Monday, May 12, 2014

Videodrome (1983)

The early 1980's were a simpler time.
Today, if I wanted to see pictures of blood splatter (of which I do have a proclivity towards) or gore, I could simply go to a variety of specialized websites.  Some people enjoy watching videos containing violence, whether real or obviously faked.  Some also enjoy playing violent or scary video games or listening to heavy metal.  And the thing is, we are not violent people.  

Some people get out their frustrations from the day by playing a violent video game.  I have had Autism my entire life, so my mind travels in different directions a mile a minute, so I listen to heavy metal at night so I can start to calm down.  My co-film critic and I like to dance and wear ourselves out before we go to bed.
But what about the 1980's?  There weren't many video games except like Pong or something.  Even early games like Mortal Kombat didn't come out until the 1990's.  There was no liveleak or youtube or anywhere to find short videos.  There were no phones that sent pictures.  There were no websites to browse through pictures.  Where am I supposed to find my blood pictures?  Come on!
That's where Videodrome comes in.  Videodrome is the new wave of violent TV.  It was accidentally discovered by a TV producer, Max Renn, who runs a station in Toronto.  Now, I've never been up north so I don't know much about Canada.  In fact, these pictures illustrate what I know about Canada:

So, Max decides to learn more about this Videodrome show and goes to a charity that helps homeless people watch TV (I'm not asking) and finds Brian O'blivion, who has recorded everything onto videocassettes.  Brian's daughter, Bianca explains about Videodrome and warns him that it is dangerous.  Max's girlfriend, Nicki, is turned on sexually by violence and wants to participate on an episode.  Unfortunately, I had to see James Wood's butt and I was not prepared for that.

I noticed that everyone's name is symbolic.  The main character is Max Renn (German for Run), Nicki Brand,  Convex, O'Blivion.  Their names made more sense as the movie went on.

This is a movie that I would really love to see updated with modern technology.  Remember this was made before reality shows and the movie The Matrix.  In that film, people use a smallish plug in the back of their heads to hook up to the matrix.  Poor Max has to use a giant tear in his abdomen to insert a videocassette.  Instead of Brian being split up into thousands of videocassettes, he would be a supercomputer, a transcended being who could answer Max's questions in real time and who could have explained Videodrome easier.

Max learns the makers of Videodrome are evil and are going to use their program to infect other people.  So he uses the gun he keeps in the tear of his abs to find the main producer and kill him.  We see that Videodrome really is some kind of virus and could infect anyone.  The way his body explodes like that is just awesome.  Then, Max runs away to an abandoned boat and finds Nicki inside a TV screen.  Should Max end his life and transcend into the "new flesh"?  How much of what has happened to him been a hallucination?   We may never know.  I will give this film a 9/10.

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