Videodrome | Chicago Reader

Videodrome

This 1983 shocker by David Cronenberg comes about as close to abandoning a narrative format as a commercial film possibly can: James Woods plays the programmer of a sleazy Toronto cable channel who stumbles across a mysterious pirate emission—a porno show called “Videodrome” that features hideous S and M fantasies performed with appalling realism. Knowing a ratings winner when he sees one, Woods sets out to find the producer and quickly becomes involved with a kinky talk-show hostess (Deborah Harry), expanding rubber TV sets, a bizarre religious cult, and—almost incidentally—a plot to take over the world. Never coherent and frequently pretentious, the film remains an audacious attempt to place obsessive personal images before a popular audience—a kind of Kenneth Anger version of Star Wars.

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