David Cronenberg's work is something I often demarcate in terms of pre-Fly and post-Fly. I know many regard his later, more adult oriented films some of his best, I prefer his earlier low budget sci fi horror films, because they always seemed to have more going on under the surface.
eXistenz plays alot like a follow up to Videodrome. Media-as-God, flesh becoming media, mutation, transformation, body horror.. all of it's here, but eXistenZ is a much quiter meditation on media culture than Videdrome. It's almost more like a haiku, in that there is no real plot revelation at any point. The elements of paranoia, sex, penetration, and world-rotting from within are all fixed, and continue through every scene.
It is ironic to note that the film looks at virtual reality through the lens of adventure games, which were pretty much dead in the water in 1999 when the film came out. In fact, it was first person shooters that drove the technology forward during that time, not just in terms of graphics, but in terms of redesigning game controls to streamline the experience.
I have a feeling if Cronenberg had waited another few years to make eXistenZ, it would have been very different, if he had even made it at all.
One of my favorite Howard Shore soundtracks.
Hi-Def note: no remastering. Not a terrible transfer, but not a great one, either. Very muted color and rather dark in many scenes, also some noticeable dirt and speckles throughout.