Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie are rich, beautiful, and oh-so chic as denizens of the night. Dressed in sleek outfits and stylish sunglasses, they haunt rock & roll clubs on the prowl for young blood, whom they bring home to their impossibly luxurious mansion for a late-night snack. Being a vampire never looked more sexy, but there s a price: Bowie starts to age so fast he wrinkles up in the waiting room of a doctor s (Susan Sarandon) office.
The agelessly elegant Deneuve, evoking Delphine Seyrig s Countess Bathory from Daughters of Darkness, is perfectly cast as a millenniums-old bloodsucker who seeks a new mate in Sarandon and seduces her in a sunlight-bathed afternoon of smooth, silky sex.
Tony Scott s (Ridley s brother) directorial debut, adapted from the Whitley Strieber novel, revises the vampire myth with Egyptian inflections and removes all references to garlic and crosses and wooden stakes - these bloodsuckers can even walk around in the daylight - but the ties between blood and sex are as strong as ever.
Scott s background as an award-winning commercial director is evident in every richly textured frame and his densely interwoven editing, but the moody atmosphere comes at the expense of dramatic urgency. At times the film is so languid it becomes mired in its hazy, impeccably designed visual style.
In its own way, The Hunger is the perfect vampire film for the 80s, all poise and attitude and surface beauty. Sarandon talks candidly about the film in the documentary The Celluloid Closet.
Director: Tony Scott
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