1. “Videodrome” (1982) dir. David Cronenberg

Number 1 on Dave’s Strange World’s all-time favorite films is David Cronenberg’s mind-blowing science-fiction / horror film about porn, technology, mind control, and government conspiracies. When “Videodrome” came out, it was treated like a cheap exploitation film due to its graphic sex and gore. Fortunately, history has been kind not only to Cronenberg as a filmmaker, but also to “Videodrome.” It’s now a part of the prestigious Criterion Collection and if any film needs rediscovery and appreciation, it’s “Videodrome.”

James Woods is perfect as the sleazy owner of an adults-only TV station looking to push the envelope for higher ratings. He encounters and becomes obsessed with an S&M flavored “snuff” TV show called Videodrome that he pursues with a vengeance. His obsession with Videodrome leads him down some very, very dark paths and not the ones you would immediately expect.

30 years later, it’s scary how much of “Videodrome” is now reality. Except that the government doesn’t need to implant a tumor-inducing mind-control growth in your brain through extreme pornography. Every time you log on to a computer, use your smart phone, send an e-mail, it’s being recorded … somewhere. And people’s constant desire to find something even more extreme and perverse to look at it is is getting easier and easier and along with consumerism, is furthering a “life is cheap” philosophy that’s getting worse and worse. And it’s all being done with your consent.

This clip is extremely surreal, but properly conveys the trippiness of this masterpiece. Deborah Harry (of Blondie) plays Nikki, Max’s partner in perversity. Not safe for work by any means.

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