Videodrome (1983) Directed by David Cronenberg
Video Cassettes that breathe, TV sets that reach orgasm, stomachs with vagina like slits where guns can be lost, Debbie Harry using her breast as an ash tray. Just some of the things you'll find in Cronenberg's video shocker. Because of the nowadays redundancy of VCR's this gives the film an even more sci-fi edge. It's also the first time Cronenberg does sex, specifically S&M and snuff movies. The plot is fairly ridiculous. It features an excellent James Woods as immoral TV exec. (Max Renn) who finds a violent pornography show (called Videodrome) via satellite TV that he'd like to introduce to his TV station's programing. Of course it's Snuff TV, and without Max knowing it, it induces a violent hallucinogenic state, literally opium for the masses. His girlfriend Nicki Brand (played by a dead pan Harry) is a sado-masochist who thinks the show's made for her. Tracking the show's origin to Pittsburg, she auditions. The fun in this Burroughs like nightmare is trying to work out reality from dream state sequence and after awhile it becomes impossible. Cronenberg's Naked Lunch, Dead Ringers & Crash films would later discuss similar themes in a slightly less dramatic , more controlled manner. Don't let this put you off, Videodrome is a classic. An angry, voyeuristic, risk taking blast of social comment from a director who's status as a a master is just being realized. Long Live The New Flesh!