Greatest Film Scenes
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Videodrome (1983)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Videodrome (1983)

In director David Cronenberg's terrorizing tale of erotic sci-fi and "body horror" - the film's theme was the prophetic prediction that TV would replace 'real-life', as conspirators in a nightmarish cult wanted to entice (control and manipulate) the docile, consumer-oriented masses by marathon television watching (of extreme sex and violence); it involved kinky sexuality, extreme S&M and orgiastic mutilation, and reality-manipulating TV. It had a memorable phrase: "Long live the new flesh" and contained many symbolic images of sexuality:

  • the film's main character was Max Renn (James Woods), the sleazy owner-director-producer of an X-rated Toronto cable TV station (Channel 83); he discovered a pirated, ultra-violent, Pittsburgh underground TV show called Videodrome on a VCR cassette - the reason for the film's title; it was a depraved torture/snuff film; the station aired soft-core pornography and violent content; and Max desired to broadcast the pirated VCR cassette of "Videodrome"
  • Renn didn't know that he was being used by the villainous political forces behind Videodrome - the Spectacular Optical Corporation (and Videodrome's producer), headed by Chief of Special Programs Barry Convex (Leslie Carlson)
  • Renn was deceived into becoming mind-controlled and infected, by watching (and becoming hooked on) Videodrome; Spectacular Optical's goal (with the motto "Keeping An Eye on the World") was to seize and take over Renn's Channel 83 TV station to broadcast its signal to the masses ("It can be a giant hallucination machine, and much much more!")
  • a mind-controlled Renn began to become infected due to his own TV watching (that seduced and controlled him), leading to his brain mutating and developing fatal tumors, and he was experiencing many disturbing, mind-altering visions and sights
  • exposure to the Videodrome film caused carcinogenic tumors that triggered hallucinations in Max; sexual imagery included a vaginal-like slit or womb-wound orifice that opened in his abdomen (into which he could insert videocassette tapes, or his entire hand holding a gun) as he became an organic video-recorder. He could be both "raped" and "programmed" by the villains forcefully inserting videotapes inside his body to "play" him
  • in the film's most notable scene, Max watched a videocassette of Videodrome's origins on his TV set (including the strangulation of Videodrome technology cult leader and pioneer Professor Brian O'Blivion (Jack Creley) when he learned of Spectacular Optical's malicious intentions), revealing the black-hooded executioner as femme fatale Nicki - his future 'girlfriend'. She beckoned Max: "Come to me now. I'm Nicki. Don't keep me waiting"
  • in the film's most stupendous, surrealistic scene, her seductive red lips enlarged on his TV screen (the set itself undulated, pulsated, formed engorged veins, and moaned as if sexually-aroused). He submissively fell to his knees and pushed his own lips into the enlarged and bulging hallucinogenic TV screen image to kiss them -- a symbolic metaphor for oral sex (cunnilingus), as he was sucked into the glass monitor's image
  • Renn also engaged in a torrid and bizarre S&M romance with self-help radio guru-personality Nicki Brand (rock star Deborah Harry or Blondie) - their first encounter in Max's apartment when she proposed "Wanna try a few things?" revealed her interest in masochistic sadism (piercing her body with a long needle, and burning her bare breast with Max's cigarette) and voyeurism when she encouraged him to play the cassette "Videodrome"
  • Renn was ordered by Convex to "kill your partners and give me Channel 83" - in order to take over the channel (and broadcast Videodrome as part of a crypto-government conspiracy to morally and ideologically "purge" North America and produce fatal brain tumors in "lowlifes" fixated on extreme sex and violence); however, Renn was soon after deprogrammed and ordered to reverse himself, and instead kill the creators and manipulators of Videodrome ("Death to Videodrome. Long live the new flesh")
  • afterwards, Renn assassinated political leader Harlan (Peter Dvorsky), his own technical colleague, by transforming his hand into a slimy gun-grenade; Renn also murdered Barry Convex at the Spectacular Optical trade show at the Toronto Convention Centre - he shot him with his organic gun that caused tumors to erupt from his torso and skull

Renn's Own Hand-Gun

Murder of Barry Convex at Trade Show

Renn's Own Suicide
  • in the conclusion, Renn was convinced to ultimately take his own life to ensure the total and complete destruction of Videodrome - first, Nicki prompted him to kill himself by having him watch a TV broadcast of himself blowing his own head open, causing the TV set to explode; then, Renn committed an imitative suicide with his own organic hand-gun, and as he pulled the trigger for real, he proclaimed: "Long live the new flesh"

O'Blivion's Executioner Nicki (Deborah Harry)

Giant Lips Beckoning Renn

Renn's Abdominal Slit

Kinky Sex: Earlobe Piercing with Nicki

S & M: Cigarette Branding


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