‘Videodrome’ Pinpoints the Technophilic Masochist in Us All
David Cronenberg pulls us face-first into the indulgent, addictive circuit between man and machine.
NOTE: For the month of October, I’ll be watching and reviewing classic horror movies that I somehow never made it around to seeing. Bring on your commentary in the comments — and happy Halloween!
Movies that anchor themselves around specific technologies are taking a risk. On one hand, it’s a risk of becoming dated — focusing on any piece of tech between the 80s and now is the quickest way to become an accidental period piece. More that that, though, it’s a risk of getting so creative that you miss the point completely.
That is, the ironic fact that stories about technology are always actually stories about humanity. Tech itself doesn’t spawn evil psychological plots or invade our homes; that issue lies squarely with the people who create it, distribute it, and use it. We build it. We consume it. Tech can only exist and be analyzed through the lens of the human experience.
The conundrum is that the more we interact with tech, the more we expect from our analog human existence. We want everything to our tastes, now and in HD and with no strings. Our brains get hooked— and when we inevitably can’t find that in real-world experiences with the people around us, we tend to double-down and seek out the extreme, the convenient, and perhaps the depraved to overcompensate for our needy brains.
Now do yourself a solid and savor this trailer. It’s a thing of beauty.
Max Wrenn (James Woods) is the president of CIVIC-TV (Channel 83) — a station that offers a variety of sex, violence, and other extreme visuals to satisfy the growing need for stimulation among viewers. He is…