The Boycott Against the Videodrome Remake Begins Today! Long Live the New Boycott!

In the past weeks, I’ve oh so gradually begun to rethink my initial and total disgust at the prospect of a Nightmare on Elm Street remake, in large part because of the rather inspired casting of Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger.  I still remain hesitant, of course, but I’m willing to lay off the knee-jerk backlash for a moment in favor of (incredibly) cautious optimism.

This reaction, however, will never ever EVER be the case with the just-announced Videodrome remake that’s to be written by Ehren Kruger, the man responsible for both some pretty damn good (Arlington Road, The Ring) and really damn dreadful (Reindeer Games, The Ring Two) movies.  I already feel thoroughly confident in saying that this remake will firmly fall into the latter camp.  I mean, just consider this tidbit that Variety reported on the remake:

The original “Videodrome” starred James Woods as the head of Civic TV Channel 83, who makes his station relevant by programming “Videodrome,” a series that depicts torture and murder that transfixes viewers.The new picture will modernize the concept, infuse it with the possibilities of nano-technology and blow it up into a large-scale sci-fi action thriller.

Neat.  Because despite it being one of the most fascinating and ambivalent takes on media and technology and sex and violence in modern culture, I totally forgot that—since it was released in 1983–Videodrome clearly has absolutely nothing to say about our current moment.  It really might as well be about people in Victorian England, or maybe the Stone Age.  Really, just look at this:

Yikes!  Looks like David Cronenberg got it all wrong the first time.  Videodrome obviously can only interesting as a “large scale sci-fi action thriller.”  Movies with any restraint and minimalism are sooo booooooring.  So are practical special effects.  The only way to make Videodrome interesting or relevant is through CGI and explosions. Universal is clearly right with this remake, and I’m just a dunderhead who writes total nonsense!

I think what I find most profoundly depressing about this news (besides the fact that it is actually based in fact and not some terrible nightmare that I’ll soon wake up from) is that there’s absolutely no way for this remake to be any good.  Videodrome is the cult masterpiece that it is precisely because of the originality and surreal nature of its imagery.  Once you’ve seen it, it’s pretty much impossible to forget James Woods making out with the throbbing Debbie Harry television or the chest vagina that double as a Betamax player.  Videodrome is filled with violent and sexual imagery because it’s a movie about the representation of violence and sex in the media.

Any remake is inevitably going to be a tepid affair that indubitably botches having anything remotely interesting to say under the bloat of a big budget and the push for a box-office friendly PG-13 rating.  At absolute best, this movie will be painfully redundant and unoriginal in trying to translate the imagery into the era of DVDs and YouTube; at worst (and a far more likely situation, I suspect), the Videodrome remake will lose everything that made the original so damn good and instead be an infuriating cinematic experience because its very existence tarnishes the memories of a classic.

I’ll never know, though, as I promise here and now to never ever see the Videodrome remake.  Ever!  Unless it’s for free.  Or a bootleg.  Then I will watch it, but I still promise to hate it with every bone in my body.  Really, all 206 bones will be filled with so much hate.  The most hatred of all time, in fact.  It’ll make my disgust with My Blueberry Nights look like glowing adoration, and that’s saying something.

But seriously, though, my point’s quite simple: DO NOT WANT.  Hopefully you feel the same way.

One Response

  1. […] satisfying in that it did offer a proper (albeit underwhelming) close to the trilogy, but it was written by Ehren Kruger, so that’s no surprise.  There most certainly never needed to be a Scream 4, or a reboot of […]


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