Bluray Review: THE HUNGER (1983)

hungerCombining the sensual approach to vampirism with the angle of treating it like a drug addiction, Tony Scott’s 1983 film THE HUNGER is now availble on Bluray, giving fans both new and old a chance to see one of the best vampire films of all time in HD. While somewhat bare when it comes to supplemental material, it’s still very much a film you should look for, if you haven’t seen it before.

Revolving around Miriam and John Blaylock (Catherine Denevue and David Bowie), a vampire couple, who spends their nights picking up potential victims at goth bars by night (Bauhaus is featured performing in the film’s opening) and living a wealthy lifestyle by day. John has been Miriam’s partner for hundreds and hundreds of years, and soon finds himself, like many of Miriam’s former companions, suddenly not sleeping and aging quite rapidly.Trying to stop the aging, John visits Sarah Roberts Susan Sarandon), a doctor who is studying a special rapid growth in primates and is trying to crack the code to stopping it.While Sarah initially dismisses John as a phony, she sees himage dramatically just in the time of waiting for her, leading her to search for himand causing her to run into Miriam.

Right from the beginning, as a viewer, you know that THE HUNGER isn’t your typical vampire film, it’s shot and edited very interestingly, with the film going and forth between characters, each doing things that almost run parralel to the other. This approach turned quite a few people off inititally, but it’s such a fun and sexy take on the vampire lore, that it only adds to the effect.

Another element to the film that was daring and quite bold for its time, is the bisexuality of Miriam and Sara, with the latter being seduced by the former. The film never comes off exploitative, in fact, it comes off very sensual and sexy. Sarah is drawn to Miriam and though Miriam’s devotion is to Bowie’s John character, she knows, like her former partners throughout the ages, he will continue to age until there isn’t much left of him. It pains Miriam to know what willbecomes of John,and instead of telling him the complete truth, she does her best to keephimand calm and feel loved, in between slashing throats with a small blade for blood.

It’s obvious that THE HUNGER is very much a Tony Scott film, from the beautifully shot scenery and that almost smokey-like feeling you get from watching the talented director’s other work. It’s such a very interesting film, unlike any other take on the vampire mythology, and boasts VERY good performances from Denevue, Sarandon and especially Bowie, who shines as not only the handsome, younger version of John Blaylock, but also as a very old version, which displays some EPIC makeup work from FX legend Dick Smith.

While the film strays quite a bit from the Whitley Strieber novel in which it’s based on, THE HUNGER is easily one of the most underrated and overlooked vampire films of all time, its beautiful cinematography, great performances and genius work by Tony Scott makes it one of the blood sucker films ever committed to film.

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