The near future. Interactive computer games have become the number one entertainment and their creators are treated as superstars. Now there is one game that beats all the rest. eXistenZ is a new organic game system which, when downloaded into humans, accesses their central nervous systems. It transports them to a different reality, changing every time it is accessed and adapting to those who are playing it. Besides fame, it has also brought danger to its creator Allegra Geller. A gang of fanatical Anti-eXistenZialists have put a bounty of $5 million dollar on her head. They have made her the target for murderous attacks with lethal gristle guns, made of organic matter and thus impervious to any metal detector. Allegra is saved from an Anti-eXistenZialist assault by Ted Pikul, a young security guard. To find out more about her assailants, she equips Pikul with his own Bioport, a device which will jack him into the game. This procedure almost goes wrong, due to the treacherous greed of Gas, a petrol station attendant who is after the bounty. With the assistance of game expert Kiri Vinokur, Allegra finally leads Pikul into the world of eXistenZ, where nothing is as it appears to be.
Still enjoying the international controversy caused by Crash, renowned Canadian director David Cronenberg (Videodrome, Scanners, Naked Lunch) pursues his obsessions by plunging into the world of sci-fi and virtual reality. With eXistenZ, Cronenberg takes us one step ahead of reality. He had observed that when people play videogames, they try to fuse themselves with the game. So he thought : “If I want to be the game, the game will also want to be me.” This fantasy has been made reality, physical and organical. This brings us to familiar Cronenberg territory. Under certain circumstances, we are capable of creating our own realities, whether through drugs or technological innovation. In the world of eXistenZ, the game has become flesh. To put his vision to the screen, Cronenberg assembled a top notch cast of actors. Jennifer Jason Leigh (Single White Female, Rush, The Hudsucker Proxy) plunges deep into her part as Allegra Geller. Jude Law (Shopping, Gattacca) plays her protector, Ted Pikul. Willem Dafoe (Mississippi Burning, Light Sleeper) portrays the greedy Gas and Ian Holm (Alien, Brazil, Naked Lunch) is Kiri Vinokur. They are assisted by Don McKellar (Last Night), Sarah Polley (The Sweet Hereafter) and Christopher Eccleston (Shallow Grave, Jude).