Arrow Academy have just brought us all a new blu-ray release of David Cronenberg’s Videodrome. For those who don’t know, the film stars James Woods and Debbie Harry and weaves a constantly fascinating picture of obsession, technology and sexuality. When TV president Max Renn (James Woods) encounters a strange channel called Videodrome which is dedicated to torture, violence and sex he thinks he has spotted the next big thing to bring to his trashy TV channel. However it seems that he may have underestimated just how dangerously powerful such material can be…
Here’s our review of the blu-ray re-release:
There’s no damage to this transfer with each scene looking fresh, crisp and textured. The images are rich in colour with the red set of the videodrome stage being very nicely realised on blu-ray and which offers a satisfying contrast to the depths of dark murky colours which are so present within the film. The audio is delightfully clear bringing a vibrance to each sound effect which, not only feels honest to the original film, but which also enhances their effectiveness, bringing the film’s soundscape to life and enriching the shocking power of the visual effects.
Arrow continue to set a high benchmark both in terms of the quality of their transfers and the elegant presentation of each and every disc. The box set itself looks great and the menu is slick, refined and easy to navigate. There’s a lot of material in this collection so it was something of a necessity that Arrow made it all as easy to navigate as possible.
Now here is where Arrow have truly gone to town. There is a real plethora of extras and special features presented here alongside the transferred film, too many in fact to reel off individually. To summarise we have a number of interviews with various people from different backgrounds who each bring their own perspective to the disc, we have documentaries, commentaries, a 100 page booklet in which various writers examine the film and its director in various different contexts and also the previously unavailable short films Transfer (1966) & From the Drain (1967) and newly restored early features Stereo (1969) and Crimes of the Future (1970).
In the past I have thought that the one criticism which I could attach to Arrow’s otherwise consistently excellent releases is a lack of comprehensive extras. Well… they’ve certainly delivered here. Alongside all the extras we have an excellent transfer of the classic film which has been presented in the exemplary style which we have come to expect from Arrow. If you are a Cronenberg fan then you’ll certainly find lots of interest on these discs and if you’re new to him, then you couldn’t have found a more detailed and exciting place to start.
Arrow Academy release the Blu-Ray of David Cronenberg’s Videodrome today (17th August 2015) and you can order it from Arrow themselves, from Amazon and every self-respecting retailer.