Naked Lunch is a 1991 science fiction drama film written and directed by David Cronenberg . It is a film adaptation of William S. Burroughs’ 1959 novel of the same name.
William Lee is an exterminator who finds that his wife Joan is stealing his insecticide (pyrethrum) to use as a drug. When Lee is arrested by the police, he begins hallucinating because of “bug powder” exposure. He believes he is a secret agent with two handlers or controllers in the forms of a talking insectoid typewriter and an alien “Mugwump”. The typewriter/bug assigns him the mission of killing Joan. She is allegedly an agent of an organization called Interzone Incorporated. Lee dismisses the bug and its instructions and kills it (smashes the typewriter). He returns home to find Joan sleeping with Hank, one of his writer friends. Shortly afterwards, he accidentally kills her while attempting to shoot a drinking glass off her head in imitation of William Tell.The screenplay for Naked Lunch is based not only on Burroughs’ novel, but also on other fiction by him, and autobiographical accounts of his life. It can be seen as a metatextual adaptation, in that it depicts the writing of the novel itself. Several characters are loosely based on people that Burroughs knew: Hank and Martin are based on Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg , and Tom and Joan Frost on Paul and Jane Bowles whom Burroughs befriended in Tangier, Morocco.The shooting of Joan Lee is based on the 1951 death of Joan Vollmer, Burroughs’ common-law wife. Burroughs shot and killed Vollmer in a drunken game of “William Tell” at a party in Mexico City. He would later flee to the United States. Burroughs was convicted in absentia of homicide and sentenced to two years. Burroughs later expressed Joan’s death as the starting point of his literary career, saying: “I am forced to the appalling conclusion that I would have never become a writer but for Joan’s death”. VIDEO
– view Music Video
– view Naked Lunch “The Sun”, The first official