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that was actually hiring. That’s some foresight on Cronenberg’s part. And that’s why Woods’ Renn—a uniquely perverted outlier in his day, a curator of smut in an era when it was first being welcomed into the home via coaxial cable—has become the deeply disturbing everyman for our era. The sadomasochism that underscores Renn’s relationship with media—and his relationship with radio host Nicki Brand, played by Debbie Harry in her first acting role—may have lost

its shock value in a world where even Disney-manufactured pop stars winds up naked on the ’net, but that just cranks the creep-out factor up even higher. Combine that with the unsettling special effects make-up of the legendary Rick Baker (Hellboy, An American Werewolf in London, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video) and you’ve got a horror film that just may have become more terrifying with age. As with much of Cronenberg’s output—including such classics as the literally mind-blowing Scanners and the way-ahead-of-the-curve and criminally underappreciated eXistenZ—Videodrome is an examination of the horrors inherent in the human body, the weakness of our flesh and the vulnerability of our minds. But unlike Scanners, which concerns itself with terror of intellectual evolution, or Cronenberg’s remake of The Fly, which tackles the horrors of physical evolution, Videodrome is a critique and exploration of our evolution as a society of media consumers, simultaneously the heroes and villains, sadists and masochists, perpetrators and victims. Survival is never assured, but is it really worth it if we’re willing to sacrifice our humanity and our dignity for entertainment? Videodrome is the rare film that pushed the boundaries of its day so far—reveling in the violent sexuality that it simultaneously condemns, celebrating the entrance of grindhouse sensibilities into your house while hoping the neighbors don’t catch you watching—that its moral center (amoral center?) still feels timely. It becomes a tale for this Videodrome will age as well, an analog-era fable made more potent by the be available interceding years of technological development and socio- on Blu-ray 7 logical regression. It has a philosophy and that’s what makes December from Image it dangerous still. Entertainment. cowbell


Dimple Records' In-Store Magazine, December 2010  
Dimple Records' In-Store Magazine, December 2010  

"Indie Rock with a Slice of Green." Cowbell Magazine features Cee Lo Green, Daft Punk, plus our lists of the top albums, games and dvds of t...