Naked Lunch (1991)

Naked Lunch (1991)

Director: David Cronenberg
Starring: Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm

An exterminator leads a double life as a secret agent answering to an insect typewriter, or it could all be a stream of drug-fueled illusions.

I wasn't familiar with William S Burroughs or his work before seeing this film and I don't know what fans of his make of it. Rather than adapting the book, it's supposedly something of a fictionalized biopic of the author. The Cronenberg touch is quite obvious with all its twisted psychosexual imagery, horrific fleshy monstrosities, and obtuse, pseudointellectual monologues. My relationship with Cronenberg's work is complicated, so I can't exactly say I'm a fan. Peter Weller's performance is interesting. I like how muted his reaction is to just about everything, which makes for an amusing counterbalance to all the messed up stuff going on. Roy Scheider is also pretty good in this as was Peter Boretski as the various critters. Disturbing though it is, the animatronics for all the aforementioned monstrosities are pretty well-made. I think people who like Cronenberg's disturbing content might enjoy themselves, but the average viewer isn't going to have a pleasant viewing.