1991 · United States · Directed by David Cronenberg
EXTERMINATE ALL RATIONAL THOUGHT.
In a career dedicated to seeing the unseeable and filming the unfilmable, perhaps only David Cronenberg could really do justice to William S. Burroughs’ controversial novel. Weaving together elements of Burroughs own remarkable biography with the content of the book,Cronenberg’s film steps inside the body and mind of a writer in order to depict the dangerous act of imagination itself from the inside out.
Former junkie William Lee (played by Peter Weller) makes ends meet as an exterminator. But when he and his wife Joan discover the hallucinatory properties of the powder he uses to kill bugs, they become hooked, and their world is changed forever. Insects speak, typewriters mutate and talk, interdimensional beings reveal themselves, identities fracture and blur; nothing and no one are quite what they seem.
Winner of Best Picture, Best Direction, and Best Screenplay at the 1992 Genie Awards and featuring an astonishing score by Howard Shore and Ornette Coleman, Cronenberg’s film is provocative, transgressive, and surreal. A feast for the senses, where nothing is true and everything is permitted.