Max Renn is a television producer par excellence. He works for UHF, a station notorious for sensational, sleazy and sex driven programming. They use international television programmes of varying quality to prop up their content. These are usually sex driven and cost next to nothing to purchase. They sell to thousands and make the station buckets of cash. Max however is always looking for the next big thing and that often comes from satellite stations. When his researcher Harlen comes across a series called Videodrome, that is a combination of sex, sado mashocistic violence and torture well Max is interested! He wants to see more and explore more of this new wonder of cheap violence. When he meets sex object and S+M fan Nicki Brand on a show that is questioning his working practices, well he becomes dragged deeper into the drome and the dark reaches of human beings.
So much has been said about this amazing film. Much on the film connection with viewer violence and the video screen. That is a given and I feel anyone who watches this film will get at least a millimetre of that. I want to suggest something else about the film.The suggestion and goes like this. I feel this movie is about how David Cronenberg felt his films themselves were being targeted by some in the media as being violent and unpleasent experiences. Take the list of films made prior to this, Rabid, Shivers, Scanners and The Brood. These films all have very unpleasent moments and they also caused levels of controversy. They also caused hostility from the critical voices of the time. Roger Ebert for instances called Scanners ‘curiously abstract’ and The Brood ‘Unpleasent and not in a good way’. So what I see is that Cronenberg wanted to strike back with an abstract piece that also had the bite on media types that wanted their pound of flesh.
Arrow have treated this release with the due care and love that it deserved. They knew that this was the jewel in the crown and have given it everything. Great new transfer, sound restored and quality extras.See the documentary on the film, the additions of four great early works from Cronenberg. See the roundtable on the man. The addition of the television footage is amazing and adds depth to Woods. He stole the film from everyone else, with his caged pyschosis. Is he mad or are we for believing this. They have given the film width as well. This version is also Uncut and that adds to the utter joy of its punch. It blood splatter and grim bubbles of blood come alive…Long Live the new flesh!