Videodrome (Cronenberg, 1983)

After being introduced to David Cronenberg in college I’ve never really been the same since. Many of his films speak toward future revolutions of the body and mind, often brutally and without remorse. Videodrome is a timely example of this fleshy becoming, charting the fall of television producer Max Renn (James Woods) after he discovers a pirated snuff program via satellite. Max slowly descends into maddness and becomes a cog/assasin for the powerful producer of the show. The film still holds resonance concerning such battles between perception vs. reality, sex vs. violence, and art vs. commerce, and how all three pairs meld together to form modern entertainment. Videodrome isn’t what I remember either, since it seems more an exploration of social/mental evolutions than a viral horror film (although it revels in it’s moments of gore). Cronenberg is a master of revealing the consequences of mental stasis, how the body reacts to growing amounts of stimulation and violent interaction in a bored and repressed society. In a world where fantasy trumps reality, Videodrome resembles a Magna Carta of awakenings, both to the over excitement people experience through visceral images and sounds and the impending destruction which could follow if manipulated and used by corrupt powers.

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