eXistenZ / B2 / Japan


Year of Film
David Cronenberg
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jude Law, Ian Holm, Willem Dafoe, Don McKellar, Callum Keith Rennie, Christopher Eccleston, Sarah Polley, Robert A. Silverman, Oscar Hsu, Kris Lemche, Vik Sahay
Origin of Film
Canada | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Sci-Fi | Thriller
Type of Poster
Style of Poster
Origin of Poster
Year of Poster
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS

David Cronenberg‘s 1999 sci-fi thriller eXistenZ is not one of the director’s best, in my opinion, but it does contain typically excellent future-thinking concepts and his trademark body horror. The film is set in the near future and is focused on the idea of virtual reality gaming, far in advance of the ridiculous headgear and black plastic stands that briefly appeared in gaming arcades towards the end of the 1980s.

Jennifer Jason Leigh plays a revered game designer called Allegra Geller who is forced to flee an exhibition of her latest product when an assassin attempts to kill her using a bizarre organic gun that fires human teeth. Ted Pikul (Jude Law) works for the games company and is instructed to accompany Allegra as she escapes with her damaged product. The software is stored on a living organic pod and a connection between players is made by plugging into the system via a ‘bioport’ at the bottom of the spine (hello creepy body invasion!). Allegra and Ted must start a new game in order to determine how badly damaged the pod is and it’s not long before the line between reality and the game world blurs completely. Who is responsible for the failed assassination attempt and who can Allegra trust to save the game, and ultimately her life?

The ideas that Cronenberg explores are unquestionably interesting but the low budget nature of the film doesn’t always support them very well, particularly when it comes to the sets and environments, which are mostly all drab and uninteresting. Jude Law and Christopher Eccleston both have painfully bad American accents and some of the actors playing minor parts are terrible. You could argue that this is intentional and part of the ‘game world’ but I’m not sure they can be forgiven. The ending is also pretty cliched and frustrating. Some hail the film as a masterpiece but I’m hard-pressed to understand why.

This Japanese poster features a unique image and is significantly more interesting than the drab and misleading US one sheet (lick the light!) or the ugly UK quad. The flesh coloured shapes around the edge are organic and include human hands and other body parts. The little pink lizard in the credit area is featured in the film as a stop-motion creature.

The original trailer is on YouTube.

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