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Allegra Geller, the leading game designer in the world, is testing her new virtual reality game, eXistenZ with a focus group. As they begin, she is attacked by a fanatic assassin employing a bizarre organic gun. She flees with a young marketing trainee, Ted Pikul, who is suddenly assigned as her bodyguard. Unfortunately, her pod, an organic gaming device that contains the only copy of the eXistenZ game program, is damaged. To inspect it, she talks Ted into accepting a gameport in his own body so he can play the game with her. The events leading up to this, and the resulting game lead the pair on a strange adventure where reality and their actions are impossible to determine from either their own or the game's perspective.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
The lubricant Allegra (Jennifer Jason Leigh) uses for Pikul's (Jude Law's) port is called XE-60, which is only one letter in the alphabet up from WD-40. See more »
When Pikul is extracting the tooth from Allegra's shoulder, the sleeve of her top is rolled down. In the next shot after it comes out, her shoulder is covered again, but Pikul's hand resting on it hasn't moved. (There are deliberate costume discontinuities in this movie, when the characters shift in and out of eXistenZ, but this isn't one of them.) See more »
eXistenZ. Written like this. One word. Small 'E', capital 'X', capital 'Z'. 'eXistenZ'. It's new, it's from Antenna Research, and it's here... right now.
See more »
Allegra (JJ Leigh) is the world's most totes-amazeballs games designer. Her complex, better-than-life VR games have the masses hooked - so much so that someone out there wants her dead, and is prepared to pay handsomely for the privilege.
After a close-call assassination attempt, Allegra and PR Nerd Ted Pikul (Jude Law) go on the run - all the while attempting to 'port' back into Allegra's bio-creepy games console to test run her latest game - eXistenZ.
I saw 'eXisteZ' at the cinema when it was released at the end of the 90s. Apart from a plot-based running gag with a friend ever since, I don't think I've spent much timing thinking about it since. After catching it on TV recently, though, I'm inclined to think this is one of those movies you really ought to evaluate over multiple viewings.
The plot is brilliantly twisted. As Allegra and Ted port in and out of the game she's invented, it's hard for them - or us - to know what's real and what isn't. Playing the game along with them, and interacting with the characters, works exceptionally well considering some of these concepts are pretty far ahead of the movie's time. No spoiler here, but some of the plot concepts must have influenced some very big sci movies released since!
There's a lot of freaky bio-horror-erotica on screen. It's not an overly violent film (and I wouldn't call it a horror movie at all), but some of the scenes are very 'fleshy'. It's more like overt eroticism runs throughout - even Allegra's bio 'pod' (the games machine) looks and reacts like some feisty, fleshy erogenous zone.
The special effects aren't bad. Yes, some involving creatures are a bit Harryhausen, but others hold their own really well more than a decade later.
There's a message - and, again, it's ahead of its time and doesn't shy away from asking the big questions. But then, the movie's called 'existence', after all.
I've probably given this an extra star because I can't quite believe the lack of love here on IMDb. This is a good film that aims to do, say and stretch you more than most. That's gotta be worth a look.
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