“Sickness has often repulsive details not for weak stomachs.”
– William S. Burroughs
Based on William S. Burroughs’ controversial book, the film is quite part and parcel account of neurotic and outlandish junk addicted life lived & fantasized by the author who accidentally killed his own wife prior to write this novel. American critics and readers claimed it one of the most obscene & disgusting book. Well, I haven’t read the original book but just read the introduction of it written by the author which I found an honest expression of junkie author.
Bill is an exterminator by profession drawn towards bug powder fixation & accidentally killed his wife mocking William Tale shot. Slowly the surreal world starts howling him under inherent guilt and drug fuelled hallucinations. Slowly the imagination impetus makes his creative process turning him into a product/outcome itself.
Cronenberg made it quite clear in one of the dialogue in an initial scene-‘Exterminate all rational thoughts.’ But it’s no easy film to cater the general audience. The plot and narrative constantly shift gears between real and surreal hallucinatory world felt by the protagonist who is meeting unusual characters in state of delirium. In adapting already subversive, complex book, Cronenberg made it too complex and disorienting mismatch of fact and fiction world with a film noirish touch that it becomes too hard to digest/grasp the theme and story for almost everyone in a single viewing. It clearly makes it an out and out personal film of Cronenberg’s career.
The hallucinatory world of Interzone is full of despicable horror imagery where we witness cockroach powder junkies, insect typewriters, giant centipedes, homosexual and lesbian sects, heterosexually ambivalent species called Mugwumps. It’s indeed a great achievement in special effects; it makes you really feel ‘yuck’ unlike routine fantasy films. The other plus points of the films are the performances by Peter Weller, Judy Davis & Roy Scheider, Peter Suschitzky’s great mixing of green & grey in cinematography & Howard shore’s jazzy score.
Challenge yourself if you love complex films.