Saturday, July 11, 2009

My First (and only) Viewing of Videodrome, or, DEAR GOD!!

Way back in the day I and my best friend both had serious crushes on James Woods. I mean, SERIOUS. Bevin even emailed him, back in the early days of dial up. Ah, memories...

As a result of this minor (it was major, I'm totally a liar) obsession I watched a big chunk of Mr. Woods' oeuvre, from the good: Disney's Hercules (the start of the obsession and my very first ever role playing environment: I was Hecate) to the vague: Curse of the Starving Class (best line ever, as said in a falsetto: "Ah cain't dance with yew, Wesley, Ah have maggots."), to the hilarious: Straight Talk (Jimmy boy got to nail Dolly Parton. Admit it, if the opportunity came, you'd nail her too), to the fucking WEIRD and the subject of this post: David Cronenberg's Videodrome.

Run, Jimmy! Debbie Harry's gun' eatcha!

To be fair and as I've said above, I've only seen this movie once, and that was about ten years ago. Like most people I'm not even remotely the same person I was at twenty-one that I am now at thirty-one. I'm almost curious enough to rewatch it, but my first viewing of it was so fucking mind twisting that I'm a tad hesitant to re-expose my thought meats to it.

This is the only movie that's made me nauseous, let me put it that way. I am notorious for having a stomach of steel; I change poopy diapers, I've had to do some emergency first aid (a few times on myself), I've dissected a fetal pig with glee (we named him Bondage Bobby because we had to tie his little oinky feet to the table to get at his organs), I find puss fascinating. While I'm not really a gorehound, I do love over the top "clown gore", as Cins dubs it, but Videodrome and indeed a lot of David Cronenberg films just.. upset me. Mr. Cronenberg is very talented at getting a visceral response from me; almost all of my reactions of his horror come from my stomach.

When I watched Videodrome I was living in a very stressful situation; I was on the verge of at least a nervous breakdown, at worst a psychotic break, was living in a place I really couldn't afford, working at a stressful job that I hated so much it literally had physical side effects, and desperately, desperately feared change. As a result, my stomach was frequently nervous, and I tended to foget to eat because my stomach was knotted. Other times I was afraid to eat because I was sure I would throw it back up, even though I always felt better when I listened to reason and actually ate something. To combat this I drank a LOT of coffee, because I never felt hungry. I know my weight yo-yo'd doing this, which was not my intent at all.

So the day we rented Videodrome I had discovered my holy grail: the 32 oz mocha granita from a local coffee place. It was expensive, but dear grace was it the best thing ever that day! I bought one (and nothing else), and gulped about a third of it because I was so hungry. For those of you who are coffee virgins: that is a Bad Idea. Went straight into my blood stream, and I got jittery as fuck; I probably looked like a meth head and was actually experiencing muscular twitching independent of my command. My eyelids started doing it. The moral of the story is: I was a fucking IDIOT!

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating. A little.

Then we popped in the film, and I got the hardest skull fucking of my life. From sex with needles ( it was hot when he first started wrasslin' with Debbie Harry, but my vagina quickly became an arid wasteland when he started puncturing her with straight pins) to stomach-placed manginas and flesh guns firing cancer bullets, this was a BAD film choice for someone who was living on her own nerves and about as buzzed on coffee as it was possible to get without having a heart attack, which I was starting to wonder about.

I didn't want to even go NEAR my t.v for time, lest Debbie Harry's giant lips consume me whole and alter my physiognomy in some uncomfortable fashion, as happened to Jimmy's character. The concept of the brain washing of us all by television certainly didn't help, either.

I don't feel this relationship is doing either of them any favors.

After the teevee literally gave James Woods' character head, I get a bit confused about what happened next; it was all organic gun, tummy vadge, cancer bullets, melting cancer puppet screaming on the ground. Then I went to work to close up at our local shit hole of a Dairy Queen!

All night long I kept seeing things like this pop into my mind's eye, recreated in glorious, wide screened technicolor:

Grotey AND meaty! Now that meatball sub looks REAL appitizing, Subway!

I was so over stimulated from that stupid Cup O'Heart Attack that I was literally jumping up and down while I assembled orders back in the grill, trying desperately to burn off the excess energy I had. I calmed down a bit after I ate something for dinner, but I still felt sick to my stomach, and ended up videodroming in the bathroom all the next day, if you get my drift. For the longest time the cover, pictured and snarked above, could make me feel ill if I caught sight of it in the local rental store.

I try really hard not to think of this while I masturbate.

After time my crush on James Woods faded (namely because I turned twenty five and realized I was too old for his tastes), replaced by the Phantom of the Opera, and my nausea faded. I have really enjoyed other Cronenberg works, but man, this one combined with that damn coffee about killed me.

As a footnote, here's an interesting factoid about the coffee place I got the granita from. I almost worked there, in fact I got called in for a day of training, and learned how to make the granita mix. The secret was that no matter how many shots a customer ordered in their drink, the store would always make more, and put the unused shots into the granita machine. I seriously think that shit had to have been lethal by the end of the day; in retrospect crank might have been kinder to my heart.


Zacery Nova said...

Ugh, just hearing you describe this - it sounds stomach-churning. I've never had a visceral reaction to a movie like that, I don't think.

Stac said...

Zac: I'm really curious to watch it again and see if it makes me sick. I'm a little scared though; it'll probably be fine, but it might also be like when I tried to go on the carnival rides at the local fair a few years ago. I get motion sick and of course got violently ill. Bleah.

Tower Farm said...

I have always had serious reservations about this movie...something about everything I've seen/read tells me I'd hate it.

I think it would probably make me nauseous, too...

Brenda said...

I'm pretty sure ole Dave would LOVE your review !

Bevin said...

Stac, if you watch that again, you're doing it alone. I have no desire to repeat that, despite my respect for Jimmy and David Cronenberg.

Stac said...

Billy: it's a divisive one, that's for sure. I know it's loved by a lot of hard core Cronenberg fans as being the perfect example of his "horror of the body" style, but still, brain rape ahoy.

Brenda: Probably! I'm sure freaking people out is a large part of his aim, and this movie most assuredly delivered!

Bevin: Aw, c'mon! You enjoyed the cancer bullets so much the first time around! ;)

Cins said...

There is something about Cronenberg..he really turns my stomache. Even when he was just in the movie Nightbreed (he really didn't do aything but act) he STILL made be feel ill. Maybe I'm alergic to him.
Videodrome is insane, but the scene that REALLY makes me want to sell my Buick is the scene from The Brood where the woman is licking her fetus clean. OMG NO! STOP NO NO NO!

Stac said...

Cins: YES. OH DEAR GRACE, YES. That she had red all over her teeth and tongue just made me want to YACK, despite the fact that I know it was probably Karo or something. That was SO GROSS.