Review: ‘Videodrome’

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.

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.

Videodrome

Canada

Production

Filmplan. Director David Cronenberg; Producer Claude Heroux; Screenplay David Cronenberg; Camera Mark Irwin; Editor Ronald Sanders; Music Howard Shore; Art Director Carol Spier

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1983. Running time: 88 MIN.

With

James Woods Sonja Smits Deborah Harry Peter Dvorsky Les Carlson Jack Creley

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading