“Long live the new flesh!”
Max Renn, a sleazy cable-TV programmer, searching for an intense new program for his sex-oriented cable network, encounters a mysterious pirate signal. “Videodrome” seduces, controls and ultimately fuses with the minds of its viewers.
Grotesque, trashy and at times almost incoherent – David Cronenberg‘s phantasmagorical leap into the synthesis of humanity, technology, entertainment, sex, and politics is nonetheless, one of the most genuinely original horror films of all time! Videodrome was made in 1983, yet it anticipated the impact of the rise of reality television and, even more critically, the erasure of the borders between the personal and public, and between man and machine. Although its technology may be primitive, the insight into the inevitable fusion of human consciousness and the media mindscape that surrounds us is not. In Videodrome our integration with technology on such an intimate level, gives rise new possibilities to extend our emotional experience – but it also allows for a descent to unknown depths of desensitization and dehumanization. It seems too, our addiction to this neurological over-stimulation has already profoundly altered our fundamental perspective on reality – “Television is reality, and reality is less than television.” states Professor Brian O’bilvian, the televised media prophet. Furthermore, Cronenberg warns that this merging of man and machine may not be a random event – A perplexed Max Renn, asks the question, “Why is Videodrome so dangerous?” – “Because it has a philosophy” comes the chilling answer. Visually, Cronenberg fuses this chilling new philosophy of technology and addiction with his long standing obsessions with the body and mutation. Videodrome revels in the chaos and intensity of the hypnotic hallucinations generated by special televised transmissions becoming visions of visceral body horror.Our very thoughts now take the form of “the new flesh”.
Videodrome, described as a techno-surrealist mind-bender and possibly almost indecipherable on first viewing, is a horror film of unusual substance and vision. Seeing is believing, right?!