A non-traditional vampire film, driven by stylized characters and quietly thrilling moments, 1983’s The Hunger was the sensational directorial debut of director Tony Scott. Opening with one of the most iconic opening sequences is modern horror (cue the Bauhaus…), sharply-dressed couple Miriam (Catherine Deneuve) and John (David Bowie) are on the prowl in an underground nightclub – literally. They hunt together, live together, and have loved each other for hundreds of years. To John, their companionship will be “forever and ever”, as he often professes to his beloved vampire companion – but as the adoration he enjoyed from Miriam begins to wane, so does his agelessness. Desperate to stop his health from continuing to rapidly deteriorate, John seeks out rising scientist Dr. Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon) for help. With John wasting away, Miriam finds herself setting her eyes on Sarah – but will Sarah see through Miriam’s seemingly innocent passes to the darker intentions therein?
Based on of Whitley Strieber’s book by the same name, Scott’s adaptation netted controversy for its sexual content and uncomfortable violence, as well as its clear indulgence in style. In a masterful film that transcends the genre, Scott reworks vampire tropes to examine human themes of mortality, loneliness, sexuality, love, and aging, complemented by often dreamlike and melancholy aesthetics, heavy visual symbolism, nontraditional editing choices, and an ominous score by Howard Blake that would make The Hunger a cult classic, and a favorite among the Goth subculture.
Directed by Tony Scott. 1983. 100 minutes. Rated R.
Friday, September 21 – 11pm
Saturday, September 22 – 11pm
“As good a horror film in the most pure, rarefied sense of “horror” that the ’80s produced in English.” – Tim Brayton , Antagony & Ecstasy
“The movie reeks with chic, but never – for one minute – takes itself too seriously, nor does it ever slop over into camp.” – Vincent Canby, New York Times
“Vampire movies were always cool, but it took The Hunger to make them modern.” – Rob Vaux, Mania.com