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Videodrome (1983)

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When he acquires a different kind of show for his station, a sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a terrifying new reality.

Director:

David Cronenberg
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3,208 ( 472)
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Woods ... Max Renn
Sonja Smits ... Bianca O'Blivion
Debbie Harry ... Nicki Brand (as Deborah Harry)
Peter Dvorsky ... Harlan
Leslie Carlson ... Barry Convex (as Les Carlson)
Jack Creley ... Brian O'Blivion
Lynne Gorman ... Masha
Julie Khaner ... Bridey
Reiner Schwarz Reiner Schwarz ... Moses
David Bolt David Bolt ... Raphael
Lally Cadeau Lally Cadeau ... Rena King
Henry Gomez Henry Gomez ... Brolley
Harvey Chao Harvey Chao ... Japanese Salesman
David Tsubouchi David Tsubouchi ... Japanese Salesman
Kay Hawtrey ... Matron
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Storyline

Max Renn is the President of Channel 83 Civic-TV, a small television station on the UHF dial. He defends his programming of largely X-rated shows - which depict graphic sex and extreme violence - as a pure matter of economic survival as a small station. Behind closed doors in specific company, he would admit that he enjoys such programming, but as President will stay away from associated activities that may be dangerous for him in its purchase. His current girlfriend, radio personality Nicki Brand, who he met on a television talk show, is sexually aroused by light mutilation on her person, that despite or because her radio show is like an open air crisis hotline. On that same talk show, the other guest via video feed was Professor Brian O'Blivion - solely his stage name - who believes that television and video broadcasts will one day overtake the world as reality, which may make Max's programming in combination more dangerous. In Max's search for the next big thing in like programming... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A vision of enormous physical impact! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 February 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Videodrome See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,952,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,194,175, 6 February 1983, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$2,120,439, 13 February 1983
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Andy Warhol called the movie "A Clockwork Orange (1971) of the 1980s". See more »

Goofs

Barry Convex proclaims Lorenzo de Medici as the author of the two famous ocular quotes. The first, "love comes in at the eye", is from a William Butler Yeats poem called "A Drinking Song". The second, "the eye is the window of the soul", is not definitively attributable to any one source. Seemingly similar variations exist in Cicero, European proverbs and the Gospel of Matthew. See more »

Quotes

Harlan: I don't work with you for the money.
Max Renn: I know that. 'Cause piracy's never just for the money, is it?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The VIDEODROME title experiences a TV white noise distortion. See more »

Alternate Versions

The TV version first released to syndicated television is a significantly different edit with extra/additional material as follows: -A very different and extended introduction with longer opening titles presented over red themed paintings. -A longer version of Max's business meeting with the Japanese salesmen, including a reminiscence about a girl in a Hong Kong hotel, a sinister foreshadowing of the disappearing Videodrome performers. -Extended Sales Meeting at Civic TV. -A very brief additional line of dialogue in Harlan's lab. -An extension of the scene with Max and Nicki watching Videodrome. -Masha comments how Max looks tired and exhausted but makes her sales pitch. -Max takes a longer walk down Skid Row, and gets offered two meal choices during an extended scene inside the Cathode Ray Mission. -An extended version of Brian's monologue in which he comments, "You've got a nice little addiction going." -Nicki calls Max and explains that she was behind his first major hallucination, and Brian makes a return appearance telling Max to take advantage of his position. -Nicki picks up Max in a limo, and notes how much she likes his current incarnation, including his "sick and wonderful" hallucinations. -Barry Convex offers a greatly expanded backstory about the optical accumulator as a military device. -Max walks down the street and see a very different version of himself in a store window. -"It's Always Painful to change the program". -An alternate, shortened version of Barry Conex's assassination, made "safe" for US TV. -Max nervously sees a news report about the shootings on TV and encounters a mentally disturbed homeless man. -An extended version of Max's solo excursion deeper into the heart of the city and his own psyche, revealing more of the boat interior. -TV Epilogue - Pivotal lines of dialogue from the main characters are reiterated over the same paintings seen over the opening titles. (All the above are available on the 2015 Arrow Video UK Blu-ray release). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Strange Days (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Version 0 of eXistenZ
8 January 2001 | by kolodnyiySee all my reviews

I had the "bad luck" to watch eXistenZ well before i set my eyes upon this work of director David Cronenberg. Bad luck, as eXistenZ basically consists of the same ingredients as Videodrome, and kind of spoils the subliminal story line of Videodrome. I guess it's impossible to see Videodrome and eXistenZ as separate movies, as they both handle a subject that obviously intrigues David Cronenburg. Where eXistenZ had so much more to it, for Videodrome, the subject is really the only good thing about it.

To me it seems Videodrome suffers from a lack of enthusiasm from both director and actors. The flat acting of pretty much everybody, but especially James Woods, turn the characters from potentially mysterious into plain geeks. There's Deborah Harry, who moans herself halfway through this movie (be it in bed or in the torture room), as a kinky radio-presenter and there's a strange TV-program saleswoman dressed like a Bulgarian fortune teller. Also, a number of outbursts of violence in this movie are either witnessed by zombie-like bystanders or are just ways to force the movie through some big holes in the script. With these facts, the unexpected plot twists become highly incredible.

Maybe Videodrome made some impact in the time it was released, but nowadays the idea that a video-tape embodies evil is somewhat outdated. Cronenberg was a bit smarter when adapting the story for eXistenZ (can't help but mentioning it), as it tells of an electronic device which may just as well never be invented, and therefore will give the movie more longevity than Videodrome.

Videodrome would be a must-see for Cronenberg die-hards, as it shows him making an early attempt at making a movie that shows a world, switching between reality and hallucination, on the brink of revolution. He finally succeeded in this with eXistenZ, which is a much better attempt in telling the Videodrome story.


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