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Naked Lunch
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Naked Lunch (1991) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
William S. Burroughs (novel)
David Cronenberg (written by)
View company contact information for Naked Lunch on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 March 1992 (France) See more »
David Cronenberg and William S. Burroughs invite you to lunch. See more »
After developing an addiction to the substance he uses to kill bugs, an exterminator accidentally murders his wife and becomes involved in a secret government plot being orchestrated by giant bugs in a port town in North Africa. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
17 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
And Here I Thought "Fear & Loathing" Was a Trip See more (151 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Peter Weller ... Bill Lee

Judy Davis ... Joan Frost / Joan Lee

Ian Holm ... Tom Frost

Julian Sands ... Yves Cloquet

Roy Scheider ... Dr. Benway
Monique Mercure ... Fadela

Nicholas Campbell ... Hank

Michael Zelniker ... Martin
Robert A. Silverman ... Hans

Joseph Scoren ... Kiki (as Joseph Scorsiani)
Peter Boretski ... Creature Voices / Exterminator #2
Yuval Daniel ... Hafid

John Friesen ... Hauser
Sean McCann ... O'Brien
Howard Jerome ... A.J. Cohen
Michael Caruana ... Pawnbroker
Kurt Reis ... Exterminator #1

Louis Ferreira ... Exterminator #3 (as Justin Louis)

Julian Richings ... Exterminator #4
Jim Yip ... The Chink
Claude Aflalo ... Forgeman
Laurent Hazout ... Interzone Boy
Joseph Di Mambro ... Interzone Boy (as Joe Dimambro)

Directed by
David Cronenberg 
Writing credits
William S. Burroughs (novel)

David Cronenberg (written by)

Produced by
Gabriella Martinelli .... co-producer
Jeremy Thomas .... producer
Original Music by
Ornette Coleman 
Howard Shore 
Cinematography by
Peter Suschitzky (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Ronald Sanders 
Casting by
Deirdre Bowen 
Production Design by
Carol Spier 
Art Direction by
James McAteer 
Set Decoration by
Elinor Rose Galbraith 
Costume Design by
Denise Cronenberg 
Makeup Department
Marlene Aarons .... assistant makeup artist
Rhoda Ancill .... hair stylist
Veronica Ciandre .... hair stylist
Christine Hart .... makeup artist
Carmen MacDonald .... hair stylist
Judy Murdock .... assistant makeup artist (as Judy Murdoch)
Marilyn O'Quinn .... assistant makeup artist
Lucy Orton .... hair stylist
Production Management
Michael Saxton .... post-production supervisor
Marilyn Stonehouse .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Board .... first assistant director
Simon Board .... third assistant director
Michael G. Burke .... trainee assistant director (as Michael Burke)
Cassandra Cronenberg .... trainee assistant director
Terry Gould .... second assistant director
Art Department
John Bannister .... key scenic artist
Paul Bannister .... construction trainee
Gordon Becker .... carpenter
Carlos Caneca .... set dresser trainee
Marlene Chapelle .... assistant carpenter
Howard Munford Choice .... prop builder
Brian Clancy .... carpenter
Janet Cormack .... scenic artist
Joe Curtin .... construction coordinator
Kevin Curtin .... carpenter
Rossana DeCampo .... scenic painter
Paula Deresti .... set dresser
Ron Dickie .... propsman
John Dondertman .... first assistant art director
Danielle Fleury .... assistant set decorator
Otto Fondan .... scenic artist
Ian Fraser .... head carpenter
Christopher Geggie .... assistant property master
Pamela Gibson .... prop builder
Lorelee Godden .... assistant carpenter
Steve Haines .... carpenter
Doug Harlocker .... property master (as Douglas Harlocker)
Jacqui Hemingway .... scenic painter
Michael Hyde .... carpenter
John Keenan .... carpenter
Murray Keith .... carpenter
George Kocuba .... assistant carpenter
Sabri Lariani .... assistant head carpenter
Brian Lumley .... carpenter
Joe Madziak .... carpenter
Rick Marshall .... carpenter
David Melrose .... carpenter
Allan Meuse .... carpenter
John Morrison .... set dresser
Peter P. Nicolakakos .... set dresser
Jak Oliver .... scenic artist
Gregg Olsson .... painting supervisor
Denis Perrier .... assistant head carpenter
Warren Quigley .... scenic painter
Terry Redman .... construction bookkeeper
Myles Roth .... carpenter
Pat Shatka .... scenic painter
Bruce Sweezie .... carpenter
Clive Thomasson .... lead set dresser
Benno Tutter .... third assistant art director
Arlindo Vicente .... set dresser
Gareth Wilson .... set dresser
Mark Wood .... laborer
Sound Department
David Appleby .... sound re-recording mixer
Richard Cadger .... dialogue editor
Tony Currie .... dialogue editor
Bryan Day .... sound mixer
Henry Embry .... cable person
David Evans .... sound effects editor
James A. Gore .... foley assistant
Wayne Griffin .... dialogue editor
Richard Harkness .... assistant sound editor
Layne Harris .... boom operator
Sean Kelly .... assistant sound editor
Judy 'Lucky' Kemeny .... assistant sound editor (as Judy Kemeni)
Michael LaCroix .... boom operator (as Michael Lacroix)
Susan Maggi .... assistant sound editor
Andy Malcolm .... foley artist
Peter Maxwell .... sound re-recording mixer
Dale Sheldrake .... dialogue editor
Lou Solakofski .... foley recordist
Jane Tattersall .... sound effects editor
Don White .... sound re-recording mixer
Tami Treadwell .... adr recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Carol Bauman .... animatronics technician
Brian Dewe .... animatronics engineer
Joel Friesch .... animatronics technician
Guy Hudson .... animatronics technician
Jamie Hyneman .... animatronics technician
Dave Isaac .... animatronics technician
Conrad Itchener .... animatronics technician
James Pennington Kent .... animatronics technician
Victoria Lewis .... animatronics technician
Tim Lidstone .... animatronics technician
Michelle Lyman .... animatronics technician
Ted Ross .... floor special effects
Mark Siegel .... animatronics technician (as Mark Siegal)
Valerie Sofranko .... animatronics technician
Paul Theren .... animatronics technician
Lauren Vogt .... animatronics technician
Danny Wagner .... animatronics technician
Harold Weed .... animatronics technician
Michael Wick .... animatronics technician
David Wiezer .... animatronics technician
David Wiezer .... animatronics technician: special effects
Chris Walas .... special creatures & effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Scotty Allan .... gaffer
Michael Auger .... electrician
Blake Balentine .... rigging/daily grips
Ian Bibby .... second electrician
Sam Bojin .... best boy electric
John Botelho .... electrician
Hugh Brule .... best boy grip
Ted Churchill .... Steadicam operator
Kent Columbus .... rigging/daily grips
Arthur E. Cooper .... second assistant camera (as Arthur Cooper)
Alex Dawes .... rigging/daily grips
Attila Dory .... still photographer
Nigel Draper .... electrician
Tom Durnan .... electrician
Richard Gaal .... rigging spark (as R.D. Gaal)
Duane Gullison .... generator operator
Brian Hamill .... still photographer
David Hynes .... dolly grip
Colin Jones .... grip
Mark Manchester .... key grip
Mike McDonald .... first electrician (as Michael McDonald)
Marvin Midwicki .... focus puller
Steve Morrisson .... electrician (as Steve Morrison)
Kevin Murphy .... electrician
Steve Myers .... electrician
Malcolm Nefsky .... grip
Gregory Palermo .... rigging/daily grips
Ronald G. Paulauskas .... rigging/daily grips
Lisa Pilcher .... camera trainee
Mike Ruggles .... electrician
Tracy Shaw .... grip
James Storie .... video assistant
Harold D. Stroud .... second electrician
Adam Suschitzky .... camera trainee
Peter Suschitzky .... camera operator
Owen Taylor .... electrician
David Willetts .... electrician
David J. Woods .... video assistant
David Zimmerman .... rigging/daily grips
Casting Department
Youssef Abedalnour .... extras casting: interzone
Eleanor Lavender .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Silvio Berti .... wardrobe assistant
Brenda Gilles .... costume supervisor
Ann Henshaw .... wardrobe assistant
Julie Jones .... seamstress
Editorial Department
Evan Ayotte .... cutter
Bernadette Kelly .... second assistant editor
Patricia Lambkin .... second assistant editor
Michael Rea .... first assistant editor
Michael Rea .... post-production coordinator
Christopher Severn .... color timer
Benjamin Tucker .... assistant post-production coordinator
Sandra Tucker .... post-production coordinator
Peter Watson .... second assistant editor
Location Management
Michael Brownstone .... location manager
Will Hoddinott .... location assistant
Music Department
Denardo Coleman .... musician: The Ornette Coleman Trio
Ornette Coleman .... musician: The Ornette Coleman Trio
Homer Denison .... orchestrator
Suzana Peric .... music editor
Barre Phillips .... musician: The Ornette Coleman Trio
Nic Ratner .... assistant music editor
Howard Shore .... conductor
Alan Snelling .... music recording engineer
Samantha Swan .... assistant music recording engineer
Ray Williams .... music supervisor
Transportation Department
Eldie Benson .... head driver
Eddie Bowman .... driver (as Ed Bowman)
Brian Cole .... driver
Ron Coles .... driver
Mike Curran .... transportation coordinator (as Michael Curran)
Mac Day .... driver
Jerome McCann .... driver
Doug Rice .... driver: construction department
Steven Sacrob .... driver (as Steve Sacrob)
Nick Schefter .... driver
Oliver Steins .... driver
Mark Van Alstyne .... driver captain
John van Noord .... driver
Other crew
Connie Angland .... purchasing agent
Jon Berg .... technical advisor
Lesley Clark .... production secretary
Jocelyn Cousins .... assistant: Mr. Thomas
Hazel Crombie .... accountant: UK
Sevilla Delofski .... assistant: Mr. Thomas
Prudence Emery .... unit publicist
Vic Fraser .... copyist
Deb Geaghan .... assistant accountant
Mary Margaret Gibbons .... bookkeeper
Lori Greenberg .... assistant: Ms. Martinelli
Evangeline Griego .... assistant: Ms. Martinelli
James Isaac .... project supervisor
Helene LeBlanc .... stand-in (as Helene Leblanc)
Kelly Lepkowsky .... mechanical supervisor (as Kelly Lepowski)
Jim Lovisek .... insect/centipede wrangler (as James Lovisek)
John Martins-Mantiega .... director's Observer
Michelle Mundy .... assistant: Mr. Weller
Julie Oudot .... assistant: Mr. Thomas
Rick Parker .... animal wrangler
John Picard .... stand-in
Janet Riggs .... assistant: Mr. Weller
Bev Ross .... assistant accountant (as Beverly Ross)
Dug Rotstein .... script supervisor
Stephen Scott .... production office assistant
Mark Siegel .... creature maker
Teri Spasov .... accountant: Canada
Ron Swinburne .... financial controller
Jeremy Thomas .... presenter
Sandra Tucker .... assistant: Mr. Cronenberg
Wim Van Thillo .... mold supervisor (as Wim van Thillo)
Mark Walas .... general manager: CWI
Scott Walas .... business manager
Roz Wyllie .... assistant: Ray Williams
Deborah Zwicker .... production coordinator
Randall Balsmeyer .... title designer (uncredited)
Andrew P. Kirkham .... audio commentary producer [gb] (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for heavy drug content, bizarre eroticism, and language
115 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

David Cronenberg wrote the screenplay on a Toshiba laptop computer during the period of time while he was acting in 'Clive Barker''s Nightbreed (1990).See more »
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
[first lines]
Bill Lee:Exterminator.
See more »
Write ManSee more »


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65 out of 81 people found the following review useful.
And Here I Thought "Fear & Loathing" Was a Trip, 22 July 2005
Author: Rich Dunbeck from United States

"Exterminate all rational thought. This is the conclusion I have come to".

So says Bill Lee, the central character of David Cronenberg's adaptation of William Burroughs' bizarre novel "Naked Lunch". The film takes the novel, replaces the characters with Burroughs, his family, and his friends, and then gives them all the names of characters from the book anyway. Once you sort that conundrum out and stop thinking rationally you can begin to understand the film. But only begin. I don't think there is any way to fully understand "Naked Lunch".

Bill Lee is an exterminator who, along with his wife, has become addicted to bug repellent powder. One night, while on a bit of a bender, Bill accidentally shoots his wife, Joan, in the head during a game of William Tell. Following this, he uses the powder to go on a seemingly endless trip, ripe with sinister cabals, talking bugs, and journalistic endeavors.

What the film theorizes is that this is actually the tale of how Burroughs wrote the book "Naked Lunch". Indeed, Burroughs did shoot his wife the way Bill does in the movie, but one wonders if Burroughs actually went on the trip we see in the film. "Naked Lunch" is akin to "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" in it's over-the-top depiction of drug use as literary inspiration. "Naked Lunch" is actually a bit weirder to me than "Fear and Loathing", but I guess that's the same as saying one Queer Eye Guy is gayer than another. How can you be sure and, in the end, what's the difference? I'll skip over trying to compare Burroughs' trip to Dr. Thompson's. I think my brain would explode if I tried.

David Cronenberg, cinematic master of the macabre, struck gold with "Naked Lunch". Here we have one of Cronenberg's most fully realized fantasies. It's sick, disturbing, and confusing and, in these ways, it almost reaches the level of "VideoDrome", Cronenberg's true masterpiece and the most outright disturbing film I've ever seen. The creatures that Cronenberg dreamed up (based, of course, on Burroughs' warped ideas) are incredible. The seven-foot-tall Mugwumps (modeled after the physical appearance of Burroughs) creeped me out, and the half-beetle/half-typewriter creatures with talking sphincters are some of the grossest creatures I've ever seen on screen. These are things that Cronenberg delights in.

Peter Weller finally escaped from the shadow of "RoboCop" with this film. Ironically, the characters are similar. Both Robo and Bill Lee are monotone speaking, emotionless people. The difference being that Robo is made from forklift parts held together with duct tape and glue and Bill is human. Or at least I think he is. Nothing is certain in "Naked Lunch". Weller captures William Burroughs expertly. Judy Davis shows her range in the dual role of Joan Lee, Bill's wife, and Joan Frost, Bill's imagined lover. Joan Lee is drug-addled and loose; Joan Frost is uptight and needs to be taught how to be free. Davis makes the two women so different that it's almost impossible to tell it's the same actress in both parts.

If you like Burroughs, see this film. If you like Croneberg, see this film. If you want a simple, pleasant film...stay far away. :Naked Lunch" is a pornographically perverted look at the complexities of drug abuse and the difficulties of the writing process. I don't use the word pornographically lightly. This is as extreme a movie as I've ever seen, especially coming from the Hollywood system. It's icky, it's gross, it's disturbing. It's also a masterpiece.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Naked Lunch (1991)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
How much screen time do the bugs get? wesleyty6-60-430157
movies that blur the boundaries of reality sacredrite
was burroughs a pederast? jcbierley1
Why do people... Betty_Beatzer
Bill Lee -> Steven Wright merman1983
One of the worst movies I've ever seen. greg32johnston
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