Saturday, October 29, 2011

October 29 Pt. 2: Videodrome

Cronenberg has always been interested in the human body. What gets under our skin. Both literally and metaphorically. His recent efforts like A History of Violence internalize the horror. When Stephen McHattie's face is hanging off, it makes the impact of the scene that much more potent. It's the ideas and story that are now at the forefront more than ever. That's not to say his past work hasn't had interesting concepts. It's just now they are much more subdued in presentation. But when they hit you, they hit you until you're lying on the ground with your nose punched through your skull.

The Brood was a restrained movie when all was said and done. Scanners was, for the most part, restrained. Videodrome on the other hand doesn't hold back. Only this time, instead of traditional graphic violence, its all organic. Rick Baker's practical effects hold up to this day. Look no further than the cancer gun scene.
Concept wise, it's obviously a middle finger to those who lashed out at his early work. A criticism I've seen thrown at the film is its bewildering plot. Videodrome is essentially Canada's answer to some of the Italian horror films of the late 70's and early 80's. It's much more about an intense and unforgettable experience. One that would bridge the gap between an exploding head and Jeff Goldblum spewing fly blood from his fingertips.

Long live the new flesh.


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