Naked Lunch (Blu-ray, Criterion Collection) R

Exterminate all rational thought.
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Format:  Blu-ray
item number:  35746
on most orders of $75+
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Blu-ray Disc Features:

  • Rated: R
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 55 minutes
  • Video: Color
  • Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
  • Released: April 9, 2013
  • Originally Released: 1991
  • Label: Criterion Collection
  • Note: Audio Commentary featuring Cronenberg and actor Peter Weller
    • Naked Making Lunch, a 1992 Documentary by Chris Radley about the making of the film
    • Special effects gallery, featuring artwork and phots alongside an essay by film writer Jody Duncan
    • Collection of original marketing materials
    • Audio recording of William S. Burroughs reading from his novel Naked Lunch
    • Gallery of photos taken by poet Allen Ginsberg of Burroughs
    • Plus: a Booklet featuring reprinted pieces by film critic Janet Maslin, critic and novelist Gary Indiana, filmmaker and writer Chris Rodley, and Burroughs
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.78
  • Audio:
    • Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English
    • DTS HD Master Audio - English
    • Subtitles - English

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring &
Performer: , &
Directed by
Edited by
Music by &
Screenwriting by
Composition by &
Produced by
Director of Photography:

Memorable Quotes and Dialog:

"It's impossible to make a movie out of 'Naked Lunch.' A literal translation just wouldn't work. It would cost $400 million to make and would be banned in every country of the world."
  - David Cronenberg
"You don't often see this operation performed, mainly because it is of no medical value" - Dr. Benway

Entertainment Reviews:


Total Count: 35


User Ratings: 33,949
Rating: B+ -- Stands on its own apart from the book. Full Review
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Jan 18, 2004
...A pungently comic and inventive spellbinder....A burst of imagination that is literally out of this world...
Rolling Stone
Feb 6, 1992
...A remarkable meeting of the minds....Hideously clever...
New York Times
Dec 27, 1991
...A burnished noir, its eye-popping colors suggesting a graphic novel come to life...
Entertainment Weekly
Nov 21, 2003
Rating: 4/5 -- Given that nobody could really have adapted Burroughs' book in any literal manner, what Cronenberg does instead is predictably creepy, warped and dreamy.
Sep 8, 2005
Obviously this is not everybody's cup of weird tea: you must have a taste for the esthetics of disgust. For those up to the dare, it's one clammily compelling movie. Full Review
Mar 31, 2008
I yearned for something more disgusting to occur. Full Review
The Spectator
Jul 24, 2018

Product Description:

The dry wit of writer William S. Burroughs transfers surprisingly well to the screen. This partially biographical celluloid interpretation of his book shows Burroughs's daring and delirium as one of the experimental beat writers (with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg) who emerged in the late 1950s. In the lead role, Peter Weller does a dead-on Burroughs impression, and the film follows a bizarre logic and has a dark, rich look that makes it one of director David Cronenberg's more satisfying works. Bill Lee (Weller) is a pest-control man who would rather be a writer, and he is seeking escape from his troubled existence. After killing his wife, he flees to Interzone, a hallucinatory version of Tangiers (the location where Burroughs penned the book). There he finds that reality and fantasy have merged in a strange, surreal landscape inhabited by half-alien, half-insect creatures and odd humans. And finally, in this altered state, Lee can become a writer. Like other Cronenberg films, NAKED LUNCH is a bit squishy; it is full of pervasive biological dread. And this film is not exactly faithful to the novel. Instead, Cronenberg provides it with a neat framework that begins and ends with Lee shooting his wife Joan (Judy Davis) during a botched William Tell routine, just as Burroughs did in real life.


Production Notes:

  • Theatrical release: December 27, 1991 (NY/LA)
  • Budget estimate $12-15 million.
  • Shot on location in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, using Film House color, Dolby sound.
  • Began shooting January 21, 1991; Completed shooting April 20, 1991.
  • Shown at the 1991 Berlin Film Festival.
  • The director originally planned to shoot the film in Tangiers, but due to the outbreak of the Gulf War in January 1991, he abandoned the idea.
  • Judy Davis was named best actress in 1992 for her performances in NAKED LUNCH, BARTON FINK, and HUSBANDS AND WIVES by the London Film Critics Circle. She was also awarded Best Supporting Actress in 1991 for her work in NAKED LUNCH and BARTON FINK.
  • NAKED LUNCH received 11 Canadian Genie awards for 1992. The film was also honored for best screenplay and best director by the National Society of Film Critics. In addition, the film was chosen for best screenplay by the Boston Society of Film Critics in 1991.
  • William S. Burroughs, who wrote the original story in 1959, was among other things, a Beat Generation writer along with fellow writers Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. Burroughs exiled himself to Tangiers during the 1950s following the accidental shooting death of his wife, Joan, in 1951. Burroughs continued to write for years while residing in Lawrence, Kansas, after moving there in 1981.

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Product Info

  • UPC: 715515105019
  • Shipping Weight: 0.30/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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