“Television is reality and reality is less than television.” Brian O’Blivion (Jack Creley) in Videodrome.
Max Renn (James Woods) runs a sleazy Toronto cable station that airs softcore porn and bizarre, violent entertainment. When a station techie begins receiving pirated signals of a disturbing sadomasochistic program called “Videodrome,” Renn decides that it would make the perfect addition to his line up. While appearing as a guest on a cable talk show, Renn meets relationship expert Nicki Brand (Deborah Harry). The two of them are immediately drawn to each other, both sharing a penchant for rough sex and, naturally, Betamax dupes of “Videodrome.” When it’s discovered that the pirated signal originates from somewhere in Pittsburgh, television producer Masha (Lynn Gorman) attempts to help Renn secure the rights for his station. She discovers that local television guru Brian O’Blivion (Jack Creley) is behind the violent show and that the behind-the-scenes machinations are of a deeply sinister and complex nature. Against Masha’s advice, Renn seeks out the elusive O’Blivion just as his obsession with the show begins to affect his own reality. Bizarre hallucinations melding his body and the video image begin to plague him. As a vast (yet increasingly personal) conspiracy behind “Videodrome” is slowly revealed, Renn begins a profoundly disturbing transformation into “the new flesh.”