Horror Film Review: The Hunger (dir by Tony Scott)

“Bela Lugosi’s dead….” Peter Murphy sings at the start of 1983’s The Hunger and, in the case of this film, it’s as much of a challenge as a tribute.

Bela Lugosi and Dracula are gone, the film announces, and so is the old-fashioned vampire movie.  Here’s a new look at an old favorite….

Of course, seen today, The Hunger doesn’t seem new.  Since The Hunger‘s release, there’s been  a countless number of films in which vampires have been decadent and chic aristocrats, hanging out in dark nightclubs and looking at the world with ennui-stricken eyes.  By today’s standards, the stylish decadence of The Hunger can seem almost quaint.  Much like Paul Schrader’s remake of Cat People, The Hunger is such a film of the 80s that you half-expect someone to offer you a line coke while you’re watching it.  Also, like Cat People, it’s such a glorious tribute to excess that there’s no way you can’t watch it once it starts.  It’s hypnotic in its excess.

In The Hunger, our vampires are Miriam Blaylock (Catherine Deneuve) and her lover, John (David Bowie).  Miriam has been a vampire since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians.  Rather than sinking her fangs into the necks of her victims, Miriam uses an Ankh pendant to slit their throats.  John was once a cellist in 18th century France.  Now, they live in an expensive New York townhouse, where they teach classical music and occasionally murder anyone that they can convince to come up to see them.

When they first met, Miriam promised John that he would have eternal life but she didn’t promise him eternal youth.  Unfortunately, it takes 200 years for John to notice.  When he starts to rapidly age, he seeks out aging expert Dr. Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon) for help.  Though Dr. Roberts is originally dismissive of his claims, she is shocked to see John age several years in just an hour.

When an angry and desperate John kills the music student (Beth Ehlers) that Miriam was hoping to transform into her next lover, Miriam is forced to search elsewhere.  When Sarah shows up, searching for the man who aged years in an hour, Miriam feels that her search may be over.

As one might expect from a film directed by Tony Scott, The Hunger is an extremely stylish film, to the extent that the film’s story is often secondary to the way that Scott chooses to tell it.  The set design is so ornate and every scene is so precisely lit and shot and that, at times, the movie feels a bit like a commercial for vampirism.  It’s easy to imagine Britney Spears singing “Work Bitch” in the background of some of the scenes.  (“You want a hot body?  You want a Bugatti?  You Want a Maserati?  You better work vamp.”)  Throughout the film, New York glows like a neon wonderland while John and Miriam coolly look out over the world like 18th century French aristocrats who have no idea that they have a future date with the guillotine.  At times, it’s a film that becomes almost ludicrous in its celebration of grandeur and style.  One could imagine Jean Rollin telling the same story just as effectively while spending a lot less money.

And yet, it’s that very embrace of the over-the-top ludicrousness of it all that makes The Hunger a memorable film.  The film’s a tribute to excess, with an ending that falters precisely because it attempts to reject precisely what it’s spent the past hour and a half celebrating.  The Hunger doesn’t add up too much but its hypnotically stylish and well-acted by a cast who does their best to keep up with Tony Scott’s camera.


Music Video Of The Day: David Bowie by Chloe MK (2019, dir by Hunter Airheart)

I miss David Bowie

I miss Prince

Today’s music video of the day is a tribute to dead artists, remembered dreams, past memories, and lost love.  That really is the way the think about music, isn’t it?  We don’t think about what a song has to say or any of that stuff.  Instead, we think about what we happening the first, second, or hundredth time that we heard it.  Music is all about emotion and that emotion is what runs through this video.


Music Video of the Day: Just For One Day by David Guetta featuring David Bowie (2003, dir by Richard Fenwick)

This song, of course, features a sample from David Bowie’s Heroes.

As for the video, I always assume that everyone here is having one last party before a gigantic meteor crashes into the planet and wipes out all human life.  To be honest, I tend to assume that most music videos are about humanity’s attempt to ignore the fact that everyone’s life will eventually end in a combination of misery, death, and absolutely horror.


Music Video of the Day: Life on Mars? by David Bowie (1973, dir by Mick Rock)

This video was filmed backstage at Earl’s Court in London.  It was directed by Mick Rock, who is credited with directing four videos for David Bowie.

When asked, Bowie described this song as being “a sensitive young girl’s reaction to the media.  I think she finds herself disappointed with reality… that although she’s living in the doldrums of reality, she’s being told that there’s a far greater life somewhere, and she’s bitterly disappointed that she doesn’t have access to it.”  I imagine most people have felt that way at some point during their life.  Admittedly, I haven’t but then again, who knows what the future might hold?

Is there Life on Mars?  I think Santa would definitely say that there is.  Not to mention…

That said, it’s an interesting question.  On the one hand, I’m a natural-born skeptic when it comes to aliens and UFOs.  On the other hand, the universe is really, really big.  Is it possible that we’re all alone?  For the sake of ennui, I want to say yes.  But realistically, it seems like there has to be something out there.  I guess what disappoints me is that, whenever we do find signs of life in space, it’s always little pieces of fungus or a one-celled amoeba.  What’s the use of discovering extraterrestrial life if it’s just going to be the type of stuff that usually ends up on the bottom of someone’s shoe?

Then again, I guess that’s preferable to the alternative:


Music Video of the Day: Lust for Life by Iggy Pop (1996, dir by Danny Boyle)

Hi everyone!  Lisa here with today’s music video of the day.

Lust for Life, which was co-written by David Bowie, was originally released in 1977 but it didn’t become a hit until it was used in the 1996 film Trainspotting.  The director of Trainspotting, Danny Boyle, also directed this video, which is basically scenes from the movie mixed in with footage of Iggy Pop performing.

Appropriately for a song that would become the theme to Trainspotting, Lust For Life is a song about heroin addiction.  (The majority of the song is told through the eyes of Johnny Yen, a character created by noted heroin aficionado, William S. Burroughs.)  Because of the song’s rousing chorus, it has regularly been used in advertisements for things that have absolutely nothing to do with heroin.  For instance, it was used to promote Royal Caribbean Cruises.

The recent Trainspotting sequel featured The Prodigy’s remix of Lust for Life.  Sadly, this one doesn’t come with a music video but you can listen to it below:


Music Video of the Day: Heroes by David Bowie (1977, dir by Stanley Dorfman)

Hi, everyone!  Lisa here, with today’s song of the day.

Why did I pick Heroes for today’s music video of the day, beyond the fact that it’s a really good song and a simple video that doesn’t require too much interpretation?  Some of it is because today is the international Day of the Imprisoned Writer and Heroes is a song about two lovers living in the shadow of oppression.  Technically, Heroes tells the story of two lovers in Berlin who meet everyday under the shadow of the Berlin Wall.  According to Songfacts:

Bowie, who was living in Berlin at the time, was inspired by an affair between his producer Tony Visconti and backup singer Antonia Maass, who would kiss “by the wall” in front of Bowie as he looked out of the Hansa Studio window.

The other reason that I picked Heroes is because I recently rewatched one of my favorite movies, Christiane F.  Both Bowie and this song play very important roles in that harrowing film.

As for the video, it’s simple but that’s why it works.  The starkness of the video matches nicely with raw emotion of Bowie’s voice.


TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 15 (dir by David Lynch)

Why am I posting this review so late?  Check out my previous Twin Peaks post for the explanation.

I have to admit that I’m kind of kicking myself for taking so long to watch Part 15 of Twin Peaks.  This was one of the best episodes of the revival.  It was a deeply intriguing episode, mixing moments of soaring romance with haunting creepiness.  In short, this episode was David Lynch and Twin Peaks at their considerable best.  Because I’m pressed for time and I need to get this written and posted before Part 16 premieres later tonight, I don’t know if I’ll be able to do full justice to how wonderful this episode was.  I’ll try, though.  Be sure to check out Ryan’s thoughts on Part 15, as well.

Things begin, as they so often do, with a one-eyed woman and a shovel…

Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie) walks through Twin Peaks, carrying her golden shovel with her.  She stops at Big Ed’s Gas Farm and tells Big Ed (Everett McGill) that she’s changed.  She says that she loves Ed but she knows that she’s been a “selfish bitch” and that Ed has “been a saint.”  Nadine explains that she’s using her shovel to “dig” herself “out of the shit” and tells Big Ed that she wants him to be with Norma.  “True love,” Nadine says, “is about giving others what they need to be happy.”

What follows is Lynch at his most deliriously romantic.  Ed drives to the Double R and tells Norma (Peggy Lipton) that he loves her and he wants to marry her.  However, Norma is busy conducting one of her corner booth business meetings with Walter (Grant Goodeve).  She not only allows Walter to buy her out but she also dumps him.  “Family reasons,” she explains before kissing Ed.  A song about love plays in the background.  The wind blows through the trees.  The sun shines through the clouds above.  Briefly, all is right with the world of Twin Peaks…

…so, of course, the very next scene is the Doppelganger (Kyle MacLachlan) driving down a dark road.  Of course, the Doppelganger is always bad news but, for whatever reason, driving always seems to put him in an even worse mood than usual.

The Doppelganger pulls up at the gas station that, way back in Part 8, we saw taken over by the Woodsmen.  (The music playing in the background is “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima.”)  With electricity crackling all around, the Doppelganger enters the gas station, approaches a woodsman, and says that he is looking for Philip Jeffries.  The Doppelganger is led to a dark room that is occupied by a strange metal device.  Jeffries’s Southern-accented voice emanates from the device.

Considering the amount of time that these two have apparently spent trying to kill each other, it’s actually a relatively polite conversation.  I have to admit that it caught me off guard seeing the Doppelganger asking questions for once.  I always assumed the Doppelganger knew everything.  (As the Doppelganger and Jeffries talk, Lynch inserts a flashback of David Bowie from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.)  When the Doppelganger asks if Jeffries was the one who called him, Jeffries replies that he does not have the Doppelganger’s number.  Jeffries says that he and the Doppelganger used to talk regularly.

“You are Cooper?” Jeffries asks.

“Why didn’t you want to talk about Judy?” the Doppelganger asks, “Who is Judy?  What does Judy want from me?”

Jeffries tells the Doppelganger to ask her himself.

Suddenly, a phone rings.  The Doppelganger sees an old landline phone in the corner of the room.  When the Doppelganger answers, this is a loud surge of static and the Doppelganger suddenly finds himself outside the gas station…

And there’s Richard Horne (Eamon Farren), holding a gun on him and saying that he recognized the Doppelganger from a picture that his mother (who we all know is Audrey) used to carry with her.  “You’re FBI!” Richard announces.  (He’s probably Richard’s father, as well.)  The Doppelganger proceeds to rather easily kick Richard’s ass and then tells him to get in the truck.  “We’ll talk on the way,” the Doppelganger explains.

As they drive away, the gas station vanishes.

In the woods around Twin Peaks, Steve (Caleb Landry Jones) and Gersten Hayward (Alicia Witt) are freaking out.  Steven has a gun and keeps saying that he did it.  “You didn’t do anything!” Gersten says, “you were fucking stoned!  What did she give you!?”  Steven loads the gun and, as Gersten begs him to stop, he says that he’s going to end it.  Steven starts to talk about how much he loves fucking Gersten when suddenly, a guy walking his dog wanders by.  Gersten runs and hides behind a tree.  Off screen, there is a gunshot.  (This short but intense scene features some amazing acting from both Alicia Witt and Caleb Landry Jones.)

At the trailer park, Carl (Harry Dean Stanton) meets with the man who was walking his dog.  We see the man point at Steve and Becky’s trailer.

That night, at the Roadhouse, the very excited Emcee (J.R. Starr, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite minor characters) announces that they will be playing “one of our favorites — Sharp Dressed Man by ZZ Top!”  He even has a cardboard volume meter to show how excited he is over the song.  The Emcee starts to dance along to the song.  He’s so adorable!

What’s less adorable is what happens when James (James Marshall) and Freddie (Jake Wardle) are attacked by Chuck (Rod Rowland), who is Renee’s husband.  Freddie, who is wearing his power glove, knocks Chuck unconscious with one punch.

In Las Vegas, Agent Wilson (Owen Rhys-Davies) tells Agent Headley (Jay R. Ferguson) that he’s brought in another Douglas Jones for interrogation.  Apparently, Wilson and Headley are just tracking down everyone named Douglas Jones who lives in Vegas.  However, as quickly becomes apparent when Headley goes down to the interrogation room, they have yet to track down our Dougie Jones.

Elsewhere in Vegas, Chantal (Jennifer Jason Leigh) assassinates both Duncan Todd (Patrick Fischler) and Roger (Joe Adler).  Afterwards, she and Hutch (Tim Roth) eat out in their car and casually discuss the pros and cons of torture.

Back in Twin Peaks, both James and Freddie are led to a jail cell.  Interestingly, the last time we saw James arrested was in the Pilot.  James was put in a cell with Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook).  This time, it’s Bobby leading James to the cell.

Back in Vegas, our Dougie (Kyle MacLachlan) eats a piece of cake and watches Sunset Boulevard on television.  When he hears Cecil B. DeMille mention the name “Gordon Cole,” Dougie responds by crawling across the floor and sticking his fork into an electrical socket.

(It’s interesting to note that, in the scene from Sunset Boulevard, DeMille and Gloria Swanson — in the role of Norma Desmond — were talking about getting everyone back together again and making another picture, despite the fact that Hollywood had changed quite a bit since Desmond’s heyday.  In many ways, that’s exactly what David Lynch is doing with Twin Peaks: The Return.)

In Twin Peaks, The Log Lady (Catherine E. Coulson) calls Hawk (Michael Horse) one last time and tells him that she is dying.  “You know about death,” she says, “that it’s just a change.  Not an end.  It’s time.  There’s some fear, some fear in letting go.  Remember what I told you.  I can’t say more over the phone.  But you know what I mean, for our talks, when we  were able to speak face to face.  Watch for that one, the one I told you about, the one under the moon on Blue Pine Mountain.  Hawk, my log is turning gold.  The wind is moaning.  I’m dying.  Goodnight, Hawk.”

“Goodnight, Margaret,” Hawk replies, “Goodbye, Margaret.”

Later, Hawk tells Andy (Harry Goaz), Lucy (Kimmy Robertson), and Truman (Robert Forster) that “Margaret Lanterman passed away tonight.”

“The Log Lady’s dead?” Lucy replies, and there’s something so heart-breaking about the way Robertson delivers this line.

(It’s made even more heart-breaking by the fact that Coulson died shortly after filming her scenes for the revival.  This episode is not only about the residents of Twin Peaks saying goodbye to Margaret Lanterman.  It’s also about Lynch saying goodbye to his longtime friend, Catherine Coulson.)

Meanwhile, Charlie (Clark Middleton) and Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) continue to argue about going to the Roadhouse to look for Billy.  Audrey complains about the way that Charlie talks to her.  Billy never talks to her like that.

“I am Charlie,” Charlie says, “and he is Billy.”

“Yes,” Audrey replies, “and I like Billy better.”

“Sensational,” Charlie replies.

They argue a bit more.  Audrey eventually ends up pouncing on Charlie while screaming, “I hate you!  Do you realize how much I fucking hate you!”

At the Roadhouse, the Veils sing a song about drugs.  A woman, Ruby (Charlyne Yi), sits in a booth.  When two men tell her to move, she replies that she’s waiting someone.  The men literally lift her out of the booth and drop her on the floor.  Ruby crawls across the dance floor and screams.

The end credits role over an image of that gas station siting in the middle of nowhere.  “Dedicated to Margaret Lanterman” the final credit reads.

Margaret Lanterman (a.k.a. The Log Lady)

Only three more episodes (and, because the final two are being shown on the same night, only two weeks) left!  That makes me sad.  I’m going to miss Twin Peaks.

Twin Peaks on TSL:

  1. Twin Peaks: In the Beginning by Jedadiah Leland
  2. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.1 — The Pilot (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  3. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.2 — Traces To Nowhere (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  4. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.3 — Zen, or the Skill To Catch A Killer (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  5. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.4 “Rest in Pain” (dir by Tina Rathbone) by Leonard Wilson
  6. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.5 “The One-Armed Man” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Jedadiah Leland
  7. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.6 “Cooper’s Dreams” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  8. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.7 “Realization Time” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  9. TV Review: Twin Peaks 1.8 “The Last Evening” (directed by Mark Frost) by Leonard Wilson
  10. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.1 “May the Giant Be With You” (dir by David Lynch) by Leonard Wilson
  11. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.2 “Coma” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  12. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.3 “The Man Behind The Glass” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Jedadiah Leland
  13. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.4 “Laura’s Secret Diary” (dir by Todd Holland) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  14. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.5 “The Orchid’s Curse” (dir by Graeme Clifford) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  15. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.6 “Demons” (dir by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  16. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.7 “Lonely Souls” (directed by David Lynch) by Jedadiah Leland
  17. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.8 “Drive With A Dead Girl” (dir by Caleb Deschanel) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  18. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.9 “Arbitrary Law” (dir by Tim Hunter) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  19. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.10 “Dispute Between Brothers” (directed by Tina Rathbone) by Jedadiah Leland
  20. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.11 “Masked Ball” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Leonard Wilson
  21. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.12 “The Black Widow” (directed by Caleb Deschanel) by Leonard Wilson
  22. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.13 “Checkmate” (directed by Todd Holland) by Jedadiah Leland
  23. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.14 “Double Play” (directed by Uli Edel) by Jedadiah Leland
  24. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.15 “Slaves and Masters” (directed by Diane Keaton) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  25. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.16 “The Condemned Woman” (directed by Lesli Linka Glatter) by Leonard Wilson
  26. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.17 “Wounds and Scars” (directed by James Foley) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  27. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.18 “On The Wings of Love” (directed by Duwayne Dunham) by Jedadiah Leland
  28. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.19 “Variations on Relations” (directed by Jonathan Sanger) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  29. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.20 “The Path to the Black Lodge” (directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  30. TV Review: Twin Peaks 2.21 “Miss Twin Peaks” (directed by Tim Hunter) by Leonard Wilson
  31. TV Review: Twin Peaks 22.2 “Beyond Life and Death” (directed by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  32. Film Review: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  33. Here’s The Latest Teaser for Showtime’s Twin Peaks by Lisa Marie Bowman
  34. Here’s The Newest Teaser for Showtime’s Twin Peaks by Lisa Marie Bowman
  35. 12 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Parts One and Two by Lisa Marie Bowman
  36. This Week’s Peaks: Parts One and Two by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  37. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Parts One and Two (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  38. 4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Twin Peaks Edition by Lisa Marie Bowman
  39. This Week’s Peaks: Parts Three and Four by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  40. 14 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part Three by Lisa Marie Bowman (dir by David Lynch)
  41. 10 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part Four by Lisa Marie Bowman (dir by David Lynch)
  42. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Parts Three and Four (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman 
  43. 18 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part 5 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  44. This Week’s Peaks: Part Five by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  45. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return: Part 5 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  46. 14 Initial Thoughts On Twin Peaks Part 6 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  47. This Week’s Peaks: Part Six by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  48. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 6 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  49. 12 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  50. This Week’s Peaks: Part Seven by Ryan C. (trashfilm guru)
  51. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 7 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  52. Ten Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 8 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  53. This Week’s Peaks: Part Eight by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  54. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 8 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  55. 16 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 9 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  56. This Week’s Peaks: Part Nine by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  57. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 9 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  58. 20 Initial Thoughts On Twin Peaks: The Return Part 10 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  59. This Week’s Peaks: Part 10 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  60. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 10 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  61. 16 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks: The Return Part 11 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  62. This Week’s Peaks: Part 11 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  63. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 11 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  64. 20 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 12 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  65. This Weeks Peaks: Part 12 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  66. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 12 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  67. 22 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 13 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  68. This Week’s Peaks: Part 13 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  69. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 13 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  70. 22 Initial Thoughts on Twin Peaks: The Return Part 14 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  71. This Week’s Peaks: Part 14 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  72. TV Review: Twin Peaks: The Return Part 14 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman
  73. This Week’s Peaks: Part 15 by Ryan C (trashfilm guru)
  74. 24 Initial Thoughts About Twin Peaks; The Return Part 15 (dir by David Lynch) by Lisa Marie Bowman