Cronenberg’s 1983 film uses a paranoid fantasy– that images can control your thoughts– to develop a hallucinatory critique of the power of electronic media. As with every other film he’s made, Cronenberg foregrounds the moist and meaty presence of the human body– in this instance to probe the blurry line that divides matter from ideation. Is the image a virus? Starring James Woods and Debbie Harry, Videodrome engages motifs further elaborated in 1999’s eXistenZ. Enjoy the ultra 80s trailer below!
“All the Plays and Interludes, which after the Manner of the French Court, had been set up, and began to encrease among us, were forbid to Act; the gaming Tables, publick dancing Rooms, and Music Houses which multiply’d, and began to debauch the Manners of the People, were shut up and suppress’d; and the Jack-puddings, Merry-andrews, Puppet-shows, Rope-dancers, and such like doings, which had bewitch’d the poor common People, shut up their Shops, finding indeed no Trade; for the Minds of the People were agitated with other Things; and a kind of Sadness and Horror at these Things, sat upon the Countenances, even of the common People; Death was before their Eyes, and every Body began to think of their Graves, not of Mirth and Diversions.”
–Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year (1722)
Zack Snyder’s iteration of the zombie legend from 2004 with Ving Rhames, Sarah Polley, and Mekhi Phifer. To my knowledge these are the first fast zombies, an innovation of writer James Gunn. Great song by Richard Cheese, “Down With the Sickness”:
The 1993 adaptation of Body Snatchers— a Cold War novel by Jack Finney that was the basis of several films in 1956, 1978, and 2007– is he best of the lot. Though the 1993 version deviates significantly from its source text, director Abel Ferrara and stars Meg Tilly and Forest Whitaker elevate this iteration above all the others.