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  • "The Hunger" opens with the by now familiar Goth anthem "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus. Not a bad way to open a vampire film, though nowadays it would seem almost a parody. "Undead undead undead" indeed. Enter Cathy and Bowie into a slick, sleek, neon nightclub, filled to the rafters with post-punks & pre-Goths playing dead. Too bad they weren't as ready for the real thing as they thought they were. You see, Cathy and Bowie are vampires.

    This is a visually stunning film, making up for in effects what it sometimes lacks in coherence. It seems that lovely, immortal Cathy, called Miriam, is a vampire queen who has been around since the Sphinx was built, apparently. Bowie is her consort, a once mortal man whose two hundred-odd year lifespan is suddenly winding down at a frighteningly rapid rate. Desperate to find a cure, he seeks out scientist Susan Sarandon, who at first disbelieves Bowie's claims, but is soon convinced when the young and handsomely androgynous man suddenly ages over the course of a few hours time into a decrepit ruin. Miriam, who has had countless lovers over the centuries, gives Bowie the heave-ho and turns her attention to lovely young Sarandon. But Sarandon, though initially easy to seduce (in an erotic lesbian scene) proves to have a will stronger than Miriam's, and Miriam's habit of keeping her collection of ex-lovers cadavers close at hand, proves to be a mistake.

    This is a strange film, almost as cold and dispassionate as one might well imagine a vampire to be. It seems to hold the viewer at arms length, not allowing them to experience the emotions of the characters...but the characters, for the most part, are severely lacking in emotion anyway, so the stark emptiness of the film becomes a brilliant mirror. Some vampire enthusiasts might find this boring and confusing, but it's a good effort and not a total loss.

    The three main characters are worth watching simply for their amazing beauty and grace. Tony Scott (brother of Ridley) has made a nice, if somewhat bizarre and chilling, work of art here and, like most works of art, it's up for interpretation.
  • For all the critics have to say, I must admit that this is one of my cult favorites. I keenly remember anticipating its release and seeing it at the 8th St. Playhouse theatre (where the weekly Rocky Horror movie/show ran for years in NYC). The mood and cinematography attest to its aspirations and for me are quite successful. In particular, the choice of soundtrack music is quite adept and urbane although only those very familiar with classical music will appreciate the tie-ins: Deneuve's playing of Ravel's "Gibet" from "Gaspard de la Nuit" for piano after John passes and after Sarandon's character makes her first kill...her husband. This piece is Ravel's programmatic interpretation of a French poem which describes a person wearily walking under the intense scorching sun and seeing something in the distance, approaches, only to find a corpse strung up, rotting in the midday sun. Beautiful usage of Schubert's Piano Trio as well as haunting movements of a Schubert piano sonata. Then there is the obvious thematic tie-in with "Lakmé" by Délibes. (Lesbian love) And you've got to love the use of the band BAUHAUS in the opening sequence-with the lead singer singing "Bela Lugosi's Dead" in the suspended cage. Deneuve is absolutely ravishing and used to great effect and lovingly photographed. David Bowie does an exceptional turn as her lover. What I admire most is the movie's ability to paint a feeling and mood of their existence outside time, eternally present yet eternally on the fringe, startlingly beautiful yet shrouded, veiled, amorphous and ultimately predatorial. Finally, the thought that Deneuve's past lovers never die but are trapped eternally in a constantly decaying shell is absolutely frightening. Did I mention that Deneuve is sublimely beautiful?!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In New York City, the lovers Miriam Blaylock (Catherine Deneuve) and John (David Bowie) are vampires that survive through time under the Egyptian symbol of Ankh. When John starts an accelerated aging process, he seeks the specialist Dr. Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon). However, he does not survive, and Miriam selects Sarah to be her next lover.

    "The Hunger" is one of the best vampire movies ever made. I recall when I saw this movie for the first time, in an art cinema in Rio de Janeiro, and later at least three times on VHS. Now on DVD, this stylish film improves with the fantastic melancholic and artistic atmosphere, with a magnificent music score and wonderful cinematography. This movie is totally underrated in IMDb since it is one of the most beautiful vampire movies ever made, actually a masterpiece of the genre. Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie and Susan Sarandon have overwhelming performances in this unforgettable movie. The remarkable scene of the lesbian love of Miriam and Sarah is among the most erotic in the cinema history, never being vulgar. My vote is nine.

    Title (Brazil): "Fome de Viver" ("Hunger for Living")
  • Oggz25 September 2006
    Before embarking onto this one, you must decide whether or not you enjoy films which look like a very extended (and quite expensive) MTV video clip of the early to mid 80's. If you don't, don't bother with this, it'll probably annoy you greatly. If you do, you're in for an indulgent visual ride and great entertainment, because every frame in Tony Scott's cult classic is carefully planned, beautifully orchestrated and wonderfully filmed - from the iconic opening sequence through to the heavily filtered last shot, it's polished until it gleams. Production design is given full reign and is faultless - the sets, lighting and costumes work fabulously with the soundtrack and the editing, creating a very recognisable style which is a genuine product of the trend aesthetics of the decade in question. And there's an added bonus of knowing use of music - this being the film that "relaunched" the Delibes' Lakme aria, paving the way for it becoming a monster classipop hit it is today. The film also employs Ravel at his most frozenly emotional,and, to stunning effect, Deneuve at arguably her most frozenly beautiful. One of those films remembered for perfectly encapsulating the visual style of its times.
  • "The Hunger"(1983)by Tony Scott is a stylish vampire flick filled with some wonderful visuals.The film is excellently acted-a stunningly beautiful Catherine Deneuve is truly memorable as Miriam-an ageless vampire and former Egyptian queen.There is plenty of blood and vampire lesbian sex,so everyone who is into horror films or Goth music should see this cult flick.The opening scene with Bauhaus playing "Bela Lugosi is Dead" is priceless!
  • A film with lots of style, beautifully shot, almost like a dream. This must be Tony Scott's best film to date, why do you ask? The director shows vision, not only in its visual medium but the editing, the music, the production design, the classical costumes and the chance to work with some talent.

    David Bowie is very good, almost perfect for his part and Catherine steals the whole film. Susan Sarandon is also very good, the infamous Lesbian scenes are highly erotic and also very artistic.

    This film isn't your usual Vamp movie, the film adds depth to these so-called Vampires.

    The film probably required a bit more plot but nevertheless, this is all about style, this film looks fantastic.

    Do not watch this in pan and scan, make sure you see it in widescreen because the director and cinematographer make full use of the panavision width.
  • josepaulo29 May 2002
    Perhaps the first movie to explore the join and pain of being a vampire and, most importantly, what it means to be immortal. Excellent soundtrack, photography and cast. Not the usual vampire film, it's beautiful and philosophical. I'd say it is even better than "Interview with the vampire" (also a great film).
  • Dream-like horror

    Whitley Streiber's highly suspenseful and thematically rich novel is transformed into something entirely different by Tony Scott.

    The film is a dream-like arthouse horror pic with diamond-studded production values.

    Catherine Deneuve is very, very good as eternal blood drinker Miriam Blaylock. Although it has never been acknowledged (as far as I know), the look and behavior of her screen character is a "re-imagining" of Delphine Seyrig's peerless vampire Countess Bathory from Harry Kummel's 1971 classic DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS.

    David Bowie is superb as Deneve's not-so-immortal beloved and convinces us to emphasize with his condition (he is aging rapidly)

    This was Tony Scott's first feature and it is a beautiful piece of work that is rich in texture and design and demonstrates adroit control of cinematic craft.

    The sound design and rich catalog of music cues are pitch perfect.

    Certainly bearing little resemblance to Streiber's novel (just as Michael Wadleigh's WOLFEN also moved away from same author's source), THE HUNGER is, nevertheless, gorgeous art.
  • Warning: Spoilers

    "The Hunger" is a difficult film to categorize. On the one hand, it's great because of the stunning cinematography and the performances by the actors. On the other, there is a noticeable lack of a coherent story here. Unless you have read the novel by Whitley Streiber, you may find it difficult to understand what is going on. Furthermore, the film jettisons the entire concept by tacking on an inexplicable ending that defies the story's own sense of self-contained logic.

    The plot involves an ageless vampire, currently under the personage of Miriam Blaylock. She is immortal and, out of loneliness and the desire to love, she develops the ability to turn humans into companions that seem to share her immortality. The problem is, eventually their bodies give out after a couple hundred years and they begin to age rapidly. This is the problem with Miriam's current lover, John. Adding to the horror is the fact that although her lovers are emaciated and crumbling, they cannot truly die and are sealed into coffins, forever hungry. Miriam keeps the coffins with her wherever she goes, although the film never really decides why. Is it out of her love for them? Or guilt over what she's done to them? Or is she simply afraid of being found out?

    The film seems faithful at times, abbreviated at others. In the novel, Miriam was not human, but rather a member of a race of humanoid creatures that Whitley Streiber suggested were the truth behind the vampire legend. Miriam clung desperately to her own life because, although she could live forever, she could also die if she lost a significant amount of blood, and lived her life in fear of dying.

    In the film, these weighty subjects are glossed over in favor of dreamlike imagery, which is actually a fair trade to certain degree. Catherine Deneuve is certainly a stunningly beautiful woman, and David Bowie is perfect as her currently disintegrating partner. Susan Sarandon gives a typically engaging performance as Sarah, the new object of Miriam's affection.

    The problem is that the movie doesn't seem to have time to explore the deeper meanings behind the motivation of the characters. Miriam comes off as beautiful but empty because we aren't really given a clue as to what she really is. Whitley Strieber's conception of "vampirism" is quite different from the traditional one, yet the movie doesn't define it for the viewer, so there could be some confusion about the contradictions that seem to arise (Why can the vampires come out during the daylight? Why don't they have fangs? Why are Miriam's lovers wasting away when she isn't?). Miriam's past is only vaguely hinted at in fleeting images, most notably her memory of an ages-old lover making a first killing out of an Egyptian slave.

    However, the film's biggest weakness is not the Playboy-style lesbian scene between Sarandon and Deneuve, but rather the confusing ending. Somehow it appears as if Sarah has usurped Miriam's position as the "queen" vampire, which is impossible in the context of the original novel. There was no way Sarah could have become what Miriam was, so the movie seems to be suggesting something else was going on here.

    On the positive side, there are a number of great actors in this cast, even other than Deneuve, Sarandon, and Bowie. Cliff De Young is good as Sarah's lover, Tom, and there is a memorable performance by Beth Ehler as Alice, a young girl who studies music with Miriam and John. Dan Hedaya is always a pleasure.

    What Tony Scott sacrifices in plot here, he makes up for in style. The narrative is carried by the visuals of the film as much as the script, and he makes excellent use of the classical music in the soundtrack. Today it is not uncommon for a film to run more than two hours long, and "The Hunger" could have been much, much better if Scott had been given full reign to flesh out Whitley Streiber's original concept.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The plot of this movie is somewhat thin throughout, you got a nearly eternal vampire who takes lovers to whom she promises eternal life. Her promise is illusory. Eventually she comes to her own end, although it is not clear exactly why or how. We see the actual "how" but it seems a very easy/simple end to a cunning and eternal being. I assume she comes to her end out of the the enmity of the others caused by the promise of eternal life that is not quite what they thought it was.

    We learn from the story of John of Miriam's past lovers who never actually die, they just aged rapidly and were stored in coffin-like boxes upstairs in Miriam's NYC Townhouse. Suddenly John and the others get out of their boxes and force Miriam over the side of a stairwell, where she falls to her apparent death and rapid transformation to an aged corpse.

    The movie leaves unexplained how these weak, previously boxed up vampire-lovers suddenly get out of their boxes and unite against Miriam. Also left unexplained: A) Why Miriam loses control over the former lovers, falls and dies at their hands--how can this happen? B) There are all these birds in the top level of this apartment. What do they symbolize? What purpose or role do they play in the movie? Why isn't there bird guano all over the top floor of this house? C) Why and how does Sarah (Susan Sarandon) apparently take Miriam's place after her death? I mean, why was Miriam not replaced by John (David Bowie) or one of the others? D)Why is it that the other aged lovers appear to disintegrate in death before our eyes, but Susan Sarandon shows up in the final scene, apparently the new eternal vampire replacing Miriam. Why does she survive? E) Susan Sarandon apparently commits suicide in Miriam's embrace, however, when David Bowie asks Miriam to kill him, she tells him that it cannot happen, that he's eternal. So there is an apparent inconsistency here. Why can one commit suicide but the other not die?

    This movie needed a lot more detail filled in to make its end comprehensible to the viewer and it needed some critical details to be consistent.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Hey! Like, what in the name of Count Chocula is going on here!?...... Why is it that modern-day movie-vampires are such messy buggers?? They are. When it comes to their favourite drink, Blood-Thick Slurpees, they splatter and spill the stuff around, all over the place, like it was going out of style.

    Take The Blaylocks (that's the oh-so-refined Bowie/Deneuve vampire team), for example, they get more blood on the walls and on the floor than they ever do in their mouths. I'm not kidding. And half the time they can't even get it into their own mouths at all. Most of it ends up dribbling down their chins and onto the fronts of their very fashionable frocks. (tsk. tsk) I'm tellin' ya - Vogue magazine would never approve of this. Never.

    The Blaylocks are total mess-cats when it comes to cadaver snacks and full-meal-deals. And not only that, but they are unbelievably reckless and, yes, stupid, too. When these ultra-chic bloodsuckers are finished with their feed for the night they actually haul the torn and chewed up scraps of their dinner down to their cellar and (get this) burn it up in their very own incinerator.

    I don't know about you, but I'd say that this is none too bright. After all their trendy townhouse is situated right in the centre of a New York City neighbourhood. And unless the locals there have all lost their ability to smell, the stench and smoke caused by the burning of flesh, surely must have 1 or 2 folks around the hood wondering about The Blaylocks' barbecue specials. But the strange thing is, no one ever complains, or anything. I don't get it.

    In the good, ol' days of movie-vampires (pre-1950's) The Count, Nosferatu and all their assorted cronies always seemed to be so careful whenever they drained a victim of their life-blood. It's true. You rarely ever saw even a trickle of blood run down a vampire's chin or drip from their victim's neck wound. It seemed back in Hollywood's hey-day that these movie-vampires meant business and sucked the body dry. Yeah,'Good To The Last Drop' was their motto, I'm sure. Everything was so clean and easy back then.

    But these hip-cat movie-vampires of today let the blood fly everywhere, making big, bloody messes from one end of their fashionable condo to the other. What in the world are vampires coming to? And not only that, but Miriam (Mrs. Blaylock) has a neurotic habit of not letting go of her previous lovers. So, whenever she moves from place to place she, literally, lugs around a dozen god-damn coffins that contain the remains of these dried-up deceived ones who she had promised 'forever' to. If a pile of coffins isn't the sort of thing that will draw attention and suspicion to this particular vampire's undead activities, I don't know what will.

    But Miriam is also big on betrayal and even before her present lover has actually set foot inside his own box she's out shopping for a replacement. She likes to pretend that this isn't so, but she's no fool and, besides, she is utterly repulsed by the touch of old, wrinkled flesh. Who isn't, baby?

    I have to give Miriam credit for her latest choice for a lover. Sarah (Sarandon) is actually kind of hot, (as opposed to the scrawny Bowie) but on top of that she really seems to have a brain in her head. At present Sarah's working at a clinic and researching the connection between sleep and ageing. This could well prove to be worthwhile research. And I suspect this is one of the reasons why Miriam chose Sarah. Miriam, I'm sure, has very strong desires to slow down her own ageing even more. And maybe Sarah's knowledge is the key to an answer.

    But as vampire-lovers these two high-fashion females are doomed. Domination is their downfall. One must rule. One must die. Who that is to be all comes down to the one with the more cunning mind. Who that turns out to be will certainly be of no surprise to anyone, I'm sure.

    Anyways - From a visual point of view 'The Hunger' is a very impressive film to look at and admire. Lots of moody lighting and stylish sets give it an above average look for a mere vampire flick. Director, Tony Scott (Ridley's brother), does a fine job of setting a even pace in the film's story line. And the gore will satisfy any fan of horror movies, in particular the final confrontation between Miriam and all her long-dead and dehydrated lovers. This girl certainly wasn't idle for a minute. And now the mummified lovers are all coming back to 'thank' her for her loyalty. (Tee-Hee)
  • The film talks about Catherine Deneuve ,she's a seductive vampire living along centuries with David Bowie.They need fresh blood for the eternal life .But Bowie is about to disintegrate and is substituted by a new lover,an enticing scientific-medic ,Susan Sarandon.

    The picture is a bizarre bloodsuckers film and for somebody considered with a cult movie's status.It displays luxurious scenarios,arty photography although mostly developed on interior studios.The French actress Catherine Deneuve,as always, is cold and elegant.David Bowie as young and older vampire in an exciting transformation is well.Susan Sarandon as an obstinate scientist is good.Features known secondary actors, Dan Hedaya as a Police Inspector and Cliff DeYoung as Sarandon's lover. Besides future famous actors in small roles, almost extras, as Willem Dafoe,Anne Magnuson,John Pankow and English actors as Sophie Ward and Philip Sayer.The creepy sequences by stop motion referred to an aging monkey are made by Dave Allen.Splendid cinematography reflecting luxuriously sets and scenarios by Stephen Goldblatt.Stylish,elegant costumes by the expert Milena Canonero and wardrobe department and gowns of Catherine Deneuve by the famous French fashion designer Ives Saint-Laurent. The movie is classified by the MPAA with the rating R for blood,violence,gore and kinky nudism.The motion picture is well realized by Tony Scott though a little slow-moving and quite boring.He's nowadays much success and getting high box-office with hits like : ¨Crimson tide, Enemy of state,Spy game,Man of fire and Deja Vu¨ and founded along with his brother Ridley, ¨Scott-Free Production¨.
  • Some advice for those who are planning to watch this film: First of all, this is definitely not your regular cup of tea. I don't love this film and I haven't seen many who do. My advice is, don't go and set aside the time for this piece. It's rather interesting to watch once, but if you have better things to do, do them!

    The movie uses a lot of visual effects and sounds to create a spooky, vampiry atmosphere. While the blue theme and the whole dark setting works quite well and the outcome is quite impressive, some people would say that the method is too slow or frustrating. Just keep in mind that this is a visual film. Don't expect too much dialogue, but remember to listen carefully to the things that are said, especially to Miriam (Deneuve). Otherwise you might miss some points and end up in a confused state.

    As for the acting, David Bowie is remarkable in his little part, Catherine Deneuve is all class and beauty, and Susan Sarandon has some good scenes. If you're seeking to watch this movie solely because you want to see one of these actors (like I did), you probably won't regret it. But what will get your attention is all the fantasy about how the vampire life works in this story. There are some illogical and not too well thought out theories playing at hand, but when you're watching any fantasy movie, you have to let your imagination take over.

    Personally, I think this movie is more fantasy and drama than horror or romance. The whole vampire idea will get your attention because of its relatively novel qualities, but the story is also about a vampiress and her tragic love affairs. I suppose the movie doesn't explore too much into this area. It would've been better if they had. For those who're interested, I recommend the book by Whitley Strieber, which does a better job of explaining things.
  • I just watched this film again for the first time in maybe 15 or 20 years and I did forget how slow moving this film is. I don't mind a film taking its time to tell a story but there are so many scenes where nothing happens and the characters are just staring at one another. Lots of style and beautiful cinematography and great sets really set the gothic mood in a contemporary setting. But while all this looks great there really is not much in the way of characterization. Film could have benefited from that. The make-up is terrific as we watch David Bowie age in a short time. For you trivia buffs they're are some recognizable actors in small roles like Willem Dafoe, John Pankow, Ann Magnuson and Jane Leeves. Not a bad film. Well made technically and some effective music but little characterization. A real curio.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Possible Spoilers

    John and Miriam Blaylock are a wealthy young New York vampire couple. Yes, I know that vampires are more traditionally associated with Eastern Europe, but this is the early eighties, the yuppie years of the Reagan-Thatcher era, when even the undead have abandoned their crumbling old Transylvanian castles and joined the beautiful people in their Manhattan penthouses. Here John and Miriam can enjoy all the benefits of the yuppie vampire lifestyle- a beautiful apartment, exquisite furniture, passionate lovemaking, performing classical music with their teenage friend Alice and the seeming ability to murder disco goers to drink their blood without ever arousing the suspicion of the police.

    Did I say John and Miriam were young? I had better qualify that somewhat. John is actually over two hundred years old, and Miriam is even older- in fact, she is immortal and ageless. John, however, is not. He is not a vampire born and bred, but a human being converted to vampirism by Miriam. This causes one problem. Although such converted humans have a lifespan way beyond the normal threescore years and ten, they are not immortal, and after reaching a certain point start to age rapidly, whereupon they start to decompose into a sort of living corpse. (Miriam keeps all her previous lovers in their coffins in her flat). This starts happening to John in the course of the film, and he doesn't like it. He consults Sarah, a scientist specialising in research into the ageing process, in a vain search for a cure. He kills Alice after learning that Miriam is planning to take her as her next lover (the modern vampire chick swings both ways), although it is not clear why he does so. (Bloodlust? Jealousy? The thought that this is the only way he can save Alice from a fate worse than death? Or (given that the actress who plays Alice was only fifteen at the time) the thought that this is the only way he can save the film from the fate of being condemned as kiddie porn?

    In the event, Sarah calls at the Blaylock apartment, thinking that John will make an interesting subject for her research, but ends up being seduced by Miriam, who is hoping to convert Sarah to both vampirism and lesbianism. Cue the famous love scene between Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon, followed by an ending that makes very little sense, even by comparison with what has gone before.

    " 'The Hunger' is a mood, a look, an ambience created by Tony Scott. It is the lighting of Stephen Goldblatt, it is the production design of Brian Morris, it is the clothes created by Milena Canonero". This quote from the publicity material for the film- taken from `Halliwell's Film Guide'- makes interesting reading and indicates that, although the film may not have many intellectual pretensions, it seems to have aesthetic ones. Those who made it clearly had an ambition for it to become some sort of arthouse classic. The look of the film is certainly unusual. Whereas most vampire films (and horror films in general) have an atmosphere of darkness and gloom, `The Hunger' is frequently light and airy, accompanied by soaring classical music rather than the spooky chords normally associated with films of this type. The lesbian scene is a case in point. This is, in fact, surprisingly tender and erotic, with effective use of background music. Today Delibes's `Flower Duet' from `Lakme' is a familiar piece- possibly over-familiar from its repeated use in TV commercials. In 1983, however, it was still relatively unfamiliar (at least it was to me), and its ethereal, otherworldly quality seemed strangely appropriate in this context.

    The reviewer who compared this film with `Flashdance', another film from the early eighties, may have had a point, despite the very different subject matter of the two films; both clearly bear the hallmarks of the pop videos of the period. `The Hunger', however, lacks completely the joie de vivre which is the main redeeming feature of the other film. Despite the look of the film, it revels in death and decay in a way that is more reminiscent of the Decadent movement of the 1890s than of anything else from the 1980s. A film can have elegant artistic touches and beautiful music on the soundtrack and still be deeply unpleasant and sadistic as well as deeply silly. `The Hunger' is such a film. It falls a long way short of its ambition to be an arthouse classic; at most, it is a cult movie for those with decadent tastes. 4/10.
  • Vastly underrated, but it's easily the best vampire film. Seems to be regarded as some kind of a trashy lesbian story, with a little bit of horror and gore thrown in for good measure; well, that's nonsense. These critics would have us believe that some silly Dracula film from the 30s is a masterpiece while this original approach to vampirism is a cheap, exploitative, erotic tale. The film is visually terrific, very atmospheric, has a good cast (Sarandon is excellent), and a superb soundtrack. Sarandon and Deneuve naked in bed is not exactly a deterrent, either. The last scene - a combination of visuals and music, is the absolute highlight of the film. If you'd like to read my parody/biography of Susan Sarandon (and other Hollywood intellectuals), contact me by e-mail.
  • MinneapolisJane15 February 2005
    I came across "The Hunger" while searching movies on the database of my local library. Seeing that it starred Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, and Susan Sarandon, I immediately checked it out. Big mistake. This film was a waste of time. I think that the only people who would really be fans of the movie would be those who enjoy the "shocking" scenes of lesbian lust. Even though the film is relatively short, it seemed much longer due to some of the extended shots of birds fluttering, fabric blowing, etc. The movie was in no way scary, as a true horror film should be, nor was it enlightening or entertaining in any other way. "Thumbs down" from me.
  • Scarecrow-889 August 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    If not for David Bowie's short but strong performance, some good aging make-up effects, three beautiful leads the camera adores, and a token lesbian sequence between major actresses you'd normally not see partaking in this sort of thing(Scott's lone accomplishment in this film, because it's sure not the terrible editing job) this hunk of smutty bile, director Scott would hope you'd find a stylish vampire tale, would be less of a discussed cult item. Scott tries to pass this thing off as an erotic European type of vampire horror cinema, but all the doves, windy see-through flowing curtains, and blood trickling in specific arty shapes down skin, can not salvage no content in story or plot. A terrible film.

    Oh, the synopsis, or lack there of..a vampire femme,Miriam(the lovely Catherine Deneuve who brings little depth to this character..perhaps the script provided little chance to do so) from Egypt with her pendant always hanging from the neck, watches as her chosen lover John(David Bowie)is beginning to rapidly age with no stop in sight. She wishes to put him away up stairs in a casket letting him realize that the whole "you'll live forever" has it's disadvantages. We also see that other caskets join him as she fondly speaks to each love personally. Her next conquest id Dr. Sarah Roberts(Susan Sarandon)whose field of study is immortality..or slowing the aging process down using primates dying of a rare aging disease as guinea pigs. The film shows how Sarah succumbs to Miriam's cold advances(one of many failures..this supposed bond comes off unsuccessfully because Scott doesn't allow the plot to grow;they meet and have sex without much room for small-talk)and faces "the hunger"..that yearning for blood that drives the vampire. Cliff De Young portrays Sarandon's lover and colleague at the government funded institute they work.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Except for a killer opening scene with Bauhaus performing "Bela Lugosi's Dead" and a brief, yet tastefully shot, lesbian scene between Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon, THE HUNGER has little to offer. Deneuve plays an ageless vampire currently enamored with teddy boy David Bowie. Bowie, who's about to expire --- and does so via some great Dick Smith old-age make-up --- is terrific but not on screen all that much. Deneuve plans on replacing him with Sarandon, a specialist on aging. Ah, IRONY!

    As a horror movie, THE HUNGER is not scary. As a thriller, it's deadly dull. Director Tony Scott fills virtually every scene with dry ice making this one of the dustiest movies imaginable.
  • Not much to say really. Deneuve and Bowie are posh vampires, the latter is dying so they try to get help from scientist Sarandon. At least that's what I think it was about.

    After a while it gets horribly pretentious, ignoring plot or character development in favour of curtains blowing in the wind accompanied by piano music. At least half of the film appears to have been filmed in slow motion, or maybe it's just that the actors sleepwalk through the length of the film. Those brave enough to sit through the whole thing will be rewarded with an ending that must have been some stock footage from an episode of Tales from the Crypt.

    Is there any reason to see The Hunger? Perhaps if you're desperate to get some sleep, or if you fancy some brief moments of lesbian vampire action. Other than that, it's pretty pointless. [1/10]
  • Egyptian vampire lady Miriam Blaylock (Catherine Deneuve) is about to rid herself of her present lover John (David Bowie) like so many others before him. He is rapidly aging and falling apart. In desperation, he seeks the help of famous Dr. Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon) and her boyfriend Tom (Cliff De Young) who are researching rapid aging in primates.

    This movie is filled with good moody atmosphere and interesting style. However the story moves so slowly with Bowie trudging along as an old man. One could really fall asleep watching this. It is truly shocking that action director Tony Scott made this. Maybe he learned what not to do from this movie. But it does look good.
  • ags12310 November 2006
    Time may be irrelevant to vampires, who suffer none of its ravages, but it hasn't been kind to this film, which has dated badly and isn't worth two hours of our mortal time. Depending too heavily on style over substance, "The Hunger" now looks terribly self-conscious. There's far too much smoking going on, an affectation that's no longer cool (and really wasn't by 1983 either). It's one thing for the vampires to smoke (it won't kill them) but Susan Sarandon and the other doctors should be somewhat more enlightened. You can just smell the stench of tobacco in every scene. Even the prospect of feasting your eyes on Catherine Deneuve for two hours is undermined by the harsh, unflattering photography. The plot is slow going and ultimately unrewarding. On the plus side, the soundtrack is an excellent mixture of classical music and new compositions that set a somber mood. This film may still appeal to certain tastes, others will find it self-indulgent.
  • tedg26 November 2002
    Warning: Spoilers
    Spoilers herein.

    I'm looking at a lot of vampire movies these days. I'm discovering an amazing number of the better ones feature redheads.

    One has to trudge through junk by hacks like Carpenter, but we do have some high spots. I like Tony Scott's approach to film: lots of flash, lush sets, energetic camera, lack of concern for character depth. This is his first real film and he shows real passion; it as if he were possessed by the blood himself. I am not a fan of either Sarandon, Deneuve or Bowie and think their handling here -- as props -- is about right. None of them understand how to place themselves in several perspectives at once.

    The thing I like about this, despite all its immaturity, and the annoying directness of the actors is the direct relationship among the vampirism, the lust, the sex, and the lush eye.

    Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 4: Has some interesting elements.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Why anyone would like this is a mystery. There is no plot. It is nonsensical. It had nothing at all going for it, unless you're into gaping plot holes, gratuitous sexual activity, and cigarettes scattered in place of plot. The entire movie revolves around filming cigarette ends, people smoking them, very unpretty aging actresses in pancake makeup and blood red lipstick and cigarette smoke as if that makes them sexually appealing, and very unpretty actors ditto without the makeup.

    Whoever did the casting must have been out of their mind to put bowie in this thing...the man never remotely looked decently good, much less good enough for the role.

    The plot holes involve such idiocy as a vampire who slits throats with a pendant, vampires who suddenly age from 30 to 130 in a few days and then lie in coffins looking moldy but not crumbling any further for centuries, the same coffined vampires suddenly for no reason whatsoever attacking the first vampire --why didn't they do this before if they could? who knows! certainly not the writer or director or producer of this turkey, the same coffined vampires crumbling into dust finally after tossing the first vampire over a stairwell, the first vampire thrashing about turning to 130 years old for no reason after being tossed over the stairwell, the latest made-into-a-vampire who cut her own throat and died for real somehow with no explanation actually being alive and having locked up the first one in a coffin of her own.

    The film is billed as stylish and chic. In a pig's eye. Sorry, but filming cigarettes and old heavily made up people in ridiculous clothing smoking, blowing white gauze curtains, sex, gore, and air filled with flour do not constitute style or chic.

    The only thing most people probably watch it for is the explicit lesbian sex scene which is also stupidly done and has absolutely no precedent int he film.
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