I’ve always felt that eXistenZ was spiritually related to Videodrome as it concerns media’s invasion of our bodies, minds and culture. Allegra Geller (Leigh) is video game designer worshipped by her followers.
Her latest game plugs directly into the user’s spinal column, sending players into a world of hallucinations driven by their fears and desires.
At the game’s launch, an anti-gaming organization attempts a hit; narrowly escaping death, Allegra flees the scene with security guard (and marketing trainee) Ted (Law). Once safe, the duo plug into her fleshy gaming pod to see if the only copy of her game has been damaged.
The hour that follows is truly the stuff of nightmares as neither they nor the audience can discern what is real and what is illusory. eXistenZ features Cronenberg’s first use of digital effects and also has a playful humour not seen in his previous work.
The cast is uniformly excellent and once again it’s amazing to see Cronenberg prophesy the future of media with regards to the world of gaming’s blurred lines between the virtual and reality. It’s a deeply disturbing and scarily believable film from a true master of celluloid.
Director: David Cronenberg