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Videodrome (The Criterion Collection) review

Posted : 11 years, 3 months ago on 3 October 2010 10:32

Videodrome is a total mind-fuck. It is also a bizarre, dark, unnerving art-house sci-fi film about ideas. Big, scary, not best-suited for polite conversation at the dinner table ideas. The premise of a sleazy, opportunistic television executive for a small Toronto-based soft-core porn station looking for something harder, darker, and more deviant so he can really narrow in on specific demographic is challenging to the film's viewers to begin with. From there Cronenberg delves deeper into a Marquis de Sade meets bad acid trip world, and I suspect most audiences will by this point begin to wonder if perhaps they got more than they bargained for. And despite my 8 star rating, this remains a legitimate question. The difficulty distinguishing between reality and hallucination makes this a difficult watch, a sadistic blend of frustration and fascination. But of course this is the point. Cronenberg wishes to explore the deeper questions and motives behind instant-gratification. And that can be a real pain in the arse, or, in this case, a real pain in the vagina-looking, bloody, gaping abdominal gash. Beneath the nightmare circus of prosthetics-gore lie ideas about mind-control, public manipulation in religious and political contexts, and moral accountability vs. private pleasure-seeking. This film is haunting and though-provoking and I'm almost positive I liked it.

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