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Videodrome (2d Criterion)

Director(s): David Cronenberg

Theatrical Release: 1983

Cast: James Woods, Sonja Smits, Debbie Harry, Peter Dvorsky, Les Carlson, Jack Creley

Genre(s): Sci-Fi, Horror, Criterion Collection

Countries: Canada


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Running Time: 89m.

Hardcore pornography, sadomasochism, mind control, and living televisions all play crucial roles in Videodrome, one of director David Cronenberg's explorations of dangerous sexuality and technological obsession. The morally questionable hero of the tale is one Max Renn (James Woods), a television executive searching for an intense new program for his sex-oriented network. He ultimately discovers an underground program called "Videodrome," which appears to broadcast pornographic snuff films of actual murders. Horrified but perversely intrigued, Renn sets out to find the truth behind the program. During his search, he meets alluring femme fatale Nicki (Blondie lead singer Debbie Harry), technology cult leader Bianca O'Blivion, and other mysterious figures. Things become even more disturbing for Renn as his addiction grows, and the program begins to infect the outside world — or perhaps merely destroy own his sanity. Cronenberg mingles his cerebral concerns about the nature of reality in the video age with enough visceral gore (courtesy of Rick Baker) to satisfy the film's intended horror audience. - Judd Blaise (allmovie.com)



Criterion Collection 2-DVD Set #248 Special Features:

+ New high-definition digital transfer of the unrated version, with restored image and sound and enhanced for widescreen televisions

+ Two audio commentaries: David Cronenberg and director of photography Mark Irwin, and actors James Woods and Deborah Harry

+ Camera (2000), a short film starring Videodrome’s Les Carlson, written and directed by Cronenberg

+ Forging the New Flesh, a new half-hour documentary featurette by filmmaker Michael Lennick about the creation of Videodrome’s video and prosthetic makeup effects

+ Effects Men, a new audio interview with special makeup effects creator Baker and video effects supervisor Lennick

+ Bootleg Video: the complete footage of Samurai Dreams and seven minutes of transmissions from “Videodrome,” presented in their original, unedited form with filmmaker commentary

+ Fear on Film, a 26-minute roundtable discussion from 1982 between filmmakers Cronenberg, John Carpenter, John Landis, and Mick Garris

+ Original theatrical trailers and promotional featurette

+ Stills galleries featuring hundreds of rare behind-the-scenes production photos, special effects makeup tests, and publicity photos English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired

+ Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition
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