In the lead up to the 7th Canadian Film Festival in Australia (August 2012), join us as we countdown the Top 100 Canadian Films of the past 30 years. We'll be posting one film a day leading up to Canada Day on July 1st 2012. Do you agree with our team favourites? Let us know your thoughts!
#8 - Videodrome
Twenty-nine years since its first release, David Cronenberg's grunge sci-fi Videodrome remains a film of disturbingly adroit insight not only into our present day but also to our possible future. And as a piece of what-the-fuck cinema, it's a benchmark that genre filmmakers still aspire to.
James Woods plays sleazy Civic TV exec Max Renn, on the hunt for new depravity of the pornographic variety when he discovers a sadomasochistic, underground broadcast called 'Videodrome'. This find is accompanied by the onset of hallucinations and an unfolding conspiracy involving reclusive professor Brian O'Blivion and malevolent multinational Spectacular Optical.
Later we find Renn's receptacle is Betamax compatible too.
Cronenberg obliterates the notional demarcation lines between fantasy and reality, technology and flesh, dead and alive, as he sends us spiraling into the surreal with mesmerising, chaotic brilliance. Perhaps this is why his early genre films worked so well in spite of reeking surrealism; Cronenberg is nothing if not playful in his subversion. With James Woods he also had the perfect front man, an actor willing to do anything in service of the auteur filmmaker's vision.
"Simultaneously sleazy and cerebral, it's a film whose surrealist setpieces burn a brand on the brain." SFX Magazine
To see the other films in the countdown so far, click here