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eXistenZ (1999)

R  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  23 April 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 73,891 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 521 user | 193 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged.


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3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kiri Vinokur
Hugo Carlaw
Seminar Leader
Robert A. Silverman ...
D'Arcy Nader
Oscar Hsu ...
Noel Dichter
Male Assistant
Kirsten Johnson ...
Female Assistant
James Kirchner ...
Balázs Koós ...
Male Volunteer


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 <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A game to live or to die for. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sci-fi violence and gore, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

23 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

eXistenZ: Mundo virtual  »

Box Office


CAD 31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$810,262 (USA) (23 April 1999)


$2,840,417 (USA) (18 June 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (workprint)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The character of Allegra may likely be a reference to a minor character of the same name in Samuel R. Delany's novella "The Star Pit." In that novella, Allegra is a child prodigy able to telepathically project any type of reality she wishes to anyone around her. See more »


When Pikul is extracting the tooth from Allegra's shoulder, the sleeve of her top is rolled down. In the next shot after it comes out, her shoulder is covered again, but Pikul's hand resting on it hasn't moved. (There are deliberate costume discontinuities in this movie, when the characters shift in and out of eXistenZ, but this isn't one of them.) See more »


[first lines]
Seminar Leader: 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.
See more »


References Dungeon Keeper (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Another Bizarre and Original Film by David Cronenberg
1 May 2011 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In a near future, the Antenna Research and the Cortical Systematics Corporations dispute the market of games. When the designer of the game eXistenZ Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh) comes to a lecture to demonstrate and test her game, she is attacked by a fanatic terrorist. However,the marketing trainee of Antenna Research Ted Pikul (Jude Law) saves Allegra and flees with her in his car.

When Allegra awakes, she requests Ted to let her connect in his bio-port to check the damage in her pod with the original version of eXistenZ. Ted does not have bio-port since he is afraid of any possible infection, but Allegra convinces him to go to the gas station, where she asks the attendant Gas (Willen Dafoe) to make a hole in Ted's spine and install a bio-port. Sooner she learns that Gas works for the enemy, but Ted and she play eXistenZ, in a bizarre virtual world. When the game merges in the real life, Ted and Allegra question whether they are still playing the game or whether the game has been transported to the real world.

"eXistenz" is another bizarre and original film by David Cronenberg, with a weird and gruesome concept of virtual reality. The twisted story has similarities with "Matrix", entwining virtual world with reality, but both were made in the same year (1999); therefore it seems that there is no plagiarization of the idea. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jude Law show a great chemistry and the plot has many twists. Surprisingly, "eXistenz" has not been released in Brasil neither on DVD nor in blu-ray. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): Not Available

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