100 Days of Horror welcomes you to ... SATANFEST 2013

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"Y'all know me, know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish! Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow ya whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', and down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back the tourists, that'll put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant! I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

100 Days of Horror Day Twelve - "The Hunger!"

Greetings from the graveside, my morbid mates!

And enough alliteration for the day already.

This is a brief one today - it took all I had to crawl out of bed and locate the laptop. I'm tired and somewhat hungover since I celebrated my friend's return home last night with a few beers and a viewing of "Bubba Ho-Tep," which is still a classic in my book (thank you Bruce Campbell).

Anyway, today's film is not for every taste. It has the potential to suck you in if you like vampires (and who doesn't), but like Kathryn Bigelow's 1987 "Near Dark," this film explores a different side of the vampire myth. No not so much with the fangs and the capes and the flying and the hypnotic stares. It's also a meditation on aging and vanity, perfectly reflected in Catherine Deneuve's subtle performance. The skinny below.

Thanks again for reading, friends. I love you all dearly.

The Hunger (1983): Directed by Tony Scott. Starring Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie and Susan Sarandon.

The Skinny: An early vehicle for Tony Scott’s prodigious career, “The Hunger” follows Deneuve as Miriam, an ancient vampire living on the fringes of the Goth subculture in NYC with her lover John, a musician from the 1800s. The only problem is, Miriam’s lovers all seem to start aging rapidly while retaining their immortality. She seeks out the assistance of an aging specialist (Sarandon) in hopes of reversing the effect.

What’s Good: Director Scott would eventually go on to helm one of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters of all time, “Top Gun.” But before Maverick and Iceman, Scott adapted Whitley Striber’s vampiric novel for the big screen to some limited success. While not a traditional vampire movie, it is best known for its moody lighting, its atmosphere and its glaring look at the emergent Goth culture. Deneuve is always lovely to look at, and Bowie is quite underrated as an actor. It’s also well known for its lengthy intro scene where “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” plays over shots of club life and glam folks.

What’s Bad: Pacing, lighting and a pat ending that was left ambiguous for potential sequels (instead, there was a horror anthology-style television show of the same name). Also, there are stretches of the film with sparse if any dialogue, and those scenes aren’t exactly bolstered by the visuals either, leaving you plenty of time to nod off and sleep through the crappy ending.

Why We Like It: It’s a very moody film, which I appreciate, but for the most part it’s the type of movie I find myself putting in at the end of the night after I’ve been partying it up and now it’s time to … I don’t know, smoke some opium and nod off until you fall off the sofa. It isn’t a bad film, in any sense, but it is definitely a “cult film” inasmuch as it isn’t built for mainstream audiences – something Scott would no long have a problem with just three years later with “Top Gun.”

Memorable Stuff: As her lovers age yet still function, Miriam stores them in caskets in her luxurious apartment. The sight of a withered Bowie stuffed into a wooden box is haunting to say the least. And the performances are all fairly credible, especially Bowie and Sarandon, who does the best she can with a role that others would have played far less seriously. Also … hot lesbian seduction scene between Sarandon and Deneuve. Who can beat that shit? Surely not me.