David Cronenberg had already established himself as a competent auteur by Videodrome's release. For the sake of variety, Cronenberg has crafted the contemporary horror, science fiction, drama, and thriller, all into marvelous and definitive pieces of the genre at hand. The accessibility of all his films whether it be Scanners or Videodrome itself, these staples of pseudo-science horror presentation will feature recurring themes of "body horror" that are oh so prevalent in most of his works. If you've seen any Cronenberg film (Sit down, Fast Company), you've no doubt witnessed these fleshy pods bubble and pus while flesh and machine (organic or not) become infused with madness. What Cronenberg is so acclaimed for is his effective and practical surreal violence and effects that spread on an even keel across his wide modicum of hits: e.g. the head explosion scene in Scanners, the pistol mutation in Videodrome (aforementioned), and Seth Brundle's painful transformation into an insect. Dictated by my own pleasure via overstimulation, Videodrome happened to be one of few contemporary, abstract masterpieces that you never, in my case, get around to watching until well past the deadline.
Max Renn is an early and perfect example of the pathetic not quite-alpha male and the swift manipulation by feminist mind frame as Max, a low quality of lifer and a disgusting male of nature, finds himself fulfilling the perverted fetishism with a radio personality played by Deborah Harry. The inscribed sex scene appears to be of no pleasure to himself as he bows to her every whim eventually hallucinating himself on Videodrome. The fleshy pink walls reflect just how out of the BDSM loop he really is. Nicki Brand is no longer with him. No one wonders why. The opening scene of the omnipresent television set alerting Max to wake up to his painfully boring life is the kind of established scenario most films with self-deprecating leads should adhere to using. This is the kind of loser that walks, eyes ahead, on a busy sidewalk. Judging by the lengthy coat, you would never guess he's a prime example of that lame soul; the one that passes out watching late night television and starts the next day with a stomach churning combination of coffee and old pizza crusts. From this average day, his first visit into the static-clouded Videodrome emerges as the first conflict for Max Renn other than his pugnacious style of life. After revealing Nicki Brand to Videodrome in an effort to peak her sexual climate, she becomes strangely aroused by the tape and seduces an unsure James Woods into emitting pain and pleasure, although the two become confused by scenes end.
When the time comes for Videodrome to sink into psyches and initiate abnormal growth while subliminally annihilating lucid eroticism, the perspective of Max Renn is severely damaged and left in non-working order. From these all-seeing eyes, he's been converted to an assassin for Videodrome while Nicki Brand, who was also infected, became a seductive symbiote of Videodrome. Her eventual transcendence to digitized flesh is left to the viewers mind to possibly piece together a plot to tell of Max's implied techno-enlightenment. Only then will some answers be solved and many more will be asked. To be perfectly blunt and obtrusive, the philosophy of life prioritized on television is soul sapping and Videodrome's showcasing of technology depleting humanity came before the reality show boom of the 90s and 00s. As charted with the last sentence, the reasoning of Videodrome is more or less prophetic past the further use of an idea called "reality."
Depending on the mindset of the viewer at hand, Videodrome may shock/offend you, intimidate you, excite you, and trample you down with the eclectic bevy of forbidden titillation. There's a reason that Videodrome is never explained to those who haven't experienced such a far out film as itself. The experience itself is something of a pinnacle in retrofuturism and the clandestine approach to disputing manipulation in both sexes. If often reverberates ideas of a gender war, all stemming from sexual confusion and assertive hypnosis. "At the end, he was convinced that public life on television...was more than private life in the flesh. He wasn't afraid to let his body die." With these words, It becomes ever apparent that Max Renn is an abasement of flesh and he must be purged. Videodrome is the future of video technology in its own reality and in ours. It might be David Cronenberg's single masterwork and his most frightening experiment.