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Story

You are now entering Interzone, William S. Burroughs's phantasmagorical land of junk, paranoia, and crawly things. Best travel advice: "Exterminate all rational thought." In David Cronenberg's superbly shot, unnerving warp on the Burroughs novel, the novelist himself becomes a main character (played in an implacable monotone by Peter Weller), with elements from Burroughs' life--including the shooting of his wife during a "William Tell" game, and bohemian friends Kerouac and Ginsberg--added to frame the book's wild visions. This is, ironically, a somewhat rational approach to an unfilmable book (and it makes a hair-curling double bill with Barton Fink, another look at writerly madness, with both films sharing Judy Davis). Cronenberg is a natural for oozing mugwumps and typewriters that turn into giant bugs, of course. But in the end, this is really his own vision of the artistic process, rather than Burroughs's hallucinatory descent into hell. --Robert Horton

DVD Features

  • New high-definition digital transfer, approved by director David Cronenberg and enhanced for widescreen televisions
  • Audio commentary by Cronenberg and actor Peter Weller
  • Naked Making Lunch, a London Weekend Television documentary about the making of the film, directed by Chris Rodley
  • Illustrated essay about the special effects in Naked Lunch by the editor of Cinefex magazine, Jody Duncan, featuring artifacts from Cronenberg's archive
  • Film stills gallery
  • A collection of original marketing materials
  • William S. Burroughs' audio recording of excerpts from Naked Lunch
  • A collection of archival stills of William S. Burroughs from the Allen Ginsberg Trust
  • 32-page booklet featuring essays by film critic Janet Maslin, Chris Rodley, Gary Indiana, and a piece by William S. Burroughs

Cast

Peter WellerBill Lee
Judy DavisJoan Frost/Joan Lee
Ian HolmTom Frost
Julian SandsYves Cloquet
Roy ScheiderDr. Benway
Nicholas CampbellHank
Michael ZelnikerMartin
Joseph ScorenKiki

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: David Cronenberg
  • Producer: Criterion/Voyager
  • Length: 115 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaJan 1, 1991
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
    Europe18
    AustraliaM
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaNov 11, 2003
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