Videodrome (1983)

VideodromeWell, in the spirit of National Canadian Film Day I watched a couple of big gaps in my horror movie career. The first of those two was the David Cronenberg classic, Videodrome. So lets just get right into it shall we?

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.

This flick is a prime example of the weird and psycho-sexual universe that is the brain of David Cronenberg. The sheer amount of phallic imagery and eerie body horror elements are enough to make even the least squeamish a little bit uncomfortable. As well, there are some amazing elements of 80s horror that really make this a clear and obvious classic.

There’s something almost Lynchian about the tone of this movie, it’s heavy and weird, but the story is clear and well defined, and actually moves along at a pretty quick pace. I do feel like most of the things to say about this movie have been said already, but I’ll talk about what I liked best about the movie.

videodrome-1

First off, James Wood is great in this movie. His performance is solid, and he’s oozing charisma in some of the strangest ways imaginable. You definitely feel yourself going down the rabbit hole with him, and feel a lot of his anxiety as his world starts to fall apart. The rest of the cast is solid as well, the perfect balance of 80s ham, and solid acting. The characters all fill this surreal and bizarre world, but the story makes a surprising amount of sense, despite my initial expectation that it would be artsy and confusing.

It’s a really fun movie to watch as well, the cinematography is great, but to me the effects are what really stood out to me. They are definitely on the cheesier end of the spectrum, and haven’t aged especially well, but there’s something really great and 80s about them. As well, something about the look of them gives them a really unsettling quality, it’s similar to my feelings about the walrus make up from Tusk. It’s not necessarily GOOD, but there is something gross about skin effects that really … get under my skin, so to speak.

Videodrome-Gun

Maybe it’s just body horror that makes me uncomfortable, either way, this movie really is absolutely deserving of your time. I have to give this a hard recommend, and I know that most of you have already seen this one so I probably don’t have to tell you things you already know. Cronenberg and I have never quite seen eye to eye, at least in my youth, but I really enjoyed this and I look forward to checking out a few that I missed.

If you want something weird, with a solid ick-factor, you definitely can’t go wrong.

RATING: ****

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