though, because the program causes him to experience bizarre hallucinations. There is much more to the plot, but there's no point in spoiling it—you get the gist. It leads to a great climax and an interesting ending.


Videodrome is a great experience. On the surface, the film presents itself as a surreal, bizarre, chaotic, and violent experience. Although there were a few dull moments, the plot and the visuals kept me engaged from beginning to end. It's atmospheric, it's slick, and, best of all, it's entertaining. Its themes of violence/sex in media and technology, among others, are also compelling. It's a great film to watch and to talk about afterward. However, if you don't want to talk about the themes, it's equally enjoyable. It's a film that can stand in more than one arena. The pacing can be a little inconsistent, so there are some slow moments here and there. On top of that, it feels a bit rushed towards the end. Other than that, this is a great experience.

James Woods was a great leading man. Debbie Harry, although sharing limited screen time, was also good. I liked the entire cast, really. The film was shot well and the music was great. If you're a fan of practical special effects, you're going to love this movie. It features some of the best gory visuals of the 1980s. The film was written and directed by David Cronenberg. Cronenberg is a visionary. He clearly has an interesting, warped mind, and he knows how to convey his message without preaching. I like that about some of Cronenberg's films. Here, he is writing and directing with pure passion and he delivers a solid film.

Overall, Videodrome is a movie everyone should experience. It's not perfect and it might not even be for everyone, but it is undoubtedly interesting, entertaining, and relevant.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore, some sex and partial nudity.

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