I've only seen a couple Cronenberg films, but I'm always impressed... and a weirded out. And this one... well, it's not an exception. Max (James Woods) runs a kind of porn channel and is looking to up the ante. But after he's pointed in the direction of a snuff show called Videodrome, Max somehow begins hallucinating until he completely loses it and can no longer discern fantasy from reality.
This film is kind of like a mix between eXistenZ and Hellraiser. It's bizarre, twisted, gross, and full of sex and S&M. You have some classic 80s disturbing prosthetic work that looks infinitely better and more sickening (in a good way) than any CGI today. Its trippy-ness and nightmare-ish qualities really make it unique and mesmerizing. Because the film is through Max's perspective, you're never quite sure, just as Max isn't sure, what's real and what's fake, making the whole cinematic experience quite surreal.
The movie isn't perfect, though. The message of "TV will destroy our future" is blatant and beats us over the head repeatedly. It gets kind of annoying, which is a shame. When it's something more like Requiem for a Dream, it works better. But here, it's too much and too in-your-face. On top of that, everything outside of the message is moderately confusing, albeit intriguing.
Anyway, I don't have too many thoughts on the film. To me, the film is all (creepy, wacked-out) style over substance. And like I said, it's not that it has no substance, it's just that it tries too hard in that regard. So if you're going to check this out, do it for the visuals and the mind trip. It's totally in the bizarro Cronenberg style, so if you like his other early stuff, you'll dig this. Like I said, it's not perfect, but it'll keep your attention.