28 April 2009


Via Warren Ellis, I see that Variety reports:
Universal Pictures will remake the 1983 David Cronenberg-directed thriller Videodrome
What, are you kidding me? As Variety goes on to explain ...
The original Videodrome starred James Woods as the head of Civic TV Channel 83, who makes his station relevant by programming “Videodrome,” a series that depicts torture and murder that transfixes viewers.
That's not the half of it. It's also one of the most surreal, phildickian films ever made. There's a character who's a sort of insane messianic Marshall McLuhan: “The television screen is the retina of the mind's eye. Therefore, the television screen is part of the physical structure of the brain. Therefore, whatever appears on the television screen emerges as raw experience for those who watch it. Therefore, television is reality, and reality is less than television.” The central conceit is that watching the nihilistic torture-porn program “Videodrome” drives you violently insane. Midway through, the film enters the subjectivity of a character who is starting to have hallucinations as a result of watching this show, and as things progress you go from thinking you're seeing hallucinations interrupting reality ... to thinking that you're now seeing only hallucinations but can guess what's going on in the reality behind them ... to being completely consumed in hallucinations with no referent in reality at all ... which makes you suspect that everything you thought was reality early in the film was probably also some kind of hallucination. It's full of gross, disturbing imagery that has since been ripped off by countless scary movies. It has the most unsettling music of any film I've ever seen, composed by Howard “The Lord of the Rings” Shore.

It's one of my all-time favourite films: strange, brilliant, and horrifying. But it should also be obvious why it is a film that I do not recommend to people. So why is it being remade?

The new picture will modernize the concept, infuse it with the possibilities of nano-technology and blow it up into a large-scale sci-fi action thriller.
Of course.
Cronenberg has no role in the film as yet.
Surprise, surprise.


Kate said...

I saw the original and was messed up enough not to view the "new, improved" version. Let me know how it is since I doubt you can resist!

d a r k c h i l d e said...

Miniver, you have NO idea how happy you have made me today.

I have the most surreal story about the original Videodrome. I'm a 13 year old kid, living in a small town in Ohio and have never had cable television.

On one of the first weeks we get this new fangled "cable" thing, I end up not being able to sleep due to this long, epic dreams that start every time I close my eyes.

I meander into the family room and pop on the TV....and it's in the first second half of Videodrome.

It's 1983 and it's connecting to my 13 year old freak brain in ways I cannot tell you. Dendrites feathered, neural syntax created new verbiage and the machine mind yawned and stretched and said "what's this???"

It was two months of frenzied searching before I found the movie again and got to see the whole thing.

My magickal mantra from 1983 - 1989 was "Long live the new Flesh!"

Okay...I'll "geek-down" for the moment and wait with patient maturity for the remake to be released. Thanks for letting me know!