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 David Cronenberg's Videodrome (1983)

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Donald McKinney
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PostSubject: David Cronenberg's Videodrome (1983)   Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:27 pm

David Cronenberg is Canada's greatest filmmaker, but you knew THAT already!! If you didn't, shame on you!! After the success of Scanners (1981), Hollywood came calling, and he answered. Universal Pictures wanted him to work his unique brand of filmmaking on them!! He gave them one of the most sexually violent films ever made, one which even artist Andy Warhol called it "A Clockwork Orange for the 1980's", it's a film which has left a massive cult appeal, mostly on rock stars. But, it combines horror and fantasy in a truly original way, and even melds flesh and mechanical objects together in a sickening fashion. Videodrome (1983) is Cronenberg's masterpiece, but it is one which makes it's viewer think about the impact television can have.

The film has cable TV station owner Max Renn, (James Woods), owner of Civic TV, a sleazy TV channel which shows pornography. And he is looking for new material to arouse his viewers, he comes upon a hyper-violent snuff TV show called Videodrome, which features hardcore sexual violence and murder. Renn wants to know more about this show and the man behind it is Prof. Brian O'Blivion, who communicates through video recordings, and meanwhile, Renn's girlfriend, Nikki Brand, (Debbie Harry), who has a taste for S & M, wants to go on the show, and eventually does. Renn is beginning to have hallucinations in lurid ways, his body is changing, a 'new flesh' is taking shape on him, he now has a slit in his stomach, (which resembles, in a way, a vagina), in which cassettes which look like tumours, are inserted into.

This is a brilliant film, an intellegent shocker which is still original and horrifying to this day. It may have dated because Betamax cassettes were used. (Well, it was the 1980's!! Razz) But, essentially, the film is an indictment of people's televisual viewing habits, and how it can affect and change their lives, with devastating consequences. The 'New Flesh' theory comes from, in reality, back 30 years previously when television was introduced into homes in America and Canada and some people believed that TV waves could cause tumours. Cronenberg has played with this idea, and that it can create the 'New Flesh'. The film does have philosophical questions about it, and is essentially about the corruption of the media, and the habits it can cause it's viewers to do.

But, to help create the films unique special effects both on humans and otherwise, Cronenberg called in Rick Baker, to make some of the best make-up ever committed to screen. Not just on humans, but on TV sets and cassettes too. A TV which comes to life is one of the most eerie sequences put to screen, and there is also a "hand grenade", Renn's 'cancer gun', (his and and a gun melded into one), and of course, the flesh eating cancer, the film's most gruesome moment, which occurs at a tacky corporate show. Shocked Very Happy Oh, and Debbie Harry gets naked in the film!! Very Happy

Trailer!! Very Happy



Anyone seen it?? It is much more weirder than Scanners, but it is much more gruesome. However, it is a film which requires your full attention. As all this is taking place from the point of view of Max Renn, it is hard to say what is really happening and what isn't. Has Videodrome made him believe all this is happening?? Or is it happening for real?? But, it is an original film, and a statement on the media, how far it can go for some people. But, I believe it is Cronenberg's masterpiece, a product of it's time, which is still effective today.







DEATH TO VIDEODROME!! LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH!!
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