Production: UK, c.1964-72
Creators: Antony Balch & Brion Gysin
Category: Unfilmed Project
Around 1964, Antony Balch and Brion Gysin made the first draft of a film script based on William S. Burroughs’ novel Naked Lunch. Over subsequent years the script underwent several revisions, with text by Gysin and storyboards by Balch, until finally, in 1971, they – along with Burroughs – formed a production company specifically to film the project. In Gysin’s story the action mostly takes place in Neverzone, where writer Bill Lee is hiding out after gunning down two narcotics cops, and also includes several routines by the famous Burroughs character Doctor Benway (supposedly to be played by Groucho Marx). Also involved are a pop act who incorporate live hangings in their show, as well as a murder-film which provokes auto-erotic suicide in its audience. Despite interest from Mick Jagger, the film never got made, and it would be 20 years until David Cronenberg finally produced his own vision of the book.
OPUS NO. 5
Production: USA, 1961
Director: Lloyd Michael Williams
A drunk wakes up by the riverside and experiences an incredible cavalcade of infernal imagery, including burning tombstones, animated beast-skulls, and the very eyes of Satan. Stop-motion animation and superimpositions help compound the hallucinogenic effect.
Production: USA, 1967
Director: Willard Maas
Only fragments survive of this infamous underground film project based on the life of St. Theresa of Avila. Maas himself plays the Devil at a wild, masked sexual orgy. All actors were required to drop LSD before filming commenced.
Posted by Captain Nightshade