Several years ago in some circumstance I can't remember I saw about 3 minutes of this film and I had something like a very low-level obsession to watch the entire film. It wasn't easy for me to decide to actually watch this movie. I have bittersweet memories of other films staring David Bowie. I adore Labyrinth but I was largely put off or bored by The Man Who Fell To Earth. My disenchantment with the latter film may arise from the fact that one can not obtain the variety and quantity of illegal drugs the entire cast and crew had to consume in order to make this film.
In "The Hunger," David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve's characters are ancient vampires living in New York City. They're not Bram Stoker or Anne Rice type vampires in that they aren't harmed by sunlight, they do not have fangs, and they don't sleep in coffins. They do, however, drink human blood but the blood-letting is accomplished with a dagger. Another twist to this particular brand of vampirism is that female vampires live forever in a state of ageless beauty while male vampires age at an extremely accelerated rate after living in well-preserved stasis for a few hundred years.
David Bowie's character begins this rapid aging process and seeks the help of Susan Sarandon's character who is a doctor specializing in the aging process. In the course of a day or two, Bowie's character is reduced to a still conscious but inanimate ancient corpse which is stored in a coffin in the attic of the stately town home where the two vampires lived. Sarandon is then seduced by Deneauve and becomes a vampire herself.
- Opening sequence is pure 80's decadence and features a full length live performance of Bela Lugosi's Dead by Bauhaus.
- Great special effects makeup throughout showing rapid aging process in David Bowie's character.
- Good cinematography and editing.
- Great soundtrack, some of which is Deneauve playing Debussy.
- Susan Sarandon naked.
- Poor pacing.
- Catherine Deneauve doesn't have enough lines and the ones she has are delivered poorly.
- Bad fake blood.
- Bad sound design / foley.
Overall a 2 out of 5. Interesting but would not watch again.
Recommendation: Watch just the first 20 minutes.
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