Videodrome 1983 R CC

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(179) IMDb 7.3/10
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David Cronenberg's (Scanners) diabolical invader is a television show that seduces and controls its viewers. James Woods as a cable programmer looking for the ultimate in viewing thrills who becomes caught up in the horrific television reality.

Starring:
James Woods, Sonja Smits
Runtime:
1 hour 29 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

Videodrome

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Videodrome (The Criterion Collection)

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Product Details

Genres Science Fiction, Horror
Director David Cronenberg
Starring James Woods, Sonja Smits
Supporting actors Deborah Harry, Peter Dvorsky, Leslie Carlson, Jack Creley, Lynne Gorman, Julie Khaner, Reiner Schwartz, David Bolt, Lally Cadeau, Henry Gomez, Harvey Chao, David Tsubouchi, Kay Hawtrey, Sam Malkin, Bob Church, Jayne Eastwood, Franciszka Hedland, David Cronenberg
Studio Universal Studios
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

One of the best movies ever made.
Mr. Sean A. Mccabe
This was the film that opened up the very strange but fascinating world of David Cronenberg to me.
D. C. Cannon
Actually, I'm pretty sure that narcotics were involved in some way in the making of this movie.
Kitten With a Whip

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Edelman TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 1, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
TV will rot your brain, some say- and in the world of Videodrome, that's exactly what happens. A group working with a media philosopher (a nice parody of Marshall McCluhan) has created a signal that can be superimposed on a video program that will, quite literally, mutate the brain. It may be a tumor- or it may be a new organ. It's infected cable TV president Max Venn (James Woods), and is starting to change him and his world in bizarre ways.
Videodrome is a wonderfully original movie that mixes a well crafted script with some novel (for the time) special effects and a marvelous darkly comic sensibility. Puns abound; the president of "Spectacular Optics"- itself a pun- is named Convex. Brian Oblivion (the Marshall McCluhan parody) founded the "Cathode Ray Mission" (as in "cathode ray emission"), where the homeless and destitute are re-integrated into society by providing them with exposure to television.
Underneath this is a dark, sexual theme- Max's attraction to the images of bondage and sadism that are his undoing, and to radio psychologist Nikki (Debbie Harry, in a compelling if inartful performance) who is willing to go a lot farther than is Max in her pursuit of kinky thrills.
Is Max really being physically transformed, or is it all in his head? Is the New Flesh real, or another delusion? All in all, a compelling and original film that will delight any fan of cult films and erotic horror.
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78 of 92 people found the following review helpful By J. MacAyeal on September 6, 2005
Format: DVD
Videodrome is not only one of the top three horror/sci-fi movies made in the last 25 years it also has the distinguishing trait of having been given one of the best royal treatments from Criterion. If you need basic plot and such look elsewhere. This review is more about why this is one of the greatest films of all time.

First, the film: A must-have for any film collector, not just a horror or sci-fi buff. James Woods plays a Cable-TV station owner who broadcasts soft-porn and adult entertainment. His favorite technician shows him a pirated TV show called Videodrome in which people are tortured and killed. Woods pursues this show, watching more and more of it until his investigations lead him to two sources: The Videodrome show producers itself and the show's arch-enemy, The Cathode Ray Mission. Woods discovers that the show transmits a signal that creates a tumor in the brain that leads to S+M hallucinations. Woods begins to hallucinate incredible sexual/violent nightmares ( the fleshy TV set)and finds himself as a pawn between the two entities. Videodrome plans on using Woods' station to transmit the violent Videodrome show in order to kill the audience of porn. Videodrome owner Barry Convex "programs" Woods to kill his partners at the station and the Cathode Ray Mission Leader, Bianca O'Blivion. Bianca "counter programs" Woods into killing the Videodrome people. Bianca declares that Woods has "evolved" (Darwinism on its ear) into The New Flesh, an allegory of an information-age human with a body that mutates via hallucination. In the end, Woods, alone and his head filled with tumors, is prompted by his now dead girlfriend (Deborah Harry in the flesh TV set) to "evolve" into the next stage by shooting himself.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Kim Anehall on October 1, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The TV producer Max Renn (James Woods) works for a sleazy TV network that focuses on violence, sex, and other bizarre programs. Max's job is to search and find programs that keep pushing the aggressive nature of the network and can keep the viewer numbers up. Years of exposure to violence and sex have diminished the effect that the brutality and sexuality have on Max. As a result Max continues to search for something rough and more sadistic, and through an employee of the network he finds a pirate cable show, Videodrome.

The nature of the Videodrome is as Max refers to it as, "It's just murder and torture. No plot. No characters." It is the cutting edge, no pun intended, of cable TV for Max as it is rougher and more brutal than anything else that he has seen. Max tapes the show and becomes fixated with the pirated shows. This also begins to affect Max's social life as he meets Nicki (Deborah Harry) with whom he initiates a sadistic romance. Max begins to track the source down for Videodrome, which initially seems to be sent from Malaysia. However, further investigation leads Max to Pittsburgh, and he realizes that it is connected with a nightmarish cult.

David Cronenberg creates a terrifying atmosphere where reality and delusions begin to blend. This shadow land draws the audience into a paranoid cinematic experience where the threat is located directly in front of them, the television. The exceptional special effects are a big part of creating the bizarre atmosphere, which are startling with the breathing video tapes, open stomachs, and a sensually moving television. Videodrome carries Cronenberg's distinctive insignia as it is unique, disturbing, and groundbreaking.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Bragan Thomas on March 12, 2001
Format: DVD
A cult favorite since its release in '83, VIDEODROME is in some ways a "great flawed film." The characters are far from sympathetic, the plot is often confusing and contradictory, and some of the dialogue is unintentionally hilarious. Yet on the level of images and ideas, VIDEODROME is a rich, compelling experience which will take root in your brain long after the film is over. James Woods turns in a terrific performance as Max Renn, sleazoid co-owner of a quickie TV station. For reasons which never become clear, Renn is chosen as the gateway for public transmission of the "Videodrome" TV signal, which hypnotizes its viewers and causes mind-altering hallucinations. Renn, always on the lookout for the ultimate trash with which to hook his slavish, sensation-seeking audience, is introduced to "Videodrome," a charming bit of snuff TV where men in masks torture women and a black man for no real reason at all, except for cheap thrills. Renn, correctly assuming that sex and violence sell to the masses, tries to discover the human face behind Videodrome. Along the way, he stumbles onto what seems to be a conspiracy to control the mind of the North American audience through TV (hmmm...hasn't this happened by now?), seemingly to create an audience of docile, consumeristic sheep. After a rather shocking sequence of events, Renn becomes one of the "New Flesh," apparently a race of humans who have evolved away from the body to exist entirely in the electronic realm (hmmm...isn't this happening right now?) and are trying to destroy Videodrome. His companion in this journey is masochistic Nicki Brand, played by Deborah Harry at her most glamorous.Read more ›
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