Universal Pictures | Release Date: February 4, 1983
4.2
USER SCORE
Mixed or average reviews based on 89 Ratings
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Positive:
38
Mixed:
8
Negative:
43
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FortifierJan 25, 2017
What the hell is this crap?!

I get it; the film is portraying a strong and important message of the dangers and perversions of mass media as well as the corrupt perversions of humanity, but you really don't need to show explicit hardcore
What the hell is this crap?!

I get it; the film is portraying a strong and important message of the dangers and perversions of mass media as well as the corrupt perversions of humanity, but you really don't need to show explicit hardcore pornography and straight-up torture half the time just to get the point across!

What sickens me even more is that people actually find this film enjoyable! What is wrong with you people?!
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8
SpangleSep 28, 2016
Touching on ideas that director David Cronenberg would later bring back again in a different way in eXistenZ such as alternate realities, flesh guns, and being plugged in/controlled through your body. Showcasing significant paranoia aboutTouching on ideas that director David Cronenberg would later bring back again in a different way in eXistenZ such as alternate realities, flesh guns, and being plugged in/controlled through your body. Showcasing significant paranoia about cults, the government, and new technology, Videodrome is a truly unique and thoroughly Cronenberg (read: weird) experience. Packed to the brim with his trademark body horror, this one is quite a ride.

As with his later exercises in eXistenZ, Videodrome showcases oddly solid special effects that seem so real that you could reach out and touch the torso vagina bursting out of Max Renn (James Woods). Many Cronenberg films have these oddly realistic looking body horror sequences that never seem comical, but downright horrifying. The Fly had a lot of these elements as well and it really demonstrates Cronenberg's wheelhouse. He knows body horror better than anybody and he is not afraid to showcase his skill in this arena. In spite of his manipulation of the reality around us and within his typically realistic settings, the films always feel so horrifically real. Though exaggerations of the world around us, films such as Videodrome often mirror seedy elements of our world and bring them to us in a thoroughly visceral manner. While things such as those depicted in this film would not happen, some form of them certainly does (namely cults, non-literal mind control, snuff films, and the "subterrainian market"). Cronenberg has a knack for bringing these elements to the forefront of our mind and is truly horrifying.

The film's usage of alternate realities is also splendid as, once the concept is introduced, you can never truly be sure what is a hallucination. Hell, everything could be. Is there even a show called Videodrome or is Max Renn just psychotic? How much of this happened? Did he ever actually meet Nicki Brand (Debbie Harry) and others? There are so many possibilities and this is a prime example of how Cronenberg can mess with your mind. He not only distorts reality through his realistic settings and people juxtaposed against his body horror and unique special effects, but also through alternate timelines. Things that seem so real to Max appear to have been nothing but another hallucination. However, things can certainly go in the reverse and things that appear to be hallucinations could easily be reality. Things he imagined he hallucinated could have truly happened and the hallucination merely convinces him they did not. Weird, I know.

Cronenberg's toying with killing in the name of some movement or cult is another link one can draw to his later film eXistenZ (and I am sure others, that one just happens to be one I watched). In both films, characters kill people in the name of some movement. Here, Cronenberg makes it all the more horrifying by showing that everybody is playing for the same team and is truly being played, as we will soon all be under the control of "Videodrome". This paranoia runs rampant throughout the film as one must one is Cronenberg keeps himself up at night wondering if he is under the control of some mysterious cult that is just waiting for the right moment to use him to further their goals. Poor guy. As it stands, he certainly has me paranoid after watching Videodrome. This film is dripping with paranoia in every shot, especially due to the acting of James Woods. An incredibly natural, everyman type actor (in spite of his clearly negative characterization, he seems relatively normal), his persona really brings a further level of horror to Videodrome. The paranoia he experiences and the violence he is forced to undergo feels so close to us, which makes it all the creepier.

As a whole, Videodrome is a very good body horror film from the master of the subgenre. Gleefully messing with our mind and our concepts of what can and cannot be real in the world and in film, this one showcases all that Cronenberg does well as a director. With significant paranoia, fear, and confusion in every sequence, you simply never know where everyone stands and what is actually occurring, which truly adds to the horror of it all.
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10
moviescriticnetDec 8, 2015
This is probably David Cronenberg's best movie. Extremely underrated and well ahead of it's time, it could have easily been a book written by William Burroughs or James Ballard.
The thematic of this post-modern masterpiece is once again the
This is probably David Cronenberg's best movie. Extremely underrated and well ahead of it's time, it could have easily been a book written by William Burroughs or James Ballard.
The thematic of this post-modern masterpiece is once again the classic Cronenberg obsession with the ways technology completely transforms the human body and soul (and vice versa). Do not mind the cheesy trailer (80s) and don't miss the opportunity to enter the Cronenberg universe in it's most complete form. Long live the new flesh!
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9
thexpertoffilmFeb 23, 2014
While not all David Cronenburg's films can be considered masterpieces, this one certainly is. The special effects look disturbing even by today's standards. The story and acting are pretty good too. The only thing is lacks is a clear story.While not all David Cronenburg's films can be considered masterpieces, this one certainly is. The special effects look disturbing even by today's standards. The story and acting are pretty good too. The only thing is lacks is a clear story. While it leaves some of the plot to the viewer's imagination, it still is confusing. But this still is a great horror films that you should watch. Just not with your parents. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
troubador127Sep 24, 2013
I first saw this movie about 5 years ago, and I find something new about it each year when I watch it again in the fall. Creepy, and makes you question everything.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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7
ThefilmnerdJul 3, 2013
I saw it last night, and it was really interesting. The idea that snuff movies can make you get hallucinations, is interesting, and the speciel-effects is incredibly done by Rick Baker.
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6
VerbalCantJul 9, 2012
Some food for thought, but not as much as I had hoped. Continually strives to take the plot where you're not expecting, which is meritorious, but unfulfilling. Falls short of greatness, and has dated badly. The future turned out to be a wholeSome food for thought, but not as much as I had hoped. Continually strives to take the plot where you're not expecting, which is meritorious, but unfulfilling. Falls short of greatness, and has dated badly. The future turned out to be a whole lot worse than even David C could imagine. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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9
monkeybrainspitFeb 14, 2011
If you fiend for a perfect balance of Fantasy and Sci-Fi, Videodrome delivers.

"Civic TV. The one you take to bed with you." are the first words blaring out of the television in Max Renn's apartment - seeming to take the quote almost
If you fiend for a perfect balance of Fantasy and Sci-Fi, Videodrome delivers.

"Civic TV. The one you take to bed with you." are the first words blaring out of the television in Max Renn's apartment - seeming to take the quote almost literally. Max runs a TV channel during the day and seems like he doesn't get much of a break from his duties at home.

Max Renn, played by the legendary James Woods, is always on the lookout for new cheap erotic thrills to broadcast on his channel and finds what he is looking for when he is called by an employee to view a transmission for a show called "Videodrome".

Obsessed with trying to get the series on his channel, Max inadvertently reels in his girlfriend Nikki Brand (Deborah Harry) to it's bizarre sado-masochistic wonders and is caught between his want to know more and his fear in its meaning.

Direction: 8/10 (David Cronenberg keeps pace with our emotions and intrigue as he draws us in)
Cinematography: 10/10 (Mark Irwin keeps Videodrome seeping out of our TVs for the duration)
Editing: 8/10 (Roland Sanders delivers once again, as he did with the Fly, intensifying every shot)
Acting: 8/10 (James Woods gets help from great performances by Peter Dvorsky and Sonja Smits)
Dialogue: 9/10 (Most of the time Cronenberg's script just wants to get straight to the point)
Sound: 9/10 (Michael Jay does a great mix-down of all the elements and keeps them in-tact)
Effects: 10/10 (Rick Baker, involved in "American Werewolf...",makes part of a uniquely creative team)
Art Direction: 10/10 (Carol Spier authenticates Videodrome's creepiness with matching sets) Costumes: 10/10 (Delphine White makes it all work with simple 80s fashion and a touch of bad)
Music and/or Score: 10/10 (I'm looking for more of Howard Shore's work after hearing the main theme)

Total Score: 92/100

The cast was well chosen and, surprisingly, suits James Woods perfectly.
It really is an enjoyable experience and doesn't bore you with too much dialogue or cheap scares.
So prepare to get your Fantasy/Sci-Fi fix and let Videodrome into your mind's eye. Long live the flesh!
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1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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10
AdamA.Sep 26, 2007
One of the coolest movies ever. Classic Cronenberg. Creepy and original. I compare it to Halloween...this movie keeps your eyes wide open the whole way through.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
10
BlancoA.Oct 28, 2005
Death to Videodrome! Long live the new flesh! (Great freakin' movie).
0 of 1 users found this helpful