WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Miriam Blaylock (Deneuve), a female vampire living in modern day New York, begins her search for a new “lifelong” companion when John (Bowie), her current love of over a hundred years, begins to rapidly age and wither away within a 24-hour period. Miriam fancies a research doctor (Sarandon) who specializes in the aging process, and chooses her as her next lover. An extremely stylish, mature and atmospheric vamp flick is the result.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
There aren’t too many people who have aged as wonderfully as the great French actress Catherine Deneuve has, and in THE HUNGER, she uses her sex appeal with great “oomph!” once more, looking as delectable as she did in BELLE DE JOUR, which was released 16 years prior to this film. She, of course, brings her acting prowess to the film as well, as does the legendary Ziggy Stardust. Why Bowie doesn’t do more films is beyond me...he’s pure lighting on screen. Mark my words, you’ll be in complete awe at the screen presence he commands and the excitement he brings to this movie. Also, I’m usually unimpressed by the aging makeup effects used in movies (A BEAUTIFUL MIND was a joke!) but I guarantee you’ll be bowled over at the job they do on the Thin White Duke in this one – truly remarkable! In fact, the entire cast is on their game, from Susan Sarandon to "Cheers" alum Nick Tortelli (Dan Hedaya) playing a detective. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll be treated to one of the coolest men alive, Willem Dafoe, playing "Phone Booth Youth #2" – ace!
Then, of course, comes the man behind the camera. I was already a die-hard fan of Tony Scott, mostly due to his slam-bang action dramas like TRUE ROMANCE and THE LAST BOYSCOUT, as well his thrillers REVENGE, CRIMSON TIDE and MAN ON FIRE. So I was a little curious how he would handle an intelligent and artsy vampire movie…but handle it well, he did. You can see with this, his first full-length feature film, Scott already had that visual flair and music video mentality that he’d incorporate much more in his later films. This movie is much more subdued than his later work, yes, but not any less gorgeous to look at, or special to experience. The Blaylock’s house is especially striking and not one you’ll soon forget. I might have to look over the list of all the vamp movies I’ve seen again, but I know THE HUNGER is an easy contender as one of my very favorites of the genre...maybe even the best of them all.
Oh, and if you’re as big a fan of the classical piece used throughout TRUE ROMANCE as I am (Acte I, No 2: Duetto "Viens Mallika... Dôme épais le jasmin" from Opéra "Lakmé"), then you’ll be even happier to learn that Scott first made use of it in this film, and quite masterfully I might add. In fact, all the classical pieces in the film just help add to the unique mood of this darkly romantic, original and bloody vampire tale. This film is widely known for its famous and erotic lesbian sex scene, but don’t be fooled, this is a beautiful movie in every sense of the word and definitely not one to be missed...
Audio Commentary by Susan Sarandon and Tony Scott: There is noticeable “dead air” in between their comments and the two artists aren’t speaking together, but it doesn’t make the commentary track any less enlightening. Both Sarandon and Scott are extremely intelligent and well-spoken people and I can guarantee they’ll both keep you tuned in throughout their accounts of their very special experiences while filming THE HUNGER. They’re two very genuine people so I guess that was to be expected…
Still Gallery: Here you’ll find stills of portraits, special shoots, behind the scenes, special make-up effects and international posters. The last international poster is especially cool. An extra any fan should enjoy.
If you’re a fan of the vampire flick genre, then buy this, you will. The same goes for Bowie fans worldwide. Otherwise, this is the perfect rental for a rainy weekend afternoon. Now I’m off to the video store to see what that genius Bowie has in store for me in LABYRINTH and THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH...