Friday, February 26, 2010

Naked Lunch (1991)

Only the second best man in a chick suit of reveal of the early 1990's.

Now that my time has been thoroughly wasted, I have nothing but contempt for David Cronenberg's adaptation of the novel Naked Lunch. It's been a long time since a film has inspired so much apathy out of me, but the film managed to simultaneously irritate, confuse and bore me. Some people said Naked Lunch was a novel that could not be made into a film. I find it hard to care if Cronenberg's attempt was proof of this fact or just a failure of a film. Naked Lunch wasted my time and I probably won't forgive it for that.

I'm not really sure what Naked Lunch was about. Somewhere between the shooting up bug poison, talking ass-holes and the gay sex with bugs I got lost. From what I gathered, some dude got high on bug toxin, shot his wife and ran away to the middle eastern version of Studio 54. Somewhere between his rampant homosexual hunger and his less than savory relationship with a giant cockroach he becomes a secret agent of sorts. After that, I stopped paying attention but I tuned in long enough to see people drinking jizz out of alien heads and  Roy Scheider bust out of a woman suit. Robocop, the Sheriff from Jaws and Bilbo Baggins star in this crap fest for reasons unknown. The film is a far cry from David Cronenberg's later directorial work, such as A History of Violence, and it's easy to see why Cronenberg's early films retain only moderate cult status while his recent work has received critical acclaim. Naked Lunch toils in movie obscurity for a fistful of obvious reasons.

I'll be the first to admit that I like weird movies. I like a movie that doesn't spoon feed you the answers or one that makes you think. The problem with Naked Lunch is that it provides no incentive to think. I didn't feel like there was anything terribly profound hiding inside the movie so all it's weirdness was was wasted. The movie is certainly ambitious and expressive, but ambition doesn't make up for the fact that it was a total failure. I understand the metaphors and I get what the movie was trying to do, but it wasn't at all effective. The movie never hooks you, unless you really love pretentious writer talk, and Weller's dead pan attitude isn't really all that exciting to watch, even if it's appropriate. His voice matches the snail-like pace of the movie, which seems way to long even though it's under two hours in length.

I don't have much to say about Naked Lunch because it's still on my shit list. It was too weird to laugh at and a wholly unsatisfying film on both intellectual and entertainment levels. How something like this ends up on a list of movies to see can only be attributed to the author having a huge boner for David Cronenberg.



TheAnswerMVP2001 said...

Maybe the author was high on bug poison at the time and therefore found the film thoroughly profound!

Robert said...

I agree with everything you say. It was so confusing and arbitrary with no meaning. I think I was so forgiving to it for technical reasons (the score and art direction stood out, and I thought that some of the acting was quite good) but...ugh.

John Gilpatrick said...

I couldn't even muster up the strength to write a review of this. Such a weird piece of shit.