Main Content

Naked Lunch [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] [1991]

  • SKU: 20961991
  • Release Date: 04/09/2013
  • Rating: R

Item Added.View List

Add to List

    No lists found. Create one today.
    Add Item
    Cardmember Offers


    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (5 out of 5)

    Special Features

    • 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


    Naked Lunch
    This cinematic/literary hybrid fuses motifs from Beat writer William S. Burroughs's novel of the same name with elements of the author's biography and plenty of the cerebral alienation and biomorphic special effects fans of creepy cult director David Cronenberg have come to expect. Bill Lee (Peter Weller) wants to write, but he exterminates bugs to pay the bills. His wife, Joan (Judy Davis), becomes addicted to Bill's bug powder dust, and soon he joins her in a world of unorthodox hallucinogens; he visits the kindly yet sinister Dr. Benway (Roy Scheider) and walks away with his first dose of the black meat -- a narcotic made from the flesh of the giant aquatic Brazilian centipede. Soon, monstrous beetles are whispering conspiracy theories in Bill's ears and his nebbish writer friends Hank (Nicholas Campbell) and Martin (Michael Zelniker) are sleeping with Joan under his nose. When a party trick involving a liquor glass and a gun goes awry, killing Joan, Bill flees to Interzone, a Mediterranean city full of talking insectoid typewriters, double agents, offbeat aesthetes, and plots within plots. As he navigates this paranoid landscape, Bill begins ingesting another drug called mugwump jism and writes fragments that Hank and Martin soon assemble into a novel under the title Naked Lunch. As beat literature aficionados know, Interzone is based on Tangiers -- the city where Burroughs wrote Naked Lunch. The incident in the film in which Hank and Martin appropriate Bill's writing and have it published closely approximates the real-life circumstances of the novel's publication, although it was Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac who helped out the real-life Burroughs. The William Tell incident that kills Bill's wife is also drawn from the author's real life. "William Lee" is both Burroughs' literary stand-in and the name under which he published his first autobiographical novel Junky. Ian Holm, who plays Joan Frost's husband, Tom, would appear in Cronenberg's similarly experimental eXistenZ several years later. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Peter Weller
      Peter Weller - William Lee
    • Judy Davis
      Judy Davis - Joan Frost/Joan Lee
    • Ian Holm
      Ian Holm - Tom Frost
    • Julian Sands
      Julian Sands - Yves Cloquet
    • Roy Scheider
      Roy Scheider - Dr. Benway

    Customer rating

    Rating 4.6 out of 5 stars with 5 reviews

    would recommend to a friend
    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      What a weird movie...

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      What can be said about Naked Lunch beyond, "It's a weird movie!". It's what you should expect though coming from David Cronenberg who brought you Scanners and Videodrome. Starring the often overlooked Peter Weller (Robocop) the film is like watching a schitzo's dream. It changes pace, features odd elements that seem out of place (getting high on bug spray?) and turns into an espionage style movie wrapped up in a weird box. Get some friends and some popcorn, pop it in and talk about it while it's on. At the very least you'll have an interesting 2 hour experiment!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Weird, well done take on Burroughs!!!

      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      Based on the book by William S. Burroughs...David Cronnenberg casts his film into his own bizarre take on the novel with stunning imagery and weirdness beyond what no other director I think could bring to this twisted tale about homosexuality. Brilliant take that maybe the likes of Gilliam fans could love. Highly Recommended!!!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Another win for Cronenberg

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      Very strange, but this much is expected from Cronenberg. You have to go into it knowing what to expect from the director and have an open mind. If you are a fan of his other movies, you should love this one.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Drugs are bad, mmkah

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      David Cronenberg defies all notions that William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch was an un-filmable novel with this hallucinogenic flick. It literally oozes creativity; don't miss it!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great to see this finally on bluray

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      One of the best, weirdest sci fi movies you will ever see.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.