Visceral, cerebral and conceptually audacious, David Cronenberg’s visionary splatter movie-cum-social satire was essentially dumped by Universal in 1983; I caught it in the waning days of the grubby Capri Twin at the old Harding Mall during its short run. (At my showing, the film burned up in the projector at one particularly chaotic point; the other person in the room shrugged and left, and the Capri never ran it again.) Videodrome hails from the moment where the Canadian auteur could’ve shifted to anonymous big-budget Hollywood assignments — ah, to visit the alternate universe where Cronenberg made Top Gun and Flashdance, as he was reportedly offered — but seen now this has the feel of a manifesto, decades ahead of its time in its anticipation of alternate media realities and the electronic atrocity bazaar. In some ways, it’s more messily Burroughsian than the cold fever dream Cronenberg later adapted from Naked Lunch: here missions feed TV to the homeless, guns made of flesh shoot cancer bullets, vaginal portals fuse the organic and mechanical, and arch-conservatives plot to cleanse society by means of torture porn. James Woods, at his ratlike Widmarkian nerviest, plays the cable-TV hustler who latches onto a signal that uses XXX content to mask its truly perverted PG-13 purpose; Deborah Harry, in one of the few film roles to properly exploit her ironic glamour-doll detachment, is the celebrity psychiatrist who engages him in kinky sex play that in trademark Cronenberg fashion literally needles the vulnerability of flesh. A pivotal work in Cronenberg’s transition from drive-ins to arthouses, it’s The Belcourt’s midnight movie this weekend, an appetizer for the director’s upcoming Don DeLillo adaptation Cosmopolis with Robert Pattinson.