Friday, 24 July 2009
Even long before he went ‘mainstream’ with the masterly A History of Violence and its engaging quasi-sequel Eastern Promises, David Cronenberg enjoyed cult status among horror aficionados. And if you were to believe them, Videodrome, released way back in 1982, was his first great masterpiece. Though I wouldn’t go that far, I’d still call it a very interesting movie that deserves wider dissemination. Of course, given that the maker is Cronenberg, there’s a catch here – this deeply distressing and unabashedly provocative look into paranoia, hallucination, sadomasochism, mental breakdown and the decidedly sinister nature of technology, is certainly not meant for everyone. The movie isn’t just non-conformist, or for that matter grotesque and lurid, it is deeply shocking as well – for its content graphic violence and gore, as well as for its deliberate depiction of sexual innuendoes. The movie is about a sleazy television network owner, played with characteristic energy by James Woods, who accidentally stumbles upon an underground broadcast that unleashes upon him a chain of grisly consequences. Despite its typically B-movie look, the been-there-done-that sort of harangue on the evils lurking behind the friendly garb of technology, and the extremely disturbing contents, one must nonetheless appreciate the director’s bravado, the terrific SFX, and the bizarre yet vivid visual (and psychological) imagery.
Director: David Cronenberg
Genre: Horror/Sci-Fi Horror/Psychological Horror/B-Film