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.
After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.
A man tries to uncover an unconventional psychologist's therapy techniques on his institutionalized wife, while a series of brutal attacks committed by a brood of mutant children coincides with the husband's investigation.
The residents of a suburban high-rise apartment building are being infected by a strain of parasites that turn them into mindless, sex-crazed fiends out to infect others by the slightest sexual contact.
Allegra Geller, the leading game designer in the world, is testing her new virtual reality game, eXistenZ with a focus group. As they begin, she is attacked by a fanatic assassin employing a bizarre organic gun. She flees with a young marketing trainee, Ted Pikul, who is suddenly assigned as her bodyguard. Unfortunately, her pod, an organic gaming device that contains the only copy of the eXistenZ game program, is damaged. To inspect it, she talks Ted into accepting a gameport in his own body so he can play the game with her. The events leading up to this, and the resulting game lead the pair on a strange adventure where reality and their actions are impossible to determine from either their own or the game's perspective. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
In the scene where Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jude Law hole up in a motel room after the failed assassination attempt, the bag their fast food comes in has "Perky Pat" written on it. This is a reference to the novel "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch" by alternate reality sci-fi master Philip K. Dick. As many have noted online, eXistenZ takes many of its themes about nested reality and alienation directly from this book by Dick. In "Three Stigmata," however, the framework of the false realities is not a video game, but drugs called Can-D and Chew-Z. See more »
The first time we see Ted Pikul at the trout farm, he labels an envelope with the letters LA. The L is clearly connected to the A. However in the next shot with the envelope on the conveyor belt the L and A are no longer connected. See more »
eXistenZ. Written like this. One word. Small 'E', capital 'X', capital 'Z'. 'eXistenZ'. It's new, it's from Antenna Research, and it's here... right now.
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'eXistenZ' sorts out the men from the boys. That is, your reaction to this marvellous movie will depend whether you are S.F. literate and familiar with Cronenberg's oeuvre, or a 'Matrix'-loving, Johnny-come-lately. Now I enjoy 'The Matrix' as a superior action movie, but no movie in recent years has been so overrated, and grossly exaggerated as intellectual fare! 'eXistenZ' and Alex Proyas' similarly overlooked 'Dark City' are everything 'The Matrix' claims to be - intelligent, thought provoking, CHALLENGING S.F.
This movie is almost a summary of all the themes and motifs that Cronenberg has been obsessed about for the last 25 years or so. Especially the Burroughsian "biological horror" and the Phildickian questioning of reality. While it echoes many of his previous movies, it especially evokes his masterpiece 'Videodrome'. It may not reach the hallucinogenic heights of that movie - very few have - but it certainly takes you to places most contemporary S.F. and horror movies don't even try to reach.
However this movie isn't just Cronenberg rehashing his "greatest hits". There are more than enough new and interesting touches, especially the Rushdie-like Fatwah theme, the odd sexual symbolism, and the witty touches such as the bone guns that fire teeth. Helping all this along is the interesting, carefully chosen cast. All are good, but I especially like Willem Dafoe's creepy garage mechanic, and it was also great to see Canadian cult star Don McKellar ('Highway 61', 'Twitch City',etc) as the enigmatic "Russian" Yevgeny.
'Videodrome' has taken many years to find its real audience, and maybe 'eXistenz' will too. But I believe eventually it will be recognised for what it is - a work of great imagination and flair.
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