7.1/10
39,086
153 user 107 critic

Naked Lunch (1991)

R | | Drama | 24 April 1992 (UK)
After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally kills his wife, and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kiki (as Joseph Scorsiani)
Peter Boretski ...
Creature Voices / Exterminator #2
Yuval Daniel ...
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Sean McCann ...
Howard Jerome ...
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Storyline

Not an adaptation of beat writer William S. Burrough's novel but a mix of biography and an interpretation of his drug- induced writing processes combined with elements of his work in this paranoid fantasy about Bill Lee, a writer who accidentally shoots his wife, whose typewriter transforms into a cockroach and who becomes involved in a mysterious plot in North African port called Interzone. Wonderfully bizarre, not unlike Burrough's books. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Exterminate all rational thought. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for heavy drug content, bizarre eroticism, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

24 April 1992 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,541,541 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Weller turned down the lead role in RoboCop 3 (1993) to appear in this film. See more »

Goofs

The glass shot off Judy Davis' head changes to a plastic glass. First instance as the glass is falling off her head after the shot and then at end of film it is a plastic glass Ms Davis balances on her head. It remains plastic until it falls to floor and changes back into glass. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bill Lee: Exterminator.
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Soundtracks

Intersong
Composed by Ornette Coleman
Performed by Ornette Coleman (as The Ornette Coleman Trio)
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User Reviews

Bill & Dave connect on the subject of meat
22 July 2000 | by (British Columbia, Canada) – See all my reviews



Mmmmm.... mugwump jizz

Themes: Substance addiction and how physically self-conscious it makes our protagonist feel, the creativity forced by imprisonment (a direct reference to real-life events between Burroughs, his wife, his subsequent incarceration and his heroin/acid issues), the sense of betrayal as more surprise than malice and of course the inevitable interface between Dave and Bill at the pelvic level.

The effects work is pre render-mation latex and sufficiently restrained to allow your imagination to back-fill the appropriate horror/fascination/titillation for the moment. Don't try to figure out which you =should= feel or to mentally sort it out, that'd rob you of the fun; it's the psychic and emotional disarray that makes it so compelling.

Peter Weller is suitably deadpan, allowing only a sparkle of the playful poet to shine through from time to time (the story about the Duke du Vantra's Espano-Suiza made me howl); he must have spent a few =fun= hours with Burroughs himself to get the role down.

If you liked Cronenburg's smarter stuff, such as Dead Ringers, you'll love this. If you've read Kerouac, Ginsberg or Burroughs in particular, I promise you'll love it. If you're not into exploratory literature, have issues with distasteful realities of poverty or have a personal affection for the quality works of Stallone, Willis and Schwarzenegger - you'll hate it.

It made a very strong impression on me; the day after I saw the opening night of Naked Lunch (long before the "internet"), I established and sysoped a BBS that was the primary alternative discussion forum for onliners in Edmonton, Alberta for several years. It's name? The Interzone.

The movie is fascinating, odd, reveals more on second viewing, and is faithful neither to Cronenburg nor Burroughs but an excellent mix of elements of both.

It has a great beat, easy to dance to... I give it an 89, Dick.

Either way, you won't look at a typewriter the same way ever again.


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