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NAKED LUNCH - 2 Slimes
Rated R
Copyright 1991 Naked Lunch Productions
Reviewed by Max Gardner on 17 January 2001

The Characters:  

  • Bill Lee - Peter Weller! Pest control man who's getting tired of his wife and his carnivorous typewriter.
  • Joan Lee - Bill's wife, addicted on his bug poison. Killed when he tries shooting a bottle off her head and misses.
  • Klartnova - Bill's case officer, a large talking beetle that doubles as a typewriter.
  • Mugwump - An amphibious creature that would seem to be another incarnation of Bill's typewriter.
  • Cloquet - Julian Sands! A "Swiss dandy," according to Mugwump, who keeps parrots and turns into a centipede.
  • Kiki - Male prostitute in Interzone. Killed by Cloquet in an unpleasant manner.
  • Tom and Joan Frost - Ian Holm and Judy Davis! Writers living in Interzone.
  • Hank and Martin - Bill's literary-inclined friends.
  • Dr. Benway - Roy Scheider! Bill's doctor and head of Interzone, Inc.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Being based on a William S. Burroughs' novel and directed by David Cronenberg, this is an odd one.

Bill is an exterminator who is unsettled, to say the least, when a giant talking bug informs him that his wife is actually an agent of Interzone, Inc., a shadow organization run by Dr. Benway. After killing his wife, per his typewriter's instructions, Bill flees to Interzone and is embroiled in all manner of strangeness - horny typewriters, giant insects, telepathy and enough tentacle sex to make any hentai director proud. He's ordered by his caseworker to seduce a writer named Joan Frost. Her husband Tom doesn't seem to care much about that, but when Bill breaks his expensive typewriter he gets pissed off, and Bill realizes he'd better tie up his affairs and get out of Interzone before something happens to him. Naked Lunch moves a bit slowly at times, and it really isn't possible to translate Burroughs' novel directly onto film. Sometimes it seems a bit forced in that respect - all the typewriters sound like Burroughs, Cronenberg quotes him just for the hell of it - but it's entertaining on the whole.

Hell, at least it's better than Titanic.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • If you're going to use bug powder as a narcotic, cut it with baby laxative first.
  • Exterminators eat their poison on a regular basis.
  • Don't trust strange German men who grind up giant centipedes for a living.
  • Typewriters are very territorial creatures.
  • Don't let your housekeeper get hold of any blood, pubic hair or teeth, or she'll control your mind.
  • Being raped by a six-foot-long centipede is not pleasant.
  • Don't give your ass any ideas about having equal rights.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 12 min - That's not something you see on a regular basis.
  • 52 min - Bill just killed that rather large centipede in his bathroom with his breath.
  • 56 min - Battling typewriters.
  • 62 min - Typewriter sex, I did not need to see this.
  • 83 min - Now that's disturbing. Where the hell do you put the paper in?
  • 106 min - Roy Scheider dressed as a large German woman! You will never see this again, folks.


  • Bill: "Exterminate all rational thought. That is the conclusion I have come to."
  • Bill: "Someone's been stealing my roach powder. He's got it in for me."
  • Kiki: "I'd like you to meet a friend of mine. He specializes in sexual ambivalence."
    Bill: "Sexual ambulance, did you say?"
  • Klartnova: "Joan was a special case. Joan was an Elite Corps Centipede."
  • Bill: "Did I ever tell you about the man who taught his asshole to talk?"
  • Bill: "Tom, I've brought you a new typewriter which conveniently dispenses two types of intoxicating fluids when it likes what you've written."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note nakedlunch1.wav Klartnova: "Your wife is not really your wife. She is an agent of Interzone incorporated; you must kill her."
Green Music Note nakedlunch2.wav Bill: "You're acting like a full fledged junkie and it's bug powder for Christ's sake!"
Green Music Note nakedlunch3.wav Klartnova: "Women aren't human Bill. Or perhaps, more precisely, they're a different species than men with different wills and different purposes on Earth. You know this instinctively Bill and it's your instincts that make you such a good operative."
Green Music Note nakedlunch4.wav Tom: "No American should find himself in a foreign land without a pistol."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 



 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipnakedlunch1.mpg - 1.8m
Bill tries out his "William Tell" routine on Joan. This is actually pretty normal, when compared to the rest of the film.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 [2]
Naked Lunch
Reply #9. Posted on July 01, 2003, 09:46:06 PM by Spock
This film was an unundertandable mess.just like Mullholland Drive.
Naked Lunch
Reply #10. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Grimmstone
I watched this movie when it was on late night on HBO when I woke up during a bout with influenza that I was treating with Nyquil, among other things.  I couldn't even hang with it in that condition.  It makes Barton Fink look like Master and Commander in terms of concrete understanding.
Re: Naked Lunch
Reply #11. Posted on July 09, 2008, 02:09:48 PM by David
That film was warped beyond all imagination. Still you have to give credit for lines such as
" I don't want to f**k them, I just want to talk to them."
" You know how Americans are, Kiki. They all love to travel, and then they only want to meet other Americans and talk about how hard it is to get a decent hamburger."
Re: Naked Lunch
Reply #12. Posted on September 27, 2008, 01:16:25 PM by Demon_o'the_Deep
I think this movie deserves at least 3 stars. It just requires some familiarity with Burroughs' writing & life to appriciate. Cronenberg's intention wasn't a direct interpretation of the aponymous book, but rather an exploration of William Burroughs (Bill Lee in the film) life durring the period that gave birth to Naked Lunch. The story unfolds in an increasingly disjointed, disorienting manor evocative of Burroughs' style, and is told thru characters & situations taken from the book and some of his other works, themselves products of Burroughs experiences.
Pages: 1 [2]
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