Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Two very different vampire movies, part two: The Hunger (Tony Scott, 1983)

If there's another vampire movie as diametrically opposed to 30 Days of Night as The Hunger, I'd like to see it. Whereas the vampires in David Slade's movie are animalistic, hungry predators, Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie are chic, totally representative 80s predators. In fact, when I think about Euro-chic, Deneuve and Bowie are the first two that come to mind. They play Miriam and John, two vampires (although the word is never spoken) who have been together for hundreds of years. When John suddenly begins to age quickly, Miriam needs a new companion, and chooses Sarah (Susan Sarandon), a doctor who is doing research on anti-aging techniques, and whome John and Miriam both help can find a "cure" to John's problem.

My favorite thing about The Hunger is the way it reimagines the vampire myth; Miriam is a "true" vampire, who shares her blood with her lovers in order to gain a companion for the next few hundred years. Vampirism is a virus in the film; one scene shows doctors inspecting Sarah's infected blood, and two strains (one human, the stronger non-human) are fighting for dominance in Sarah's body. Miriam infects a lover, who them stays young and vampiristic for about 200 years (John, it seems, was recruited before the French Revolution), but then, they deteriorate rapidly; John ages from about 30 to over 100 in 24 hours. The catch is that none of the lovers die, no matter how old they become, they can still sense and feel and live. Miriam keeps her zombie-like former companions in coffins (ha!) in her attic, they are literally her secrets in the attic. This is never revealed by Miriam to her companions, and it (literally) comes back to haunt her.

The film is made up of shadows and light; sometimes, the film is so black that it's hard to tell what's happening. This movie is probably a cornerstone of Goth culture: from Bauhaus' opening performance and the couple's seduction of young punks to the distinctly Eurotrash vibe Miriam and John give out to the Ankh necklaces they use to slit their victims' throats, this film embodies everything that has come to be typical of goths. The dialogue can be cartoony and unbelievable at times, but the visual experimentation makes up for that. There's not nearly enough David Bowie in the movie, and the ending doesn't make much sense; not surprisingly, the studio wanted a more traditional ending where the "bad guy" is punished, which both Scott and Sarandon, in the commentary, are not pleased about. However, if you're looking for a hot vampire-on-Susan Sarandon sex scene (plus some pretty cool effects), The Hunger is for you.


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Comments on "Two very different vampire movies, part two: The Hunger (Tony Scott, 1983)"


Blogger anniemosity said ... (3:23 AM) : 

i've never heard of this movie, but it actually sounds kind of.... fun? that's weird. i may go rent this.


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