First off, I greatly admired the poster for this film. A man inexplicably with a typewriter for a head; simple, yet perversely off-the-wall enough that it beautifully conveys just how bizarre this whole film is. Part autobiography, part existential musing, part surrealist nightmare, Naked Lunch is a film that truly defies explanation. It’s really hard to say just how weird the film really is; it must be experienced for oneself, though you may not enjoy what you go through.
David Cronenberg is one weird individual. Whether that weirdness is your cup of tea, this film will be a good barometer of that. All the characters in this film seem to be hocked up on some mind-deadening substance, which only enhances the spaced-out effect the film has on us. I’m not even really sure how Cronenberg went about directing a film like this; how he somehow conveyed what amounts to his vision to the crew and to his producers. I can’t say I’m all that enthused about watching Cronenberg’s other works on the list, based on my experience with this oddity.
I can’t believe I actually sat through this one; both because it’s so weird and because it has so little actually going for it as a movie. Amazingly enough, this made it into the Criterion Collection, which puts it among honored company to say the least, so does the film deserve it? It’s unique, I will certainly give it that, but it’s just too plain weird to really classify as good. Cronenberg has three films on the list; this, The Fly, and Videodrome, and methinks the last two are all that need to represent the man, if even both of them. This is just perfunctory manifested in celluloid form; plain, simple, and nothing more to be said.
Arbitrary Rating: 5/10