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Videodrome 4-disc Blu-ray & DVD Limited Edition from Arrow in August

20 July 2015

Arrow Video has announced the UK Blu-ray and DVD release of David Cronenberg’s visually audacious and stunningly disorienting Videodrome, which sees the director exploring dangerous sexuality and technological obsessions. Combining the bio-horror elements of his earlier films whilst anticipating the technological themes of his later work, Videodrome exemplifies Cronenberg’s extraordinary talent for making both visceral and cerebral cinema.

Max Renn (James Woods) is looking for fresh new content for his TV channel when he happens across some illegal S&M-style broadcasts called ‘Videodrome’. Embroiling his girlfriend Nicki (Debbie Harry) in his search for the source, his journey begins to blur the lines between reality and fantasy as he works his way through sadomasochistic games, shady organisations and body transformations stunningly realised by the Oscar-winning makeup effects artist Rick Baker.

Hailed by his contemporaries John Carpenter (“he’s better than all of us combined”) and Martin Scorsese (“no one makes films like he does”) as a genius, Videodrome was Cronenberg’s most mature work to date and still stands as one of his greatest.

Joining a roster of previously released Cronenberg titles on the Arrow Video label (Rabid and Shivers), this 4-disc set comes loaded with exclusive director-approved content including David Cronenberg’s previous unavailable short films Transfer (1966) & From the Drain (1967) and newly restored early features Stereo (1969) and Crimes of the Future (1970). Alongside a wealth of archival content, this lavish new edition will feature a stunning newly restored high-definition digital transfer of the unrated version of Videodrome, approved by both Cronenberg and cinematographer Mark Irwin.

Alongside this, the disc will feature a newly recorded audio commentary by Tim Lucas, the on-set correspondent for Cinefantastique Magazine and author of Videodrome: Studies in the Horror Film. The disc will also come loaded with new documentaries, including David Cronenberg and the Cinema of the Extreme, a documentary programme featuring interviews with Cronenberg, George A. Romero and Alex Cox on Cronenberg’s cinema, censorship and the horror genre, and Forging the New Flesh, a documentary programme by filmmaker Michael Lennick on Videodrome’s video and prosthetic make up effects.

Other features on the discs include brand new interviews with cinematographer Mark Irwin and producer Pierre David, alongside the feature AKA Jack Martin in which Dennis Etchison, author of novelizations of Videodrome, Halloween, Halloween II and III and The Fog, discusses Videodrome and his observations of Cronenberg’s script.

Camera (2000) Cronenberg’s short film starring Videodrome’s Les Carlson will also feature on the discs bonus content alongside the complete uncensored Samurai Dreams footage with additional Videodrome broadcasts with optional commentary by Michael Lennick. Two additional featurettes by Michael Lennick, Helmet Test and Betamax, which look at the effects featured in the film will be also be included.

Rounding the main disc off will be Fear on Film, a round table discussion from 1982 with Cronenberg, John Carpenter, John Landis and Mick Garris, a promotional featurette with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Cronenberg, James Woods, Deborah Harry and Rick Baker and the original trailer.

The 3rd and 4th discs (which are exclusively limited to this deluxe set) feature High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of four Cronenberg films – Transfer (1966) & From the Drain (1967), Cronenberg’s previously unavailable short films newly restored by the Toronto International Film Festival, alongside Stereo (1969) restored by the Criterion Collection & Crimes of the Future from a 4K scan of the original negative and approved by Cronenberg (1970). These two early amateur feature films, shot in and around his university campus, prefigure his later work’s concerns with strange institutions (much like Videodrome’s Spectacular Optical) as well as male/female separation (Dead Ringers) and ESP (Scanners). These early work features will also include Transfer the Future in which noted author and critic Kim Newman discusses Cronenberg’s early works.

This limited edition Blu-ray comes with an illustrated 100-page hardback book featuring new writing including Justin Humphreys on Videodrome in a modern context, Brad Stevens on the alternate versions, Caelum Vatnsdal on Cronenberg’s early works, extracts from Cronenberg on Cronenberg featuring Cronenberg’s reminiscences of getting started in filmmaking and shooting all the films in this collection, plus more, illustrated with original archive stills. The packaging is fully illustrated by Gilles Vranckx.

The 1983 cult classic Videodrome, which still feels as relevant today as it did upon its initial release, comes to Blu-ray and DVD on 10th August 2015 from Arrow Video at the RRP of £34.99.

Featuring a restored high-definition digital transfer of the unrated version, approved by director David Cronenberg and cinematographer Mark Irwin, original uncompressed mono audio tracks for all films and optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for all films, the set will have the following extra features:

Videodrome – Blu-ray disc 1 and DVD disc 2:

  • Audio commentary by Tim Lucas, the on-set correspondent for Cinefantastique Magazine and author of Videodrome: Studies in the Horror Film

  • David Cronenberg and the Cinema of the Extreme – A documentary programme featuring interviews with Cronenberg, George A. Romero and Alex Cox on Cronenberg’s cinema, censorship and the horror genre

  • Forging the New Flesh – A documentary programme by filmmaker Michael Lennick on Videodrome’s video and prosthetic make up effects

  • Videoblivion – A brand new interview with cinematographer Mark Irwin

  • A brand new interview with producer Pierre David

  • AKA Jack Martin – Dennis Etchison, author of novelizations of Videodrome, Halloween, Halloween II and III and The Fog, discusses Videodrome and his observations of Cronenberg’s script

  • The complete uncensored Samurai Dreams footage with additional Videodrome broadcasts with optional commentary by Michael Lennick

  • Helmet Test and Betamax – Two featurettes by Michael Lennick on effects featured in the film

  • Camera (2000) – Cronenberg’s short film starring Videodrome’s Les Carlson

  • Fear on Film – A round table discussion from 1982 with Cronenberg, John Carpenter, John Landis and Mick Garris

  • Promotional featurette with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Cronenberg, James Woods, Deborah Harry and Rick Baker

  • Original theatrical trailer

David Cronenberg's Early Works: Blu-ray disc 3 and DVD disc 4 [Limited Edition Exclusive]:

  • Transfer (1966) & From the Drain (1967), Cronenberg’s previously unavailable short films newly restored by the Toronto International Film Festival [7 & 12 mins]

  • Stereo (1969) & Crimes of the Future (1970): Cronenberg’s early amateur feature films, shot in and around his university campus, prefigure his later work’s concerns with strange institutions as well as male/female separation and ESP. Newly restored from original lab elements [65 & 70 mins]

  • Transfer the Future – Author and critic Kim Newman discusses Cronenberg’s early works

Collector's Booklet [Limited Edition Exclusive]:

  • An illustrated 100-page hardback book featuring new writing including Justin Humphreys on Videodrome in a modern context, Brad Stevens on the alternate versions, Caelum Vatnsdal on Cronenberg’s early works, extracts from Cronenberg on Cronenberg featuring Cronenberg’s reminiscences of getting started in filmmaking and shooting all the films in this collection, plus more, illustrated with original archive stills