A film directed by the late Tony Scott.
Miriam (Catherine Deneuve) is a vampire queen who lures her lovers into the dark side by promising them eternal youth. She is married to John (David Bowie), her companion for the last 200 years. Together they’re set to hunt their midnight pray. When John faces a strange disease which causes him to age rapidly, he convinces Miriam she should focus on finding his replacement. He later on discovers he was misled by his lover promising him of forever and ever… alas, it is forever living, but not forever youth. Sarah (Susan Sarandon)is a doctor who specializes in aging disorders. When John seeks her help he encounters rejection as she believes his mentally ill and doesn’t believe him. Realizing her mistake, she visits John’s house only to find sad Miriam expecting her. Unaware, Sarah is drawn to Miriam’s seductive and poised demeanor and finds herself in a steamy sexual encounter with this “woman”. She soon realizes she is to take John’s place as Miriam’s long-life companion.
I liked The Hunger for a few reasons:
1. I’m into sensual vampiric romances (Dracula, Interview with the Vampire, Only Lovers Left Alive…)
2. The film opens with a live performance by rock band Bauhaus singing “Bella Lugosi’s Dead”. This song is a milestone in the Gothic Rock history and very suitable for this carnivorous scene.
3. Catherine Deneuve is divine in this film, captivating with a classic Grace Kelly look, only cold and voracious.
4. The costumes designed by Milena Canonero, who collaborated also with Stanley Kubrick, are a perfectly stylish fit of the dark pop/ rock vibe of the film. Susan Sarandon’s metallic rain-coat is my favorite piece.
5. And David Bowie OBVIOUSLY!!!
There are, however, some things which have clouded upon my liking:
1. Due to John’s aging condition, his face was covered up to quickly with make-up and we lose sight of Bowie’s presence too soon.
2. The supposed film’s location is rainy New York when in fact it is rainy London only pretending to be rainy New York.
3. The film resembles a long 80’s music video rather than a film (I might move this up to my like list as I love 80’s music videos).
4. The sex scene between Deneuve and Sarandon is a little kitschy and predicted (I have a feeling many of you would disagree…).
5. Susan Sarandon’s make-up makes her look like a groggy rock-star.
I don’t think I would ever call The Hunger a classic. It is a cult film for vampire lovers, no doubt. Tony Scott made a career shift from making advertisements when shooting The Hunger. The film did not receive high praises from critics at the time and the film was considered to be a cinematic failure. What made The Hunger stand out through all those years was, no doubt, its divers and outstanding cast. Having changed small bits of it here and there, I believe Scott could have intensify the plot and immense the film’s success. I highly recommend only if you’re a sworn Bowie fan or a vampire lover or have a fetish for female sex scenes.