Naked Lunch (1991)
Directed By: David Cronenberg
Where to get it: TLA Cult
Lately I’ve been doing shorter reviews due to the massive amounts of movies I have to review. That being said, I think David Cronenberg deserves a longer review for his films. Here we have Naked Lunch. This is a movie that was based off a book by William S. Burroughs that was deemed unfilmable at one time. That was probably taken as a challenge by director David Cronenberg. The results of his film take on the book are a wild and crazy ride that doesn’t always make the most sense, but then again the book didn’t either. Now here we are with this movie released by The Criterion Collection, which should tell us a lot.
Is what takes place in this film really taking place or is it just a drug added illusion? I still am not sure of that myself. Taken at face value we have a film of an intergalactic officer who is human and taking orders from typewriters that are actually talking alien agent bugs. That might sound weird and it is, but it doesn’t even scratch the surface of the plot and the weird stuff you see in Naked Lunch. I myself like to think it’s all symbolic of a number of things. We all know Cronenberg can be as clever as he is weird behind a camera.
As usual we get a film that is loaded with very nice looking effects. This is stuff that would simply be done with CGI these days but was done superbly with other methods in 1991. We always get this stuff with this director’s movies but here I think they go above and beyond the call of duty, really they have to in order to live up to the book it was based off of. We get typewriters eating typewriters, people injecting bug spray into themselves, and some very odd for their time homosexual observation. All of that comes together very cleverly and in a very weird and eye-popping nature.
The film goes along for what is or close to two hours and you may be a little confused at the end. Then again, if you knew anything about the book going into that I’m sure you knew what was coming. I don’t think this is a movie I’d watch a lot after my first viewing. I might show it to some friends just to see what they think, but it really wasn’t my cup of tea. That isn’t to say I don’t appreciate it and like a lot about it because I do. It’s hard to say what this film is, but it is undeniably clever, well made, and weird.
I’ll still stick with Videodrome, The Brood, and The Fly when it comes to my first choices in David Cronenberg films. While this might not be a person choice of mine when it comes to movies I do honestly like what was done at the end of the day with it. I dig weird stuff and this does give me all I want of that and more.
The Rating (7/10)