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Videodrome (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1983)

James Woods , Deborah Harry , David Cronenberg  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Woods, Deborah Harry, Sonja Smits, Peter Dvorsky, Leslie Carlson
  • Directors: David Cronenberg
  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
  • DVD Release Date: December 7, 2010
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003KGBIRK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,736 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Videodrome (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer of the unrated version
  • Audio commentary - David Cronenberg w/ director of photographywith Mark Irwin
  • Audio commentary - actors James Woods and Deborah Harry
  • Camera (2000), a short film by Cronenberg
  • Forging the New Flesh, a half-hour documentary
  • Effects Men, an audio interview
  • Bootleg Video: the complete footage of Samurai Dreams
  • Fear on Film, a roundtable discussion from 1982
  • Original theatrical trailers and promotional featurette
  • Stills gallery featuring rare behind-the-scenes production photos
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays

  • Editorial Reviews

    When Max Renn goes looking for edgy new shows for his sleazy cable TV station, he stumbles across the pirate broadcast of a hyperviolent torture show called VIDEODROME. As he unearths the origins of the program, he embarks on a hallucinatory journey into a shadow world of right-wing conspiracies, sadomasochistic sex games, and bodily transformation. Renn's ordinary life dissolves around him, and he finds himself at the center of a conflict between opposing factions in the struggle to control the truth behind the radical human future of "the New Flesh." Starring James Woods and Deborah Harry in one of her first film roles, VIDEODROME is one of writer/director David Cronenberg's most original and provocative works, fusing social commentary with shocking elements of sex and violence. With groundbreaking special effects makeup by Academy Award-winner Rick Baker, VIDEODROME has come to be regarded as one of the most influential and mind-bending science fiction films of the 1980s, and The Criterion Collection is proud to present it in its full-length unrated edition.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    64 of 73 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Horror October 1, 2001
    Format:VHS Tape|Amazon 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 91 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Criterion DVDs 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
    Format:DVD|Amazon 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
    5.0 out of 5 stars They use her image to seduce us... 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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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great Blu-Ray
    If you are a fan of this movie, you''ll like this blu-ray edition of videodrome. Contains lots of extras and looks great.
    Published 5 days ago by Claude Coats
    4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Worth Revisiting, but Not for Everyone
    Years ago, I saw this on cable. I just watched it again, renting it on amazon. Now, I knew I'd like it because I liked it before, but seeing it again after all these years, I... Read more
    Published 27 days ago by C. Taylor
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good item.
    Already left a review of this item. Love this item. Please don't force your customers to write more than they want just to fill a word quota. It is very annoying.
    Published 29 days ago by G
    5.0 out of 5 stars Criterion Edition, great movie and enjoyable special features, but 1...
    I recently acquired the Criterion edition of Videodrome new. Other reviewers here have eloquently described all the fine points of this movie. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by M. ZALESKI
    3.0 out of 5 stars First it controls your mind, then it destroys your body
    Love it or loathe it, Videodrome is a movie to be reckoned with. Inviting extremes of response from disdain one of the least entertaining films ever made") to academic... Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Taheen Lopez
    4.0 out of 5 stars A great movie for Cronenberg fans, or those looking for something odd
    While some aspects of this movie don't age well (the focus on cable TV, video tapes), there are some themes about humanities relationship with technology that still ring true. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by B. Tenpenny
    5.0 out of 5 stars Odd and Wonderful
    I bought this DVD for a family member, but it's long been one of my favorites. If you're looking for strange and unusual sex and violence accompanied by a twisted, cautionary tale... Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Janet S.
    5.0 out of 5 stars All hail the new flesh!
    Deborah Harry when she was hot! And James Woods before family guy.
    Great fx and fun stroy, and like Dr. Oblivion, as a public access cable producer myself... Read more
    Published 3 months ago by Mark Hopkins
    5.0 out of 5 stars James Woods...must I say more?
    I had a bit of an obsession with James Woods as I was getting movies and then I found a clip in which he is fully naked. Yes. Naked. So... Read more
    Published 4 months ago by Mandie
    2.0 out of 5 stars terrible
    80's "cult" crap... James Woods is a HORRIBLE actor, decent idea gone horribly, horribly wrong. How this made it into the criterion collection is beyond me!????
    Published 4 months ago by MRJ
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    New Book on Cronenberg
    Thanks, but what exactly are they trying to imply with the title?
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