I noticed this evening that a Google search for Videodrome and FearDotCom came up empty, and that the Internet Movie Database entry for FearDotCom does not mention Videodrome at all, even in the list of movie recommendations. This just will not do, hence this rant (which, at the least, should show up on Google soon enough).
Videodrome is a movie made in 1983 by David Cronenberg. The props are crude and the acting is wooden at times, but the plot itself is interesting enough to make a good story.
In the words of Dr. Oblivion, "The video screen is the retina of the mind's eye." Videodrome is a "signal" which can be made to overlay any video signal, and exerts its influence over anyone who views the Videodrome-tainted imagery. Depending on which character's interpretation you believe, Videodrome either induces a brain tumor in its viewers, which in turn induces hallucinations, or Videodrome induces hallucinations, which in turn induces the growth of the tumor -- which isn't a tumor at all, but rather a new organ outgrowth of the brain. Either way, in the movie the line between reality, video, and hallucination blurred rapidly (accompanied by a hefty dose of gratuitous sex and violence) into a final, nihilistic, and ultimately ambiguous climax.
Fast forward to the year 2002, when the glamor of mere video has faded beside the splendor of the new ubiquitous entertainment technology -- the World Wide Web. On that web, a site, fear.com, contains a psychological munition consisting of seemingly random patterns of imagery, which induces hallucinations in the viewer .. much gratuitous violence follows. Sound familiar?
I'm not saying that FearDotCom suffers from its apparent similarities to Videodrome, nor am I saying that it is a derivative work. I am only pointing out these similarities, and I would like to suggest that anyone who cares to might want to consider renting Videodrome after watching FearDotCom, just so they can see for themselves the parallels and differences between the movies, and thus compound the entertainment values of them both.