Friday 24 July 2009

Videodrome [1983]

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
Language: English
Country: Canada


Dave said...

I've always been intrigued by this movie, but I haven't yet seen it. The reason I say I'm intrigued by it is that I'm generally not a huge Cronenberg fan -- it seems like a lot of his movies look promising to me, but I'm always somewhat underwhelmed. I like Eastern Promises, but for the life of me I'm always baffled by the unbelievably high praise heaped on A History of Violence.

At any rate, this reminds me I need to see more Cronenberg, because outside of those two films I'm basically clueless to his other works.

Shubhajit said...

I understand what you mean, cos interestingly, this is my first Cronenberg too, apart from A History of Violence & Eastern Promises. And as for me, I loved A History - I felt its a really wonderful movie. Eastern Promises too was an engaging watch.

However, having said that, I was a little skeptical about watching Cronenberg's earlier movies cos, considering the kind of cinema Cronenberg is famous for, I wasn't really overly interested. Now that I've watched Videodrome, I think I will not stop there. And I'd suggest you too to have a look at this polarising piece of work.