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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally an answer to the strange ending!!!
I had The Hunger on VHS and was always a fan of this movie. Although slightly arty, it ticks all the right boxes for visuals, mysterious storyline, good characters and the right actors playing them.
The ending of the movie has always been slightly confusing(especially when you discover the book has a vastly different ending and offers no answers). Thankfully this DVD...
Published on 5 May 2005 by Iceni Peasant

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Hunger - sound quality
I really ejoyed the style and looks of this movie, but the sound quality is so frustrating! Most of the time I had the volume up at max - and yes I have pretty sharp hearing - but I still had to struggle to make out the dialogue. This was the case on the old video, so I guess it was unrealistic to hope for better.
Published on 2 Nov 2009 by J. Morrison


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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally an answer to the strange ending!!!, 5 May 2005
By 
Iceni Peasant (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hunger [DVD] [1983] (DVD)
I had The Hunger on VHS and was always a fan of this movie. Although slightly arty, it ticks all the right boxes for visuals, mysterious storyline, good characters and the right actors playing them.
The ending of the movie has always been slightly confusing(especially when you discover the book has a vastly different ending and offers no answers). Thankfully this DVD has an excellent commentary from director Tony Scott, and actress Susan Sarandon. The ending IS explained!!
The extras on the DVD, while not exceptional, are good. The commentary, as mentioned above is interesting and quite amusing in places, with lots of information on not just the scenes you are watching but on the process of film making, and some of the off screen problems and fun. The Stills gallery is quite nice too.
If you're a fan of the movie, or indeed any of the actors involved then you'll love this DVD. It loses one star as I hoped there might be a few more little extras on the DVD...but that's being REALLY picky!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finest Vampire Film since 'Nosferatu', 17 Oct 2012
By 
Stephen E. Andrews "Writer" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Hunger [DVD] [1983] (DVD)
As a devotee of quality Vampire literature and film (I'm nearly 50 now and have been fascinated by the mythology of the revenant since I was around 8), I'm confident to say that this is the finest Vampire film I've ever seen, the only runner up being 'Martin' by George Romero. Until someone of the directorial ability of Cronenberg, Kubrick or Roeg makes movies of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's 'Hotel Transylvania'(or any of her stunning Le Comte De Saint-Germain novels) and Suzy McKee Charnas' 'The Vampire Tapestry', this adaptation of the eponymous novel by Whitley Strieber will remain unchallenged. What amazes me most, though, is how many young Vampire fans - even Goths in thier mid-twenties - have NEVER seen this fine feature.

I invoke literature here, as anyone who understands narrative knows, novelists are more often than not superior writers to those who focus on screenplays. And the old cliche that 'but that won't work in a film' is simply nonsense. Why can't a film be plotted like a novel? It's still narrative. Film-makers are often constrained by commercial concerns of second and third parties in a way that novelists are less victim to. And don't give me 'the director's vision' - yes, it's vital, but the vision comes from the ideas seeded in the narrative created by the WRITER.

Strieber is not the finest prose stylist in history - he is instead, a master of bestseller style writing, in the manner of King, Dan Simmons, George R R Martin and the like, but he is better at reaching into the soul and stirring emotions than King and less workmanlike that Simmons at his best. 'The Hunger' stands alongside the novels I've mentioned (and 'Live Girls' by Ray Garton) as one of the best post-Matheson Vampire novels ('I am Legend'). It has every human emotion in it - love, lust, fear, anger, despair, joy, elation, hatred, greed, guilt, shame and so on - and is a very exciting read, even for those used to high literary modernism and the classics. It's brilliantly told and less breathlessly camp than the work of Anne Rice (don't get me wrong, 'Interviw with the Vampire' is superb, a work of genius) and its historical flashbacks rival Yarbro's Saint-Germain books too, especially 'Out of the House of Life'.

Scott does a fine job with the adaptation he directs, which is stylised, Romantic (note large R), sexy and tragic...and frightening. His 80s high budget approach graced the Tv ads of the time - this was an opulent decade in the media of course and visually his technique makes me think of a soft-filtered Michael Mann (Scott understood buildings, for example). In this film, he rivals the two great SF works of his brother Riddley ('Alien' and 'Blade Runner'). The opening sequence, with Bowie and Deneuve in a club, picking up a couple of young postpunks while Bauhaus play 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' in a cage is both postmodern and classical and timeless (somehow), the shots of Bowie parting the girls' stockinged thighs, the flashes of a subway train in motion, Deneuve's leather military cap, spandex...perfect. Call yourself a Fangbanger or a Goth? You MUST see this...

The transfer is very good in my opinion - I always thought the film was very mistily shot, but that was just my VHS, so I can't wait for a decent BluRay version. Aside from all the vampire stuff, if you love 80s Horror (and the early part of that decade was a golden age for fright films), you must buy this.

Incidental music is very good - plus the appearance of Iggy Pop/David Bowie's 'Funtime' from "The Idiot" works well ('last night I was down in the lab/talkin' to Dracula and his crew,'). The cast are all superb - Bowie is always excellent when properly cast (as he is here), Deneuve is as icy and impeccable as ever and Sarandon sparkles. If only Neil Jordan had been able to cast 'Interview with the Vampire' as well as this - Cruise, Pitt, Slater have their merits, but are too Hollywood for a truly authentic vampire film to my way of thinking (plus, Lestat is blonde, is he not?).

So here's your viewing/reading list : this film and the book it derives from, 'Martin' by Romero, the novels of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Suzy McKee Charnas and 'Live Girls' by Ray Garton. I'm assuming you've tackled Stoker, Byron, Polidori, LeFanu,Rice...get this under your belt, then get back to 'True Blood'(which is fun, but only ever approaches art in the tender moments between Sookie and Bill in season 1). Did you think all this Buffy/'Twilight'/Laurel K Hamilton stuff was new? Which reminds me, read 'Sunglasses After Dark' by Nancy Collins if you want to cover the original female vampire hunter.

A great, great film that every lover of the living dead must own. Totally authentic and no silly, speedy special effects.

Stephen E. Andrews, author, '100 Must Read Science Fiction Novels'
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I watched the film last night..., 19 Feb 2003
This review is from: The Hunger [VHS] (1983) (VHS Tape)
To understate my impression, this is perhaps one of the most engrossing films i've seen in years. Every second was captivating, not only were the characters portrayed well by an excellent cast and script, but the sceens were beautyfull and the camera work unique.
The plot centers around a couple, they're immortal vampires living in New York in the early 1980's, they're very chic and their house is filled with an atmosphere like a mausoleum for the rich. This film captured the superficial edge of the decade with a glitering vision of fashion and style, all mixed in with the desire to never age. However, it isn't self indulgent with the topic, and it never favours any of the characters, instead it shows how lonely and detached they have become over the centurys. The plot moves slow, and some people have criticized it because of this, but if it were fast the whole atmosphere wouldn't work.
I won't spoil any of the plot, but you will be suprised by it and the twists it takes before the end...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Hunger - sound quality, 2 Nov 2009
By 
J. Morrison (Glasgow, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hunger [DVD] [1983] (DVD)
I really ejoyed the style and looks of this movie, but the sound quality is so frustrating! Most of the time I had the volume up at max - and yes I have pretty sharp hearing - but I still had to struggle to make out the dialogue. This was the case on the old video, so I guess it was unrealistic to hope for better.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bowie, Blood and Susan Sarandon - who could want more?, 5 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hunger [VHS] (1983) (VHS Tape)
I love Bowie. I love Vampires.
Bowies acting is usually at it's best when he plays himself. And who could be better suited to playing a 400 year old 20th century Vampire than a pre 'Lets Dance' Bowie. Along with Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon Bowie shines as the modern day blood sucker who's blood sucking days are coming to an end. A semi-plausible story line sees Bowies character struggling to sleep, an all too familiar sign that his immortality may not be as immortal as he thought.
The most outstanding scenes are those where Bowies character ages almost 80 years in a few hours - Bowie aged 90 is a very scary sight. For me, waiting in a doctors surgery has never been the same again.
Deneuve and Sarandon are excellent together, with a love scene that makes the blood boil (and spill). A beautiful soundtrack of Ravel piano music accompanies many scenes.
Music by Bauhaus and Ravel - who could ever ask for more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 6 Nov 2008
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This review is from: The Hunger [DVD] [1983] (DVD)
I have adored this film since I was a young teenager and having just watched it again, I enjoyed it even more. The combination of Deneuve, Bowie, Sarandon and Bauhaus results in an effortlessly charismatic and other-worldly atmosphere, but just as importantly as the horror story it tells, I think this film beautifully brings the 1980s back to life.

Beautiful and odd, perfect in spite of its faults, this is a hugely enjoyable film.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tony Scott's impressive debut, 20 Aug 2012
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This review is from: The Hunger [DVD] [1983] (DVD)
The sad news of Tony Scott's suicide yesterday has led to the expected praise of many of his action movies like Crimson Tide and Top Gun, but his debut, the cult vampire movie The Hunger, has actually aged pretty well too. I bought it a month ago to replace an ageing VHS copy. It was widely derided upon it's release in 1983 as glossy and over-stylised (rather like brother Ridley's reviews for Blade Runner when that film opened), a vacuous soft-porn horror that made Catherine Deneuve do things the great actress shouldn't have been made to do. The film tells of two New Yorkers, John and Miriam Blaylock, who live in luxury and crave blood. Miriam (Deneuve) is an old vampire (although the term vampire is never mentioned) who goes back to Egyptian times. John (a rather good David Bowie) is the latest in her line of lovers who never seem to get beyond a few hundred years before rapidly ageing, although cursed to immortal life. This starts to happen to Bowie and brings the pair into contact with a young doctor, Sarah (Susan Sarandon), who is studying premature ageing in apes in a New York hospital. The bisexual Miriam is instantly attracted to her and sees her as a successor to John.

It's not a long film (90mins) and a sub-plot involving a cop investigating a missing person could have been expanded to add a little more tension to the situation the Blaylock's find themselves in at the expense of some rather extended sections in the hospital. Certainly compared to the stunningly edited first 6 or so mins, including the opening nightclub scene featuring Peter Murphy and his band Bauhaus, it moves rather slowly therafter. But the film has stayed visually stunning and its looks have not dated, though perhaps there's a bit too much billowing curtain (even in the attic) which leads to comparisons with TV adverts. Deneuve looks gorgeous throughout, dressed in a sort of 1940/50s style most of the time, all sharp couture, sharper hairstyles and veiled hats; Bowie acquits himself well and the make-up job as he ages is still one of the best, and Sarandon smokes her way through her confusion as Miriam weaves her spell on her (its surprising looking back how much smoking goes on in this film, even among the medics at her hospital!). It's also a film that is well-integrated with it's music score, mixing Ravel and Schubert with some effective synth squeals from David Lawson.

The DVD has a good stills gallery and an audio commentary from Sarandon and Scott. It is clear to me that The Hunger has undoubtedly had an effect on later vampire films or TV series (think about Channel 4's excellent Ultraviolet, with it's depiction of the threat called "Code V" - never vampirism - and it's attention to the blood biochemistry detail, or Being Human's differentiation between the younger vampires and The Old Ones). Remember Tony Scott with his action films for sure, but dont overlook this excellent and subtle horror debut either.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lust for Death, 26 Aug 2014
By 
Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles "FIST" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Hunger [DVD] [1983] (DVD)
A slow ponderous artistic noir take on the theme of decay and the existential pain associated with the crumbling beauty. When I first watched, I never went further than the first thirty minutes, turned off by the slow unfolding story - but a few decades later - it unfolds on numerous levels. Not a film to watch when in the throes of narcissistic splendor as the themes relate to losing beauty and the problems encountered with the rabid desire to stay young forever.

As organ harvesting is now a growing 21st Century trend, where the poor are forced to surrender themselves to ensure the uber rich continue their lives of conspicuous consumption, the film is much more than a blood sucking fest, it is an entre to a world of macabre dreams of ever lasting life whilst trapped within a vacuous existence. David and Catherine, play the European existential alienates who are adrift from life who prey upon those who have more vigor, especially sexual vigor, although the Bowie's characters victim elicits a huge intake of breathe as he preys upon the most vulnerable. Within the film he delivers one of the first rabid attacks upon a child on screen - a pastiche of the forever rich desiring to colonise the young and a marker for the sexual predation undertaken by adults upon children which we are now learning was rife within this era.

Susan Sarandon depicts the earnest scientific doctor seeking the cause for premature aging and is therefore caught up in watching monkeys decay, before she is introduced to the human variety. Bisexuality is then played out with a sensual coil and worth the entrance fee alone.

The desire to live forever along with the deep problems of loneliness are the key central themes, along with the human cost in constant upkeep and high maintenance.

This film has lived much longer than originally envisaged.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Hunger -DVD, 27 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The Hunger [DVD] [1983] (DVD)
Nice to see this classic again, stands the test of time and such great acting. I remember thinking that it was a great alternate 'vampire' movie but its more in the humans living long role.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, 25 July 2006
This review is from: The Hunger [DVD] [1983] (DVD)
I quite like this movie. It's not one I'd recommend to my friends, but it's the first directorial effort of Tony Scott so it's worth a look to see how he cut his teeth. For the most part it's a case of style over substance, all billowing net curtains and slightly open blinds letting in the light. David Bowie is perfectly cast as an ageing vampire, while Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon smoulder in their lusting performances. It is dull in parts and some of it has dated badly, but it's still a good yarn, and you just don't get too many flicks like this one.
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The Hunger [DVD] [1983]
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