eXistenZ (1999) - David Cronenberg


David Cronenberg


Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jude Law


Sci-Fi Body Horror


Jennifer Jason Leigh had chosen to be in this movie over Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut. She had filmed scenes and they needed to be reshot.
David Cronenberg's inspiration for the film was the fatwa on Salman Rushdie after the release of his book "The Satanic Verses".




David Cronenberg never fails to entertain me with the direction he takes. His movies have always come as a recommendation and with really good reason. Body Horror is very unique. Only a handful of Directors can actually pull them off. Cronenberg mastered the genre. He gave a face to the genre and created the path for it. This movie is a continuation of that path. It is a very strange affair. Quite possibly the strangest representative of Cronenberg's work. It's neck and neck with Velodrome. 

In the near future a video game designer is the target of a terrorist plot. She had created this biotech that plugs directly into your spine. The biotech is a virtual reality video game that feels like reality. However, everything is curious and you start to lose control of your actions. You do things that the game wants you to do. It gets worse the further you go.

 The designer (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and her reluctant "Body guard" (Jude Law) are constantly under pressure. They run for their lives through most of the movie. Weapons are being constructed with misused biotech. Guns more specifically. Guns that shoot teeth. It's bizarre. But that's the rules of the game.  

They jump from "reality" to "reality" and it becomes a bit confusing. However, the strangeness keeps you intrigued. The mystery surrounding the games with-in games. It's very modern noir at times. Some parts of the movie are really well shot. But others feel a bit forced. Somethings start off being creepy and scary. They end up being peculiar and offbeat. 

I recommend this movie to people looking for interesting movies from the 90's. There aren't very many of them. Cronenberg never fails to make you feel something with his movies. He is a master at controlling his audiences psychologically. He wants you to sit down and say, "what the hell did I just watch?" In this area he succeeds. However, this outing seemed like an extreme what the hell.