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Videodrome
     

Videodrome

4.0 14
Director: David Cronenberg, James Woods, Sonja Smits, Deborah Harry

Cast: David Cronenberg, James Woods, Sonja Smits, Deborah Harry

 

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Scares abound in director David Cronenberg's Videodrome. Universal has produced an only halfhearted 1.85:1 widescreen transfer that is sadly lacking and anamorphic enhancement. While the colors and black levels are all generally solid and intact, there is an alarming amount of dirt and other minor imperfections throughout the print. Fans will surely look

Overview

Scares abound in director David Cronenberg's Videodrome. Universal has produced an only halfhearted 1.85:1 widescreen transfer that is sadly lacking and anamorphic enhancement. While the colors and black levels are all generally solid and intact, there is an alarming amount of dirt and other minor imperfections throughout the print. Fans will surely look forward to the day when this film receives a much needed new DVD edition. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono in English. Much like the video portion of this disc the sound mix is often underwhelming and unimpressive. Directional effects are generally absent while the dynamic range is flat and lifeless. At the very least the dialogue, effects and music are generally clear of any excessive hiss or distortion. Also included on this disc are English, French and Spanish subtitles. The extra features for Videodrome are floating at the bare minimum -- all that's included on this disc is a short essay on director David Cronenberg, a theatrical trailer for the film, and some cast and crew information.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Rachel Saltz
Before virtual reality and The Matrix there was Videodrome, the 1982 film that catapulted director David Cronenberg's status from interesting cult icon to seriously heady filmmaker. Visionary, apocalyptic and prescient, Videodrome is a Chinese box of a story replete with Cronenberg's signature creepy eroticism and various fascinations with technology, violence, and bodily orifices. James Woods stars as Max Renn, a sleazy cable exec who searches for programming beyond his station's usual soft-core porn and stumbles upon Videodrome -- a televised chamber of tortuous Grand Guignol horrors. Rocking Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry plays Max's girlfriend, Nicky Brand, who pulls him deeper into Videodrome's orbit. Cronenberg, in total control of his often tricky material, masterfully manipulates the film, creating a dread-soaked criticism of media, voyeurism, and psychological horrors that would give Alfred Hitchcock nightmares. Woods' bravura performance anchors the film: His Max is a dead-on nightmare hipster whose travels through the blandly corrupt urban landscape are frighteningly real.
All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
Well before he adapted William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch, David Cronenberg's debt to the beat writer was laid bare with Videodrome, a phantasmagoric journey through fractured psyches and cathode tubes. The film features several of Burroughs's trademarks, including a stream-of-consciousness narrative, a paranoid, conspiratorial tone, and overriding themes of desire and addiction. At the same time, this movie is perhaps the best articulated vision of Cronenberg's ongoing exploration of the edges of technology and human physiology. Detailing the transformation of a sleazy television producer into literal media terrorist, Cronenberg presents a world of pulsating videotapes, televisions that undulate like flesh, and large, vagina-like abdomen slashes that function as a biomechanic VCR. Though the technology, special-effects, and fashion sensibilities all seem dated, Cronenberg's basic questioning of the media through Max Renn's particular psychological affliction seems more relevant today than it did when his film was first released. As technology becomes more advanced, Cronenberg explores not only whether it will affect our sense of reality but also our evolution as a species. His Videodrome is a postmodern masterpiece that unsettles, shocks, and provokes.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/08/1998
UPC:
0025192038723
Original Release:
1982
Rating:
R
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time:
1:29:00
Sales rank:
33,095

Special Features

Production notes; Cast and filmmakers' bios; Film highlights; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Woods Max Renn
Sonja Smits Bianca O'Blivion
Deborah Harry Nicki Brand
Peter Dvorsky Harlan
Les Carlson Barry Convex
Jack Creley Prof. Brian O'Blivion
Lynne Gorman Marsha
Julie Khaner Briley
Lally Cadeau Rena King
Sam Malkin Bum
David Bolt Rafe
Kay Hawtry Matron
Rainer Schwartz Moses
Henry Gomez Brolley
Harvey Chao Japanese Salesman
Bob Church Newscaster
Jayne Eastwood Caller

Technical Credits
David Cronenberg Director,Screenwriter
Richard Baker Makeup Special Effects
Frank Carere Special Effects
Pierre David Executive Producer
Claude Heroux Producer
Mark Irwin Cinematographer
Lawrence Nesis Associate Producer
Ronald Sanders Editor
Howard Shore Score Composer
Victor Solnicki Executive Producer
Carol Spier Production Designer
Delphine White Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Widescreen Version
0. Chapter List
1. Main Titles [3:07]
2. Samurai Dreams [5:46]
3. The Rena King Show [2:10]
4. Looking for the Contemporary [7:28]
5. The Cathode Ray Mission [7:53]
6. The Battle for the Mind [:45]
7. Meeting O'Blivion [6:45]
8. Changing Reality [1:12]
9. Barry Convex [5:41]
10. Harlan Confesses [1:05]
11. Following Orders [1:29]
12. An Assassin [2:51]
13. Death to Videodrome [3:03]
14. The Visitation [7:37]
15. The Transformation [1:22]
16. End Titles [5:56]

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Videodrome 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As cliche as this headline is for any Cronenberg familiar, it's still a very apt title for any sort of synopsis of the film. Videodrome is Cronenberg's defining statement on a variety of subjects he's covered throughout his career, including effects of mass media, the relation of violence and sexuality, and ultimately, the actual physical evolution of the body due to these and other factors into a "new flesh". Though his mid to late 80's films (and especially his most recent films) deals with these ideas in more subtle ways, nothing quite compares to these 70's and 80's experiments in body-horror for philosophy wrapped in viscerality, of which I consider Videodrome to be the crown jewel. Very highly recommended.
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