Friday, October 9, 2015

The Hunger (1983)

The Excel spreadsheet is a more reliable prognosticator than yarrow sticks and Magic 8-Balls.  Connections are recurring this month, as vampires and dead directors claim more and more real estate.  Tony Scott directed The Hunger before making stuff like Top Gun and Crimson Tide—weird that his most acclaimed work would be action movies, because The Hunger is a long, overstylized yawn.


An expensive yawn, too.  Check out the sumptuous sets and lighting whose cost could buy scores of African village buffets.  And look at David Bowie in the lead with Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon.  And the makeup and effects!  So much promise, all squandered on a dry slough.


I don't know why other films that opt for style over substance seem to click where this one doesn't.  The Hunger probably isn't a much worse story than Suspiria (or whatever), but it really lags behind as a viewing experience.  Here's the plot: Deneuve is a vampire who turns humans into vampire companions until they hit a particular age (or something) and then rapidly ossify.  There's some science stuff with baboons, but it's never really fleshed out to any important degree.  


At this point, there are probably more movies that try to modernize vampires than movies that depict the traditional old-timey Dracula stereotype.  The effort is so long-lived that stuff like The Hunger, which really tries hard to be contemporary (it has Bauhaus and Iggy Pop, too!), feels even more outdated than old Universal vampire fare.  The goth club scenes are cringey as fuck now, the 80s equivalent of someone making a film about "modern vampires" who are bronies or something.


Thanks, but no.

**1/2

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