Videodrome (1983)Posted: August 13, 2011
In David Cronenberg’s film, Videodrome (1983), an ethically challenged cable news station manager is becoming addicted to snuff film videos, and, while watching them and fondling a Walther PPK pistol (James Bond’s gun), he discovers that a vaginal-like slot has appeared in his stomach. So he does what any reasonable person would do in that situation — he begins to nuzzle the strange opening with the barrel of his weapon, finally jamming the whole pistol and hand in there (which seems to be either painful or orgasmic)… and losing his pistol when his stomach vagina suddenly dissapears.
Given that he has made ‘body horror’ films like Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch and Videodrome, I wonder if Cronenberg’s mother read things like Kafka’s Metamorphosis to him when he was in utero.
Despite the datedness of some of the technology (pirate video involving Betamax tapes and cable scramblers), the movie was great. The wikipedia entry calls it “techno-surrealist” (which is pretty apt) and it’s interesting to try and go back to when “cyborgism” and William Gibson techno novels were still new concepts. The paranoia in this film would make Phillip K. Dick proud. Debbie Harry is great as a seductress/masochist and there was a lot of wierd shit in it, which allowed me to forgive the clunky dialogue. Plus there is an exploding hand that blows a perfectly timed escape hole in the back wall of a store that is like a cartoon — funny and wierd. The protagonist escapes through the hole into a street full of people who are ignoring the fact that a wall just exploded and a dude with a vagina in his stomach came running out. Perhaps that kind of stuff happens pretty often in Toronto. James Woods stars as the stomach-vaginaed Max Renn.