Videodrome was originally released in 1983 and is written and directed by the master himself, David Cronenberg (Naked Lunch, eXistenZ, The Fly).
It is a daring and perhaps cautionary tale of sexual and technological excess in the early 1980s and quite magnificently still feels pretty relevant today, in our world of TV screens and channels without limits.
It tells the story of Max Renn (James Woods – Casino, Once Upon a Time in America), a sleazy cable channel owner who specialises in showing sensationalist material. One day while trawling the airwaves using a pirate satellite dish, his trusty sidekick Harlan (Peter Dvorsky – Twins, The Dead Zone) makes a discovery, a programme which shows staged “snuff TV”. Convinced this is the future of television, he orders him to pirate it ready for the channel, believing it to be broadcast from Malaysia.
While on a talk show defending his brand of TV he meets Nicki Brand (Deborah Harry – Cop Land, Hairspray), a psychiatrist and radio presenter and Brian O’Blivion (Jack Creley – The Magic Show) a pop culture analyst.
He takes a shine to Nicki and they soon become an item. She is fascinated with Videodrome and when they find out that it is actually made in Pittsburgh she can’t wait to rush off and audition. When she fails to return, Max begins to investigate Videodrome with the help of Brian O’Blivion and begins his slow descent into hallucinations and madness.
This is an excellent conversion, the picture has been cleaned up beautifully with just the right amount of graining left to make sure it still feels like an eighties film. There is an astonishing amount of violence, gore and surrealism, which can now all be very clearly seen!
The box set comes with 4 discs and has a multitude of special features including lots of documentaries and interviews and several of David Cronenberg’s previously unreleased short films (also remastered).
There is also an illustrated 100-page hardback book featuring new writing including Justin Humphreys on Videodrome in a modern context, Brad Stevens on the alternate versions, Caelum Vatnsdal on Cronenberg’s early works, extracts from Cronenberg on Cronenberg featuring Cronenberg’s reminiscences of getting started in filmmaking and shooting all the films in this collection, plus more, illustrated with original archive stills
Videodrome is available to buy now on Blu-ray and DVD