Behind the Scenes of David Cronenberg's 1983 Bizarre Classic 'Videodrome'
This film is not for the faint of heart. Originally titled Network of Blood and Zonekiller, Videodrome (1983) was the meta brain child of writer/director David Cronenberg, and strangely enough, taken from the filmmaker’s own life. The film was rejected by Roger Ebert and viewers at test screenings due to its depictions of sex, violence, and gore, yet is now a celebrated “disturbing techno-surrealist” cult classic. Continue on for an in-depth video of the making of Videodrome, which might be able to answer the film’s own question, “Why would anybody watch a scum show like Videodrome?”
If you’ve never seen Videodrome, it’s one of those films that, at face value, is a bloody, bizarre, psychedelic trip, but once you read between the lines of the story, it shapeshifts into a poignant tale about greed and the dangers of too much technology — where humans become connected to their TVs, become desensitized to violence, and form fleshy gun-shaped cancerous tumors inside their bodies. Check out the original theatrical trailer below:
As I mentioned before, Cronenberg’s idea for Videodrome came from his real life experiences. As a kid living in Toronto, he’d be able to pick up TV signals from New York after Canadian stations had gone off the air late at night. The danger of him possibly seeing something disturbing “not meant for public consumption” was a real worry of his as a child, which lead to him writing the screenplay of Videodrome as an adult.
In the video below, uploaded by TheSheik1976, Cronenberg discusses his interest in exploring the relationship between humans and technology, how they interact and feed off of each other, as well as how far humans will go to alter their environments. The blatant way Cronenberg does this is brilliant and refreshing even today, which makes it, in my opinion, an important film worth taking apart and studying.
There is so much more to Videodrome than meets the eye, and to get a glimpse inside, check out the making-of video below:
What do you think viewers could pull from Videodrome’s narrative and images? Are there any other films you’ve seen that were written off as extreme or exploitive, but actually had a deeper meaning worth studying?