Criterion Collection: Videodrome [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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The manager of a Toronto cable-TV station tracks an unlisted torture/death show.
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The picture is the same transfer as used on Universal's Italian blu-ray and suffers from excessive edge enhancement. The only extra is a trailer.
Get the Criterion blu-ray, it's uncut and loaded with extras.
UPDATE: Although the Criterion disc is region A locked, there is a region B release out in Germany with the same extras and transfer. So avoid the UK release.
That's why I'll concentrate on the disc itself.
As another reviewer mentioned, it is the cut version of the film. While it is unfortunate, I wouldn't say anything vital was cut.
Most of the time, it's a couple of seconds of gore missing (sometimes even less). Don't get me wrong, I hate tinkering with the director's original vision but all in all,
I wouldn't say the film's impact has been diminished.
As for the A/V quality, it's a mixed bag. While it's nowhere near reference quality,
it's not as bad as some other catalogue titles from Universal.
Edge Enhancement is clearly visible but not to the point where it's too distracting.
Similarly, some DNR and sharpening have obviously been used, but the image still looks quite natural.
As many of you know, the film has also been released by Criterion but unless you have a multi-region player
and are willing to import the disc, this is the only way to watch Videodrome in High Definition.
It's also worth noting that the Criterion release seems to have been quite substantially cropped,
so it's also less than perfect.
Unfortunately, there are no extras on the disc to speak of.
Available audio tracks: English, French, Italian, Latin American Spanish, Russian (VO)
Available subtitles: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Korean, Latin American Spanish, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Traditional Mandarin
The commentary on the potential effects of video/violence and pornography is fascinating and in typical Cronenberg style, it all ends badly with much gore and violence. Extremely thought provoking and perhaps even more relevant today, in light of the power of the media and TV to influence our perception of different events.
Watch and be propelled into a dangerous underground world of S&M, violence and a quest for the truth that ends in tragedy.
Superb and obviously worth the modest price. Just be careful - 'it bites'!!
It follows Videodrome, a TV signal created by Brian O'Blivion to experiment with melding reality and television. But it gets hijacked by a political organisation while in its testing phase. They discover that the untested TV signal will actually kill anyone who watches it (or render them puppets to manipulate), so they turn the signal into an extremely violent TV show. They plan broadcast it with the purpose of ensnaring and killing off the 'low lives' who enjoy watching extremely violent programmes. They see these people as destroying the values of wholesome "strong" America in an increasingly dangerous world.
Max Ren (James Woods) is a network producer who thinks Videodrome is a just a normal (albeit very violent) TV Show, and he wants to get it on his failing public network. As he delves deeper though he becomes enmeshed in the political organisation's new "weapon" Videodrome.
I really enjoyed this film. Its actually quite scary (and has some great special effects for the time) and pursues the theme of what is real and what is not, and malicious political influence, really well.
The Blu Ray version by Arrow Video is really good, a very clear image and great sound. A nice collection of extras are also on the disk. Highly recommended.
In 'Videodrome', James Woods plays a Canadian television entrepreneur, a man who provides material - usually suspect, often porn - for cable TV. In the course of his seedy research he finds a pirate broadcast of a strange, compelling programme. The torture and masochism he glimpses as the programme hisses and breaks up is ... well, it looks real. Or is it just incredibly well made, with the interference and fluctuating picture quality just an example of good engineering and clever directing, simulating clandestine status to give the show a bit of edge?
Woods teams up with a radio broadcaster (Debbie Harry) to investigate. They tune in, turn on, and drop into an underworld of research and exploration which exposes human vulnerability to the influence of television. Maybe it doesn't just have a numbing effect on the brain ... maybe it can take over your body ... maybe the broadcast can become flesh as TV and reality merge? This is television as an acid trip.
An engrossing movie, playing off its own ironic take on the ability of film and television to confuse, mislead, misinform, or corrupt. Cronenberg speculates on the impact of television by taking you into the surreal, asking you to suspend your disbelief ... then question your belief.
Woods' character is sated by all the garbage he's seen. Nothing surprises him any more. He needs something weird, something even more shocking than porn. Do people really need to be shocked?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bit of a cult movie if you're into that sort of thing. Very weird as all cronenberg films are.
Interesting concept and still applicable today. In fact more than ever. Read more
Lovin the new art for this wierd 80s horror classic,nice picture and sound,james woods is great at whatever he does and the film has david cronenbergs usual body shock and surreal... Read morePublished 3 months ago by kieran
The review for the cut version below is not for the arrow blu ray which is not cut and is a superb transferPublished 3 months ago by frankiecrisp
If you have never seen Videodrome, then you have missed a surreal yet horrifyingly satirical movie from the master of surreal horror and controversiality David Cronenberg. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Great White