William S. Burroughs 'The Junky's Christmas'

Editor's Note: I need to thank T.L. Bugg from The Lightning Bug's Lair for bringing this morsel of holiday spirit to my attention. If you haven't paid a visit to the Lair before, I'd highly recommend it.

So what do you get when you mix copious amounts of drugs with the traditional spirit of goodwill during Christmas? Some would call it a typical family get together (is that just me?), but surrealist author William S. Burroughs calls it The Junky's Christmas. Directed by Nick Donkin and Melodie McDaniel in 1993, this claymation-animated short is narrated by Burroughs himself and was even produced by none other than Francis Ford Coppola.

Despite this unusual premise, The Junky's Christmas is a surprisingly close parallel of Jesus' immaculate conception (albeit a skewed one at best). Now before I offend anyone's particular religious beliefs by associating baby Jesus with a heroine addict, let me explain the plot a little better. The hard facts are that our main character (the junky) has just been released from police custody and is looking to score his next fix. On his journey he encounters the typical assortment of lowlifes, street urchins, and otherwise shifty acquaintances.

In the end the junky does finally score but is faced with the decision to help another human being in pain or helping himself. I hate spoiling endings, but let's just day that the junky is "rewarded" for his decision. The fate of the junky is left somewhat open-ended (you'll know what I mean), but after the credits roll it's still more uplifting and coherent than ALF's Special Christmas.


  1. Geof said...:

    I love Burroughs (R.I.P.) but never heard about this. Thanks for you and TLB for sharing!

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