Criterion manages to move everything over from their 2-disc DVD edition starting with an audio commentary featuring Peter Weller and David Cronenberg. Similar to most early group commentaries from Criterion this one finds the two recorded separately. Cronenberg as usual is very informative on his style, creative choices and is not afraid to explain what is going on, making sense of what is from what book by Burroughs and what is based on Burroughs’ life. Weller also does the same, talking a lot about Burroughs, the novel, and drug addiction, also offering his own thoughts on the meaning of the film. I've never heard Weller on a commentary track before and I'm pleased to say he is a good speaker. After listening to it initially I will say it gave me a better understanding of the film and what Cronenberg was going for. Worth listening to for fans or for those just thoroughly confused by the film.
The remaining supplements are found under the “Supplements” menu. The big one would be the making-of documentary called Naked Making Lunch, which is a 48-minute documentary that appeared on British television. This is easily the best supplement on the disc as it goes fairly in-depth into the making of the film, gathering interviews with the participants, Cronenberg getting the most time, and looking somewhat at the effects, as well as Burroughs' life and the novel Naked Lunch. Everyone clearly states over and over again how impossible it would be to truly adapt the novel (Cronenberg says matter-of-factly a true translation would cost 500-million dollars and be banned in every country in the world) so the film does veer, but with the approval of Burroughs of course (who did have problems with the reference to him shooting his wife, but eventually accepted it). For those that were at a loss as to what was going on in the film this doc, along with the commentary, will provide some help.
The remaining supplements are a little disappointing, sticking mostly to simple text notes and galleries (though Criterion at least ported these all over, something they don’t always do when upgrading DVD text features to Blu-ray.) Special Effects Gallery provides text, still shots, photos, drawings, and storyboards for various effects throughout the production, including the mugwumps, the various typewriters and other creature effects. It's presented as a gallery that you simply navigate through using your remote.
Film and Design Sketch Gallery presents another stills gallery presenting publicity shots, behind-the-scene photos, sketches, and more. The DVD actually divided this into sections but the Blu-ray presents them all as one gallery.
Criterion then presents a marketing section that presents Fox's marketing plan, which the introductory text states Cronenberg was very impressed with. Here you will find a theatrical trailer (very odd for a major studio to release), 2 TV spots and a 5-minute featurette which lasts 5-minutes. You will also find a B-Roll Montage, which is roughly 3-minutes worth of behind-the-scenes material.
The second best supplement would have to be William S. Burroughs reading segments from his novel. Recorded for an audio book in 1995, there is over an hour worth of stuff here, including the author's "Atrophied Preface". I have never read the book (though have been planning on it for a very long time) so having this is a bit of a treat.
And finally there is a gallery of Photos of William S. Burroughs by Allen Ginsberg. Included are Ginsberg's notes explaining each photo and there is a good sized collection. A rather thoughtful and unique inclusion on Criterion’s part.
Criterion has also included a large 39-page booklet (technically longer than the DVD’s but that has more to do with the fact the booklet is not as tall because it needs to fit the shorter Blu-ray case) that includes essays on the film, Burroughs, Cronenberg and even one by Burroughs himself on Cronenberg.
It still feels a little light on features, a bit of a surprise considering the film and the fact the release could have featured more on Burroughs, like how Criterion included a lot of material on Hunter S. Thompson for their Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas release. But the material on here does make this rather difficult and truly surreal film a little easier to digest. 7/10