Friday, May 24, 2013

VIDEODROME (1983) movie review

Videodrome (1983) d. Cronenberg, David (Canada)

As a cable programmer seeking to challenge the limits of the medium, James Woods becomes hooked on the pirated TV show “Videodrome,” whose lineup consists of real sex, real torture, and real murder. Before long, he finds himself entrenched in a cathode ray-conspiracy that threatens the world – or is it just all in his mind? Under the influence of the Videodrome signal, his body begins to undergo some rather discomforting alterations, such as the vagina-like orifice in his abdomen that gobbles up firearms and pulsating organic videocassettes with equal ardor.

While a lesser director’s use of disgusting imagery might simply be written off as showboating, writer/director Cronenberg’s perverse, challenging, unnerving exploration of violence – both real and vicarious – instead possesses the one thing so often missing from sci-fi/horror ventures: a philosophy. It is this quality that elevates what could have been a muddled exploitation piece into a work of genius that demands repeat viewings.

The fearless performances by Woods and Blondie singer Deborah Harry, combined with the efforts of the special f/x makeup team composed of Rick Baker, Steven Johnson and Bill Sturgeon, anchor this brain-boggling masterpiece, which dares to take viewers inside the first-person narrative of its hallucinating protagonist.

Unquestionably one of the most striking and original horror movies ever made, if not for everyone's personal tastes.

No comments:

Post a Comment