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A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Kiri Vinokur
...
Gas
...
...
Hugo Carlaw (as Callum Keith Rennie)
...
Seminar Leader
...
Merle
Robert A. Silverman ...
D'Arcy Nader
...
...
Noel Dichter
...
Male Assistant
Kirsten Johnson ...
Female Assistant
James Kirchner ...
Landry
Balázs Koós ...
Male Volunteer
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Storyline

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 <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Where does reality stop... And the game begin? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sci-fi violence and gore, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

23 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Existenz  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$810,262 (USA) (23 April 1999)

Gross:

$2,840,417 (USA) (18 June 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (workprint)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Cronenberg claimed his inspiration for the film was the fatwa declared on author Salman Rushdie following the publication of his book "The Satanic Verses". See more »

Goofs

The first time we see Ted Pikul at the trout farm, he labels an envelope with the letters LA. The L is clearly connected to the A. However in the next shot with the envelope on the conveyor belt the L and A are no longer connected. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Seminar Leader: 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 »

Connections

Referenced in eXploitation CinemA (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a wicked head trip
16 September 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Who should watch this film? Anyone who has ever taken acid, read Philip K. Dick, thought the premise of the Matrix was better then the special effects, has an interest in Philosophy, or likes having their sense of reality messed with. I laughed out loud at this film, just because it was so outrageous and so spot-on. This film is great. This film is cool. It is better than the Matrix, by a long shot (I didn't fall asleep in Existenz, for a kick off: action/special effects films bore me stupid, and despite a plausible philosophical gloss, that is exactly what the Matrix is). Existenz is gross, it is disturbing, and it is funny. David Cronenberg has done some shonky stuff (Rabid) and some works of genius too (Videodrome is another one worth checking out, as is Stephen King adaptation The Dead Zone). But this is one of my all-time favourites. I can't remember the ending- which is a good thing, cos it means I can watch it again. Or perhaps I never watched this film at all. Maybe it's an implanted memory. Or maybe it 'really' happened to me. I don't know. At any rate, it is now seamlessly stitched into my overall illusion of reality, and I'm glad.


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