Trivia / Naked Lunch

The Film:

  • Box Office Bomb: — Budget, $17-$18 million. Box office, $2,641,357. This film baffled Siskel & Ebert on what to say about it, and its bizarre concept very likely made it hard to succeed.
  • Development Hell: Attempts at filming Naked Lunch have been made, on and off, since the 1960s.
  • Dueling Movies: The film shares a lot of similarities with Kafka, another film released in 1991. This one focused on Franz Kafka instead, and was also a loose adaptation of his overal body of work with the writer's avatar as the protagonist. Both even have Ian Holm in them!
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: The movie has Peter Weller (aka Robocop) as Lee, Nicholas Campbell (aka Dominic Da Vinci) as the Kerouac standin, Roy Scheider as Benway, and Ian Holm, Robert Silverman, and Julian Sands in other roles.
    • The special effects were done by Jamie Hyneman's M5 studios years before he would become a household name on Mythbusters. The Mugwump puppet can be seen in the studio occasionally during the show.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: The Mugwumps and the Typewriters in the film all sound a lot like Burroughs.

The Book:

  • Deleted Scene: The Restored Text edition of Naked Lunch contains an appendix that collects some material omitted from the original version of the novel, most memorably the conclusion to Carl's examination by Dr. Benway.
  • What Could Have Been: At one point, Frank Zappa approached Burroughs with the idea of adapting the novel as a musical - an idea that Burroughs quite liked.