Videodrome

I rented this in high school, hungry for those video textures and didn’t get enough of them so I fell asleep a few minutes in. That’s okay though I was on a basically experimental dosage size of adderall so I’m allowed to have done shit like that.

It’s sort of a shame that James Woods is so great in this. Would be politically convenient if he was just a talentless hack who sucked in everything but it doesn’t work like that. He was great in the right role. And an asshole whose pornographic sleaze can temporarily shield him from the psychic onslaught of cursed video long enough for him to get in over his head is exactly the role you need a guy like him for. Other actors would get you to care about the guy more, make you feel for him, but Woods gives you the sense that this is a real guy who sucks and isn’t doing anything noble. It makes it hit harder. If I go on YouTube to watch a video of a car crash and the guy’s on his phone telling his wife he loves her it takes me out of it. I smell a rat. Debbie Harry’s great too but that’s not really a shame. We like her.

This movie keeps feeling like it’s going to try and say something to you about the nature of consumption and the act of viewing but instead of doing the 1983 equivalent of saying “time to take out our phones” it instead looks you dead in the eye and says “long live the new flesh.” I found that superior. I’d much rather watch a movie about a Manchuria candidate who hides a gun in his stomach vagina than a black mirror episode about how I need to turn off the boob tube.

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