Videodrome

Directed by David Cronenberg
Starring James Woods

Criterion Collection | April 1, 2014 | DVD

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When Max Renn goes looking for edgy new shows for his sleazy cable TV station, he stumbles across the pirate broadcast of a hyperviolent torture show called "Videodrome." As he unearths the origins of the program, he embarks on a hallucinatory journey into a shadow world of right-wing conspiracies, sadomasochistic sex games, and bodily transformation. Renn's ordinary life dissolves around him, and he finds himself at the center of a conflict between opposing factions in the struggle to control the truth behind the radical human future of "the New Flesh." Starring James Woods and Deborah Harry in one of her first film roles, Videodrome is one of writer/director David Cronenberg's most original and provocative works, fusing social commentary with shocking elements of sex and violence. With groundbreaking special effects makeup by Academy Award-winner Rick Baker, Videodrome has come to be regarded as one of the most influential and mind-bending science fiction films of the 1980s, and The Criterion Collection is proud to present it in its full-length unrated edition.

2-Disc Set; New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound and enhanced for widescreen televisions; Audio commentaries by director David Cronenberg, actors James Woods and Deborah Harry, and director of photography Mark Irwin; Camera, a short film starring Videodrome's Les Carlson, written and directed by David Cronenberg in 2000 as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the Toronto Film Festival; Forming the New Flesh, a new half-hour documentary; featurette by video effects artist Michael Lennick about the creation of Videodrome's landmark video and prosthetic makeup effects, featuring new interviews with special effects makeup artist Rick Baker and others; Samurai Dreams, the complete and unedited faux Japanese AV feature seen in the film; Fear on Film, a 26-minute roundtable discussion from 1981 between filmmakers David Cronenberg, John Carpenter, John Landis, and Mick Garris about censorship, special effects makeup, and horror cinema; Original theatrical trailers, plus a promotional featurette; Stills gallery featuring hundreds of rare behind-the-scenes production photos, special effects makeup tests, and publicity photos, many never before seen; English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired; Essays by film critic Carrie Rickey and Videodrome expert Tim Lucas.

Video Release: April 1, 2014

Runtime: 89

Rating: Unrated

Studio: Criterion Collection

UPC: 715515015424

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– More About This Product –

Videodrome

Directed by David Cronenberg
Starring James Woods

Video Release: April 1, 2014

Runtime: 89

Rating: Unrated

Studio: Criterion Collection

UPC: 715515015424


Edition Description
  • Color
  • Digitally Processed
  • Runtime: 89 minutes
  • NTSC (Canada and USA)
  • Originally in English
  • Released in English

Synopsis

Max Renn runs an unauthorized cable channel in Toronto that caters to viewers demanding increasingly violent and pornographic material. One night, in search of new programming fodder, he stumbles across a scrambled satellite transmission emanating from unknown regions -- a startlingly graphic broadcast that routinely depicts the brutal torture and murder of women. Excited by his find, Renn attempts to track the show to its origins, but he continually encounters resistance, including a warning from one of his programming suppliers that the broadcasts are not dramatizations but depictions of actual murders. Undaunted, Renn finally traces the show to Pittsburgh, where he encounters the transmissions of a Messianic madman known as Brian O'Blivion. Although O'Blivion is dead, his daughter continues to spread his twisted gospel by broadcasting old videotapes of his sermons, encouraging people to embrace the barbarous new TV world as reality. Eventually Renn finds the man who is controlling all the hallucinatory video violence. But by then, Max has begun his own descent into madness, an insanity culminating in physical manifestations of the exploitative sleaze he has profited from over the years.

Description

After a cable TV programmer adds a strange new show called "Videodrome" to the network's line-up, bizarre events begin to occur. The customer's TV's pulsate with a life of their own, and the viewers begin to confuse TV fantasy with reality.

Notes

Additional production company: Guardian Trust Company Filmed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Began shooting October 27, 1981; completed shooting December 23, 1981. Released in North America February 4, 1983.
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