The Movie 'Videodrome' and The Horror of Mass Media
“Videodrome” is an 80′s science fiction horror film that contains some gore, James Woods and Betamax videotapes. Above all, the movie communicates a strong message on the perversity of mass media, its dangers to the human psyche and how it is used to manipulate the masses. This article will look at the meaning of the movie “Videodrome” and how it reveals the shadier aspects of mass media.
Warning: This article contains spoilers and disturbing subject matters.
Videodrome is a dark Canadian movie about a sleazy CEO of a small cable TV station and his discovery of a broadcast signal featuring live torture and murder. As fascination turns into obsession, then into physical illness, the movie symbolically describes, in a very extreme and graphic way, the impact of mass media perversity on the human psyche, as well as the dark forces behind it.
The movie’s odd mix of gore, taboo subject matters and social commentary make it an original, but disturbing film to watch. I am glad I did not watch the movie as a child because I’d probably have gotten nightmares for days. Thirty years later, though Videodrome‘s horror special effects appear quite corny and laughable, one thing is for sure: Its message hasn’t aged a bit. In fact, the metaphorical meaning behind the twisted scenes in the movie is as real, relevant and shocking as it ever was, which probably explains why it became somewhat of a cult classic.
Videodrome was produced in 1983 but one can argue that it was decades ahead of its time. It successfully predicted the growing control of mass media by shady forces, the coming of reality television and the propagation, through various mediums such as the Internet, of all kinds of extreme underground films.
While many perceive the movie as a criticism of the effect of mass media, some claim that it is nothing less than a manifesto from the elite to reveal the way it functions.