One of David Cronenberg’s strangest films (and that’s saying a lot) is Videodrome. James Woods plays a sleazy TV executive who gets wrapped up in a new broadcast called ‘Videodrome’. The broadcast infiltrates his body and mind as he has frequent hallucinations and begins to completely lose his grip on reality. In fact, even the viewer will get lost in their attempt to follow what is real and what is hallucination. Not that that’s a bad thing.
Since the central focus of the story is media, the film blurs the line between television entertainment and reality. In fact, I would be curious to know if any other one film contained as many shots of television screens as Videodrome. It also takes an interesting point-of-view on the effects of overexposure and desensitization.
Likely the most brilliant aspect of this film is that nothing is as it seems. Nothing is ‘normal’. As a viewer, one can accept the fact that they don’t know what to expect and simply enjoy the ride. There are not many films that execute that effectively. Another impressive factor is the film’s outlook on the future. ”Soon, all of us will have special names.” If that’s not insight, then I don’t know what is. These days nearly everyone has an alias or two on the internet. And I wouldn’t be surprised if technology became endlessly more invasive, like ‘Videodrome’.
If you haven’t seen this film, then don’t wait any longer and get a hold of it. It’s about as strange as a film gets, with a brilliant surrealist element and the always superb makeup effects that Cronenberg employs. ”Long Live the New Flesh!”