Videodrome (1983) / Horror-Sci Fi
MPAA Rated: R for sexuality, nudity, violence and language
Running Time: 87 min.
Cast: James Woods, Deborah Harry, Sonja Smith, Peter Dvorsky, Jack Creley
Director: David Cronenberg
Screenplay: David Cronenberg
Review published November 12, 1996
The plot: A co-owner of a small uhf station seeks something more daring to show to attract more viewers. He and one of his staff stumble on a show emitted out of Pittsburgh called Videodrome, which is filled with nothing but sado-masochism, torture, and snuff scenes. What he doesn't realize is that since watching Videodrome, he has been slowly seduced by hallucinations of horror and sex.
Gore-meister David Cronenberg (Shivers, Crash) wrote and produced this intriguing but ultimately disengaging commentary on the seduction of television through sex and violence. The screenplay offers plenty to think about but given the way Cronenberg decided to tell his tale, it is crippled by its own morbidity, and the gore of the film only adds to the feeling of ambivalence.
James Woods (The Choirboys, Against All Odds) is terrific, as is the rest of the cast, but the screenplay and directing could have used more tightening up, and toning down of the gruesomeness. For Cronenberg fans only.
©1996 Vince Leo