8:00 PM, 20th May, 2000
You will notice there are two paragraphs below this one. The first contains a review of the film without actually divulging any plot, whilst the second is a run of the mill plot outline. So make your choice and read on.
From the outset, I think the title is shit. Is that weird capitals in the middle and on the end thing meant to allure Joe Bloggs into forking over half a days pay at Cinemaplex 2000 for a film and a small coke? This film is a little off-beat - probably cult material - and if you enjoyed just one of the number of Cronenberg films put out before this one (Crash, The Fly, and apparently an episode of 'Friday the 13th' the TV series - hey - a guy's gotta eat) you are not going to think this is shit, although I can't guarantee that you will love it. It has a number of interesting and unique horror and creature effects, some action scenes, a little suspense thrown in for good measure and all types of interesting characters in all sorts of interesting situations. If, on the other hand you are not a big fan of sci-fi, this is not going to be the film to convert you.
Okey dokey - now for the plot. eXiStENzZz is about a bright young programmer Allegra (JJ Leigh) who develops a brand new VR system to take players into a virtual world they can use to play out their darkest fantasies or just download porno off the Internet. What lies within is a cacophony of confusing creatures, creations, conflict and complications. The VR world Cronenberg has created for us all is like nothing you may expect nor have seen before and should at least hold your attention for the duration of its uniquely twisted 100 or so minutes.
9:37 PM, 20th May, 2000
Did anyone ever tell you that watching TV was bad for you? Videodrome shows you just how very, very bad for you it can be. Our hero (Woods) tunes into a hypnotically bizarre and violent pirate TV channel. But simply watching the channel seems to have some kind of hallucinatory effect. The once passive watcher is now dragged into a nightmarish world where reality can no longer be trusted.
While Director Cronenberg had already a strong reputation for the seriously gross and creepy, Videodrome (his seventh film) is when he really starts to mess with your brain. I saw this movie once - around ten years ago, images from it still occasionally bubble up from my subconscious to stress and disturb.
"Got me heah special dub of Videodrome ... Oh Yeah? Is that the version with the Muppet orgy or the Cher flogging?" (Das Loot - Matt Howarth). People I speak to about Videodrome usually remember it with a shudder. But they often seem not to be talking about the movie I remember. This is probably in part due to the several different edits floating around - I do believe however, that Videodrome has the ability to get right into your head and be something horribly personal for every viewer.