Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Dissolve's Keith Phipps Will Be Uproxx's Film/TV Editor The Dissolve's Keith Phipps Will Be Uproxx's Film/TV Editor Criticwire Survey: The Worst Movie and TV Accents Ever Criticwire Survey: The Worst Movie and TV Accents Ever What Quentin Tarantino Gets Wrong About TV Critics What Quentin Tarantino Gets Wrong About TV Critics 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl' Is Officially Part of the English Language Now 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl' Is Officially Part of the English Language Now How 'Mr. Robot' Hacks TV's Empathy Machine How 'Mr. Robot' Hacks TV's Empathy Machine Joe Hill: Review Aggregrators Like Rotten Tomatoes Provide 'Confusion, Not Clarity' Joe Hill: Review Aggregrators Like Rotten Tomatoes Provide 'Confusion, Not Clarity' Noah Baumbach's Characters Are Still Coming of Age 20 Years Later Noah Baumbach's Characters Are Still Coming of Age 20 Years Later The 'Hannibal Finale' and the Dangers of Post-Mortem Interviews The 'Hannibal Finale' and the Dangers of Post-Mortem Interviews British Film Critic Was a Soviet Spy British Film Critic Was a Soviet Spy Real Life Hasn't Punished Jordan Belfort. Why Should 'The Wolf of Wall Street'? Real Life Hasn't Punished Jordan Belfort. Why Should 'The Wolf of Wall Street'? 'Fear the Walking Dead' Starts Slow, and Interest Is Already Waning 'Fear the Walking Dead' Starts Slow, and Interest Is Already Waning Daily Reads: Sexism Isn't Just a 'Straight Outta Compton' Problem, How Samuel L. Jackson Lost 'Reservoir Dogs,' and More Daily Reads: Sexism Isn't Just a 'Straight Outta Compton' Problem, How Samuel L. Jackson Lost 'Reservoir Dogs,' and More Daily Reads: Why Yale's Library Is Preserving VHS, Who Wins When a Brown Actor Plays a White Character, and More Daily Reads: Why Yale's Library Is Preserving VHS, Who Wins When a Brown Actor Plays a White Character, and More Daily Reads: What Colin Trevorrow Got Right About Female Directors, the Art of Cynical Sincerity in 'BoJack Horseman' and 'Rick and Morty,' and More Daily Reads: What Colin Trevorrow Got Right About Female Directors, the Art of Cynical Sincerity in 'BoJack Horseman' and 'Rick and Morty,' and More Daily Reads: 'Mistress America' and the Art of Making a Living as an Artist, How Summer TV Surprised Us, and More Daily Reads: 'Mistress America' and the Art of Making a Living as an Artist, How Summer TV Surprised Us, and More Criticwire Classic of the Week: Nicholas Ray's 'They Live By Night' Criticwire Classic of the Week: Nicholas Ray's 'They Live By Night' 'Scream' and 'Nightmare on Elm Street's' Wes Craven Dead at 76 'Scream' and 'Nightmare on Elm Street's' Wes Craven Dead at 76 Daily Reads: The Evolution of TV Criticism, "Queen of Earth" Is the Scariest Movie of the Summer, and More Daily Reads: The Evolution of TV Criticism, "Queen of Earth" Is the Scariest Movie of the Summer, and More 'The Gift': A Great Thriller (Almost) Ruined By a Terrible Ending 'The Gift': A Great Thriller (Almost) Ruined By a Terrible Ending Daily Reads: How 'Peak TV' Is Undermining Quality Control, Ranking Quentin Tarantino's Movie, and More Daily Reads: How 'Peak TV' Is Undermining Quality Control, Ranking Quentin Tarantino's Movie, and More

Test Audiences Review 'Videodrome' (Unkindly)

Criticwire By Matt Singer | Criticwire March 15, 2012 at 6:36PM

Further proof that criticism is best left in the hands of professionals.
0
"Videodrome."
"Videodrome."

Nowadays, we recognize "Videodrome" as one of the greatest science-fiction movies of the 1980s.  The film has aged remarkably well, as more and more of Cronenberg's predictions about television -- and the Internet, which Al Gore hadn't even invented when Cronenberg wrote his screenplay -- come true.  It's clear now that Cronenberg saw the shape of the world to come, and recognized that it looked like a man who loved his television so much he wanted to be inside it (for more, check out my video essay on the film from "Ebert Presents At the Movies").

Back in 1983, though, test audiences were a bit more skeptical.  Over at The Current, The Criterion Collection is celebrating David Cronenberg's 69th birthday with an absolutely hilarious blog post of test audience comment cards from a "SPECIAL SNEAK PREVIEW" of the director's 1983 film "Videodrome."  You need to go to the post to enjoy all nine hilarious cards, but here's just one to give you a sense of the, let's say, "reserved" response to the film:

Videodrome react

"Now, wait a minute.  Did you dislike that it sucked?  Or would you like the fact that it sucked changed?  I need some clarification here."

Happy birthday David Cronenberg!  In your honor, I will attempt to pull a flesh gun out of a slimy orifice in my chest. And if that doesn't work, I'll just watch "Videodrome" again.

This article is related to: David Cronenberg, Videodrome


E-Mail Updates