WAYS TO
WATCH:

See all
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.

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
3,067 ( 215)
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Videodrome (1983)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a very unusual fashion when he acquires a new kind of programming for his station.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: James Woods, Debbie Harry, Sonja Smits
Naked Lunch (1991)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm
Scanners (1981)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A scientist sends a man with extraordinary psychic powers to hunt others like him.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Jennifer O'Neill, Stephen Lack, Patrick McGoohan
Dead Ringers (1988)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Twin gynecologists take full advantage of the fact that nobody can tell them apart, until their relationship begins to deteriorate over a woman.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Geneviève Bujold, Heidi von Palleske
The Fly (1986)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz
Crash (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas
Spider (2002)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A mentally disturbed man takes residence in a halfway house. His mind gradually slips back into the realm created by his illness, where he replays a key part of his childhood.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne
The Dead Zone (1983)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man awakens from a coma to discover he has a psychic detective ability.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt
The Brood (1979)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man tries to uncover an unconventional psychologist's therapy techniques on his institutionalized wife, amidst a series of brutal murders.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle
M. Butterfly (1993)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In 1960s China, French diplomat Rene Gallimard falls in love with an opera singer, Song Liling - but Song is not at all who Gallimard thinks.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Jeremy Irons, John Lone, Barbara Sukowa
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A mild-mannered man becomes a local hero through an act of violence, which sets off repercussions that will shake his family to its very core.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris
Rabid (1977)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young woman develops a taste for human blood after undergoing experimental plastic surgery, and her victims turn into rabid, blood-thirsty zombies who proceed to infect others, which turns into a city-wide epidemic.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Marilyn Chambers, Frank Moore, Joe Silver
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Where does reality stop... And the game begin? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

23 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Existenz  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$2,840,417 (USA) (18 June 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (workprint)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite the fact that this was filmed in the standard spherical format, "Filmed in Panavision" is listed in the end credits. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

References Gattaca (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Truly unique
9 April 2002 | by (SF, CA) – See all my reviews

Everybody seems to compare this to The Matrix and The 13th Floor, and when I first saw it I would have agreed -- I was expecting The Matrix and was a little disappointed. But upon repeated viewings my respect for this movie has grown immensely.

The thing to keep in mind is that The Matrix is a great action movie with some philosophical mumbo-jumbo thrown in. The 13th Floor is a passable action movie with some slightly more interesting philosophical mumbo-jumbo thrown in. Existenz is not an action movie at all, and is not (as many seem to believe) about "reality" or any such "deep" concept. It's about the human tendency to intentionally replace reality with an artificial (both in its origin and in its behavior) world of make-believe.

The most chilling moment in the movie is when Allegra Geller repeats her "scripted" line. It's at that point you realize that the people in the game have voluntarily surrendered their free will in order to participate in a story. This is made even more frightening at the end when D'Arcy Nader (or rather his player) comments on the possibility of spending one's life in the game. I sympathize completely with the "realist" philosophy, that providing interesting worlds in which people simply locate the correct predefined path to the end goal is ultimately a recipe for a soulless existence. Living "in the game" is not living at all, but is a tempting way to spend one's time on earth. As Allegra comments about the real world, "there's nothing going on here." Might as well jack into someone else's imagination, and pretend to be doing something interesting. (Although I have to ask whether Cronenberg considers this a self-indictment, considering that he himself offers up worlds to be experienced in 90 minute snippets.)

Upon leaving the theater after first watching this movie, I thought it was one of those movies that was watchable only to see how it ended. But having seen it a couple more times (thank you SciFi Channel) I've realized how much deeper it goes. Seriously, if you've only seen it once, it deserves another viewing.


156 of 183 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Stupid B Class Movie seekingallthetime
Bethesda's gamEbrYo tcbdeo
eXistenZ Vs. Inception qwerty6517
'I saw you meet a man on the assembly line; what'd he say?' ToddWebb
Horror? lebarger85
Worst Movie of 1999 ChaseWolf
Discuss eXistenZ (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?