Story concerns a small-time cable TV outlet in Toronto. The quasi-clandestine operation is run by Max Renn (James Woods) who’s ever on the lookout for offbeat and erotic material.
He becomes fascinated with a program called Videodrome, picked up from a satellite by a station technician. The show appears to be little more than a series of torture sequences, primarily involving women.
Renn pursues the program but is blocked at every turn. One of his suppliers warns him that the activities on the show are not staged. However, he perseveres, making contact with a McLuhanesque media guru named Brian O’Blivion (Jack Creley).
Film is dotted with video jargon and ideology which proves more fascinating than distancing. And Cronenberg amplifies the freaky situation with a series of stunning visual effects.
Woods aptly conveys Renn’s obsession and eventual bondage to the television nightmare. Sonja Smits is an alluring and mysterious femme fatale and Deborah Harry seems just right as Renn’s girlfriend who thrives on and is undone by Videodrome’s games cruelty.
Filmplan. Director David Cronenberg; Producer Claude Heroux; Screenplay David Cronenberg; Camera Mark Irwin; Editor Ronald Sanders; Music Howard Shore; Art Director Carol Spier
(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1983. Running time: 88 MIN.