Videodrome (1983) ***1/2
D: David Cronenberg
C: James Woods, Sonja Smits, Deborah Harry, Peter Dvorsky, Lynne Gorman, Julie Khaner, Jack Creley
Plot Synopsis: A sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a very unusual fashion when he acquires a new kind of programming for his station.
Review: Videodrome is one of those films that grabs you from the get go. At first, the film involves us in a mystery surrounding whether or not a TV show is compromised of snuff footage, but this isn't just a mystery with some horror elements thrown in. No. It's much more then that!
As James Woods' character becomes more embroiled in the plot and figuring out what it is that's going on with this show, the film intriguingly poses questions relating to viewer accountability, our thirst for sex & violence, the idea of a business entity willing to chuck aside human life in favor of ratings & content, our own obsessiveness in absorbing technology, how we're losing ourselves because of technology & media content and that only begins to scratch the surface.
With so much going for it, Videodrome isn't able to fully sustain itself until the end, eventually misstepping in the last act. At first, the film presents some rather striking visuals in telling its story, but eventually goes too far with these visuals and doesn't quite know when to quit. Sometimes, it's better to leave a little something to the imagination. Yet, despite this flaw, there's a power to Videodrome that can't be denied.
Every time I watch Videodrome, I walk away having token something new from it. What gives Videodrome this rare quality is that the film ask us to look within ourselves, to examine our own humanity and to evaluate what it is that we're doing in a world that is ever changing. Since Videodrome intricately ties itself to the very issues we face in our own real lives, the film will continue to evolve and haunt the dreams of horror fans for years to come, because (after all) as humans, we're always a work in progress until the day we die. [R] 87 minutes.
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