Max Renn (James Woods) is the owner of a small Cable TV channel. Struggling to compete with the other channels, particularly the major networks, most of their output consists of soft porn, violent films and various extreme shows and movies that the other channels won't touch (sounds like 'Channel 5', when they first started in the UK).
When one of their tech experts comes across a scrambled satellite transmission called 'Videodrome', showing supposed Snuff movies, he becomes intrigued and attempts to track down the source, hoping to show these on his channel. But all his underground contacts warn him not to try getting involved with these people.
But there's something so strangely compelling about the transmissions, that Max can't seem to stop watching them and becomes determined to find out who's behind them. Even if the torture scenes contained in them are genuine and not faked. But then things start to get weird, as Max begins to experience strange hallucinogenic visions, which become more frequent and more intense the more he watches the transmissions. Including a VCR slot appearing in his chest and a pistol attaching itself to his hand, on which it's never quite clear whether these are real or imagined.
Seems the Snuff videos are a front for something much more intense lurking behind the video signal, and Max may have stumbled onto some sort of conspiracy when he came across them. But with his hallucinations becoming more vivid to the point not even I could tell whether what I was watching was supposed to be real or in his head, unravelling what's really going on is no easy task.
Also starring singer Debbie Harry as a sadomasochistic therapist, the film displays many of David Cronenberg's trademarks, particularly the body horror theme started in "Rabies" and "Shivers" and takes the question of whether or not we are influenced by violence on TV up to a whole new level. Overall, this is a very weird film, but is also a very enjoyable one.