Videodrome :: Race With The Devil (1975)

While being a low-budget exploitation film, Race With The Devil transcends its genre trappings and sets itself apart from other drive-in movies of the 1970s. It understands that true horror — the kind that gets under your skin and lingers with you long after the credits roll — doesn’t come from blood and guts, but from the universal fear of the unknown: not knowing who to trust or who is out to get you.

Videodrome :: Thief (1981)

Thief has been hailed as a Marxist neo-noir classic, a cinematic bridge between the gritty realism of the crime-dramas of the 1970s and the hyper-stylized action films of the 1980s. But besides being a genre bedrock, Thief is a nuanced character study that serves as an allegory for the trappings of capitalism.

Videodrome :: David Lynch’s Georgia Coffee Commercials (1993)

Unlike Lynch’s other commercial work, which highlights his aesthetic trademarks while showcasing the brand’s merchandise, the Georgia Coffee campaign is as much an advertisement for the product as it is for Twin Peaks, simultaneously exhibiting the series’ seismic impact on pop culture as well as Lynch’s uncanny ability to straddle the line between the mainstream and the avant-garde.

Videodrome :: Sling Blade (1996)

Like its lead character, Sling Blade walks a fine line between mishandling sentimentality and portraying somber reality. But its characters are never caricatures, transcending tropes with an often excruciating amount of empathy and depth, none more so than Billy Bob Thornton as the tortured Karl Childers.

Videodrome :: Over The Edge (1979)

The violence and bleakness at the end of Over The Edge sets it apart from other like-minded coming-of-age/juvenile delinquent films; it chooses to resolve itself as a cautionary tale for adults instead of a celebration of youth for teenagers.

Videodrome :: True Stories (1986)

Is True Stories a musical, a comedy, a documentary, or another Talking Heads film? In retrospect, it’s all of these things and more. True Stories is an oracular film, predicting the changing landscape of Texas while simultaneously capturing America in all its peculiarities circa the mid-eighties.

Videodrome :: Lady In A Cage (1964)

If Lady In A Cage presents a worldview, it’s decidedly misanthropic. Footage of baseball games and fighter jets are juxtaposed with heinous news reports and acts of savagery. This is America in decline, blissfully aware of its ignorance but unwilling to confront the nightmares its pacification has spawned.

Videodrome :: Less Than Zero (1987)

There are two ways to evaluate Less Than Zero: a standalone film that functions on its own cinematic merits, or the adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s novel. Like most pieces of media that live in various forms, the appreciation or dissatisfaction largely stems from which one was encountered first, and the personal sentimentality placed upon that experience. But there’s a third way to approach Less Than Zero, and that is as a holiday film.

Videodrome :: Let’s Get Lost (1988)

Rather than characterize Baker as the trumpet-wielding James Dean or a playboy jazz rebel, Weber shows Baker for who he was: a deeply flawed man, with bruises and blemishes and all. The contrast between Baker’s personality and musicality makes Weber’s profile of Baker that much more heartbreaking. How could someone of so few words be so lyrical and poignant in their musicianship? How could someone who lived so crudely play so gently and sing so sweetly?

Videodrome :: Wisconsin Death Trip

The documentary shows news reports and photographs from a town decaying into chaos throughout the 1890s: murder, suicide, mental insanity, epidemics, arson, and economic collapse. Whether following one of the many Black River Falls residents taken to Mendota Asylum for insanity or tracing ghost sightings in the area, Wisconsin Death Trip displays a community in complete decline, stripping away the romanticization of the American frontier to reveal its true agony and despair.