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eXistenZ (1999)

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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

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Allegra Geller
... Ted Pikul
... Kiri Vinokur
... Gas
... Yevgeny Nourish
... Hugo Carlaw
... Seminar Leader
... Merle
... D'Arcy Nader
... Chinese Waiter
... Noel Dichter
... Male Assistant
... Female Assistant
James Kirchner ... Landry
Balázs Koós ... Male Volunteer
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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:

Play Or Be Played. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

23 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Existenz  »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£362,864 (United Kingdom), 2 May 1999, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$810,262, 25 April 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,840,417, 20 June 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (workprint)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Kiri (Sir Ian Holm) and his assistant operate on Allegra's (Jennifer Jason Leigh) pod, Kiri says, "Köszönöm, köszönöm, köszönöm", Hungarian for "Thank you, thank you, thank you." See more »

Goofs

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 »

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

Referenced in Traceroute (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

the only cronenberg film i didn't like
6 July 2001 | by See all my reviews

as a fan of cronenberg's films i judged this based on the other work and found it lacking. what it lacks is the emotional power of his best movies. i notice this isn't really mentioned in other reviews.

intellectual games and speculation and bizarre special effects are interesting but what really makes cronenberg an artist in my mind is the underlying human tragedy he is able to express using the horror/sci-fi/fantasy genre, see The Fly for instance (not to be confused with john carpenter's The thing) or even less known work like The Brood.

existenz has no power.

it does have a little philip k dick style charm, but without the heavy spiritual/philosophical impact of dick at his best.

compared to your average movie, it's more intellectual but less fun. it has some humor but not much. there are too many references to past cronenberg movies which makes you wonder if he hasn't seen too many of his own retrospectives. also, i am not a gamer and so the game aspect seemed very adolescent, probably moreso than most actual games. then again, this movie is like a real cronenberg movie turned into a video game, lots of tricks and twists and effects, but all the emotion and feeling drained out of it. respect it cuz it's cronenberg, but go watch something else.


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