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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by David Cronenberg
USA 1983

 

Combining the bio-horror elements of his earlier films whilst anticipating the technological themes of his later work, Videodrome exemplifies David Cronenberg's extraordinary talent for making both visceral and cerebral cinema.

Max Renn (James Woods) is looking for fresh new content for his TV channel when he happens across some illegal S&M style broadcasts called "Videodrome". Embroiling his girlfriend Nick (Deborah Harry) in his search for the source, his journey begins to blur the lines between reality and fantasy as he works his way through sadomasochistic games, shady organizations and body transformations stunningly realized by Oscar-winning makeup effects artist Rick Baker.

Hailed by his contemporaries John Carpenter ("he's better than all of us combined!") and Martin Scorsese ("no one makes films like he does") as a genius, Videodrome was Cronenberg's most mature work to date and still stands as one of his greatest.

***

As the president of a trashy TV channel, Max Renn is desperate for new programming to attract viewers. When he happens upon "Videodrome," a TV show dedicated to gratuitous torture and punishment, Max sees a potential hit and broadcasts the show on his channel. However, after his girlfriend auditions for the show and never returns, Max investigates the truth behind Videodrome and discovers that the graphic violence may not be as fake as he thought.

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 4th, 1983

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Review: Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime

Theatrical: 1:27:21.778

Director's Cut: 1:28:38.479

Video

Theatrical:

1.85:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 90,936,853,853 bytes

Feature: 67,191,571,968 bytes

Video Bitrate: 94.84 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

Director's Cut:

1.85:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 90,936,853,853 bytes

Feature: 68,190,300,288 bytes

Video Bitrate: 94.85 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Theatrical 4K Ultra HD:

Bitrate Director's Cut 4K Ultra HD:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1330 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1330 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary on the Director's Cut:

DTS Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

Theatrical:

1.85:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 90,936,853,853 bytes

Feature: 67,191,571,968 bytes

Video Bitrate: 94.84 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

 

Director's Cut:

1.85:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 90,936,853,853 bytes

Feature: 68,190,300,288 bytes

Video Bitrate: 94.85 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

4K Ultra HD disc

• Audio commentary by Tim Lucas, the on-set correspondent for Cinefantastique Magazine and author of Videodrome: Studies in the Horror Film
• David Cronenberg and the Cinema of the Extreme, a documentary featuring interviews with Cronenberg, George A. Romero and Alex Cox on Cronenberg's cinema, censorship and the horror genre (21:02)
• Forging the New Flesh, a documentary by filmmaker Michael Lennick on Videodrome's video and prosthetic make up effects (27:45)
• Fear on Film, a round table discussion from 1982 with Cronenberg, John Carpenter, John Landis and Mick Garris (25:38)
• The complete, uncensored Samurai Dreams footage with commentary by Michael Lennick (4:47)
• Helmet-Cam Test and Why Betamax?, two featurettes by Michael Lennick on the film's effects (4:45 / 1:11)
• The Making of David Cronenberg's Videodrome, a 1982 featurette by Mick Garris, with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Cronenberg, James Woods, Deborah Harry and Rick Baker (7:52)
• Videoblivion, an interview with cinematographer Mark Irwin (26:15)
• Pierre David on Videodrome, an interview with executive producer Pierre David (10:20)
• AKA Jack Martin, an interview with Dennis Etchison, author of novelisations of Videodrome and The Fog, discussing Videodrome and his observations of Cronenberg's script (16:45)
• Camera, Cronenberg's short film starring Videodrome's Les Carlson (6:40)
• Pirated Signals: The Lost Broadcast, deleted and alternate scenes from the TV version (25:45)
• Original trailers (1:13 / 1:15 / 2:05)
• Image gallery
Limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
Illustrated 60-page collector's booklet featuring writing on the film by Justin Humphreys, Brad Stevens and Tim Lucas, extracts from Cronenberg on Cronenberg, and a brand new roundtable retrospective with critics Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Cerise Howard, Josh Nelson and Emma Westwood
Foldout double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
Six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproduction artcards


4K Ultra HD Release Date: October 24
th, 2022
Black 4K Ultra HD
case in Custom Package (see below)

Chapters 12 / 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Arrow 4K UHD (October 2022): Arrow have released David Cronenberg's "Videodrome" to 4K UHD in the UK. The package has Brand new 4K restorations from the original camera negative by Arrow Films of both the full-length director's cut and the US theatrical cut, approved by director David Cronenberg. The two cuts are seamlessly-branched on a lone triple-layered 4K UHD disc. They have been given a Dolby Vision pass (HDR10 compatible) and the resulting image is an advancement over the previous DVD and Blu-rays of the film, compared HERE. These 2160P transfers have one of the highest bitrates we have seen for this, or any, format. The resulting image improves in anticipated ways - fine grain textures, richer, deeper colors (notable reds) and sublime contrast. This looks just magnificent!

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this simulation representation.

NOTE: 50 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages to date: The Last Picture Show (software uniformly simulated HDR), It Happened One Night (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Mummy (1932), Creature From the Black Lagoon (software uniformly simulated HDR), Bride of Frankenstein (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Amityville Horror  (software uniformly simulated HDR), The War of the Worlds (1953) (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Incredible Melting Man  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Cloak & Dagger (software uniformly simulated HDR), Event Horizon (software uniformly simulated HDR), Get Carter (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Killing (software uniformly simulated HDR), Killer's Kiss (software uniformly simulated HDR), Out of Sight (software uniformly simulated HDR), Raging Bull (software uniformly simulated HDR), Shaft (1971),  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Double Indemnity (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Untouchables (software uniformly simulated HDR) For a Few Dollars More (no HDR), Saboteur (software uniformly simulated HDR), Marnie (software uniformly simulated HDR), Shadow of a Doubt (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Fistful of Dollars (no HDR), In the Heat of the Night (no HDR), Jack Reacher (software uniformly simulated HDR), Death Wish II (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Apartment (no HDR), The Proposition (software uniformly simulated HDR), Nightmare Alley (2021) (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Godfather (software uniformly simulated HDR), Le Crecle Rouge (software uniformly simulated HDR), An American Werewolf in London (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Hard Day's Night (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Piano (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Great Escape (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Red Shoes (software uniformly simulated HDR), Citizen Kane (software uniformly simulated HDR), Unbreakable (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mulholland Dr. (software uniformly simulated HDR), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Hills Have Eyes (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Servant (software uniformly simulated HDR), Anatomy of a Murder (software uniformly simulated HDR), Taxi Driver  (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Wolf Man (1941) (software uniformly simulated HDR), Frankenstein (1931) (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Deep Red (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Misery (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Silence of the Lambs (software uniformly simulated HDR), John Carpenter's "The Thing" (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Cat' o'Nine Tails (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (software uniformly simulated HDR), Perdita Durango (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Django (software uniformly simulated HDR) Fanny Lye Deliver'd (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, (NO HDR applied to disc),  Rollerball (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Chernobyl  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Daughters of Darkness (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vigilante (software uniformly simulated HDR), Tremors (software uniformly simulated HDR), Cinema Paradiso (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bourne Legacy (software uniformly simulated HDR), Full Metal Jacket (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Psycho (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Birds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Rear Window (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vertigo (software uniformly simulated HDR) Spartacus (software uniformly simulated HDR), Jaws (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Invisible Man, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucio Fulci's 1979 Zombie  (software uniformly simulated HDR),, 2004's Van Helsing (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Shallows (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bridge on the River Kwai (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Deer Hunter (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Elephant Man (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Quiet Place (software uniformly simulated HDR), Easy Rider (software uniformly simulated HDR), Suspiria (software uniformly simulated HDR), Pan's Labyrinth (software uniformly simulated HDR) The Wizard of Oz, (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Shining, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Batman Returns (software uniformly simulated HDR), Don't Look Now (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Killed Killed and then The Bigfoot  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Bram Stoker's Dracula (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucy (software uniformly simulated HDR), They Live (software uniformly simulated HDR), Shutter Island (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Matrix (software uniformly simulated HDR), Alien (software uniformly simulated HDR), Toy Story (software uniformly simulated HDR),  A Few Good Men (software uniformly simulated HDR),  2001: A Space Odyssey (HDR caps udated), Schindler's List (simulated HDR), The Neon Demon (No HDR), Dawn of the Dead (No HDR), Saving Private Ryan (simulated HDR and 'raw' captures), Suspiria (No HDR), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (No HDR), The Big Lebowski, and I Am Legend (simulated and 'raw' HDR captures).

Both Theatrical Cut and Director's Cut use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 track (24-bit) track on this 4K UHD in the original English language. My ears detect it is a shade more robust than the linear PCM mono found on the 2015 Blu-ray. Effects are impactful and add to the viewing experience. The score is by Howard Shore (The Silence of the Lambs, An Innocent Man, Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars, Scanners Crash, and The Brood, Tim Burton's Ed Wood, Fincher's The Game and Se7en etc.) It adds to the spooky tension and general sense of unease that the film carries. The disc offers optional English (SDH) subtitles - and is, like all 4K UHD, region FREE, playable worldwide.

There are plentiful extras on the 4K UHD disc - most carried over from Arrow's stacked 2015 Blu-ray. We get the fabulous commentary by Tim Lucas, the on-set correspondent for Cinefantastique Magazine and author of Videodrome: Studies in the Horror Film, on the Director's Cut, discussing Cronenberg and the film production at length with plenty of historical film references and details. It's a wonderful re-listen as Tim's work always is - such a pleasure to indulge. We also a number of video supplements - some duplicated on the older Criterion - included is a 21-minute documentary entitled David Cronenberg and the Cinema of the Extreme – it's a video program featuring interviews with Cronenberg, George A. Romero and Alex Cox on Cronenberg’s cinema, censorship and the horror genre. Forging the New Flesh, also on the previous Criterion, is a 1/2 hour documentary program by filmmaker Michael Lennick on Videodrome’s video and prosthetic make up effects. Videoblivion is a 26-minute, interview with cinematographer Mark Irwin about the shooting of Videodrome. We also get a 10-minute, interview with producer Pierre David and his recollections of the film. AKA Jack Martin offers almost 17-minutes with Dennis Etchison, author of novelizations of Videodrome, Halloween, Halloween II and III and The Fog. He discusses Videodrome and his observations of Cronenberg’s script. We get the complete uncensored Samurai Dreams footage with additional Videodrome broadcasts with optional commentary by Michael Lennick (also found on the Criterion.) Pirated Signals is the label for deleted scenes found only in TV broadcasts and runs a full 26-minutes. Helmet Test and Betamax are two short featurettes by Michael Lennick on effects featured in the film. Camera is Cronenberg’s short film, made in 2000, starring Videodrome’s Les Carlson. It runs only 7-minutes and is also found on the Criterion. As is Fear on Film - the 25-minute round table discussion from 1982 with Cronenberg, John Carpenter, John Landis and Mick Garris. lastly on this 4K UHD we also get a, vintage, 8-minute promotional featurette with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Cronenberg, James Woods, Deborah Harry and Rick Baker and two theatrical trailers + a video trailer.

The 4K set has limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx, an illustrated 60-page collector's booklet featuring writing on the film by Justin Humphreys, Brad Stevens and Tim Lucas, extracts from Cronenberg on Cronenberg, and a brand new roundtable retrospective with critics Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Cerise Howard, Josh Nelson and Emma Westwood plus a foldout double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx and six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproduction artcards (see image below.) Whew - what a package.

Arrow's 4K UHD release of David Cronenberg's "Videodrome" was the first film by the director/writer to gain backing from any major Hollywood studio. It was lauded for its "techno-surrealist" aesthetic, and its cryptic, psychosexual themes. It is now hailed as a cult classic, one of Cronenberg's best, and an unforgettable example of the science fiction and body horror genres. On the Criterion director commentary Cronenberg stated that the idea for Videodrome came from his childhood. Cronenberg used to pick up American television signals from Buffalo, New York, late at night after Canadian stations had gone off the air. He would be concerned that he might see something disturbing or unusual. Arrow's 4K UHD release is a towering package offer both cuts in 2160P, a Tim Lucas essential commentary and a mass of other extras including a booklet, poster etc. For the director's fans this alone would be a reason to upgrade to a 4K system. It has our highest recommendation!

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD


 


 

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