I’ve recently dived into doing ”best of’ lists, so as I’ve explained, I’ve decided to do my top 20 SF films. This is my personal list, so feel free to disagree with it and of course, you’ll be horribly wrong.
Previously at # 20, The Matrix, 19, Seconds, 18, A Boy and His Dog, 17, Sunshine, 16, Dark Star, 15, Rollerball, 14 Altered States, 13, Close Encounters of the Third Kind ,12, Forbidden Planet, 11, The Star Wars Trilogy, 10. The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, 9, Dark City, 8, 12 Monkeys, 7, Starship Troopers and 6, The Day the Earth Stood Still.
As we enter the top five, shed off the old flesh for the new of David Cronenberg’s bloody brilliant Videodrome.
Videodrome is my favourite Cronenberg film for a massive numbers of reasons ranging from a brilliant script, some jaw-dropping special effects and an astonishing central performance from James Woods, but for my teenaged self it was always Debbie Harry that first drew me to this film for reasons that are obvious for anyone who’s watched it as I was a massive Blondie fan, and like more vaguely pubescent male at the time fancied her something rotten.
As I got older I started to appreciate the rather huge ideas Cronenberg puts in the film but it’s the predictions in regards to reality television and how it’ll draw people to it by becoming more and more degrading that seems almost too uncanny when you look at a week’s average schedule or dross like I’m a Celebrity, where C and D List ‘celebrities’ humiliate and degrade themselves for primetime family entertainment. Truly we live in the world of Videodrome today. We live the new flesh as people are famous for being on television degrading themselves rather than anything else. This is the bread and circuses of today.
This is the beauty of Videodrome. It’s an astonishing bit of science fiction/horror not to mention it’s also a very dark comedy, and unlike a lot of other films the amazing imagery complements the intellectual ideas on display. This isn’t a normal film. It was transgressive at the time, and it still is and although the technology now seems dated the concepts aren’t.
Go away and watch this film. As said, it’s Cronenberg’s best film (apart from the exceptionally disturbing Dead Ringers) which sets it very, very high as a film indeed. See it before some utter fucking idiot decides to ruin it by remaking it.
Next time, we go back to the dawn of man……