Theres a sadness to a clean living vampire with the best of intentions. Whats the point of being immortal if youre going to live life as an Osmond with fangs? I prefer my blood suckers on the dirty side. Tony Scotts The Hunger was about Manhattan based vampires that were kinky when it came to cruising for fresh meat. Over a decade later, Tony and his brother Ridley (Blade Runner) used the films title as a launching board for a horror anthology that aired on Showtime. This time The Hunger represents people with major desires. They hunger for power, sex and blood. The Hunger: The Complete First Season is like an erotic version of Rod Serlings Night Gallery. Terence Stamp (The Limey) comes off as a really aloof version of Serling with his intros and wrap ups.
“The Swords” involves a woman who can be pierced with a sword without suffering any injuries. Balthazar Getty (Lost Highway) is a spoiled rich kid who gets tangled up with her. By day hes bored by Timothy Spall (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) at a business workshop. At night he practices sword play with the girl after he makes a deal with her manager/pimp. Its a seductive tale even with the normally bland Getty in the lead. “Menage a Trois” is a twisted threesome bent around Daniel Craig (Casino Royale) as a helpful handyman. Hes young and shirtless while working for an invalid Karen Black. Her new nurse (Lena Headey) finds herself seduced by Craig. Theres many injections taking place. Is Black controlling the debauchery? “Necros” hints that a guys new girlfriends pal might be a bloodsucker. What do you do? “The Secret of Shih-Tan” is a foodie nightmare. Do you really want to know that goes into this version of a hotdog?
“Bridal Suite” sticks Sally Kirkland at a country hotel where a newlywed couple learns the horrible secret of their bed. Shouldnt a hotel tell you in advance if theres a curse on a room? “Room 17” immediately gets my attention with superstar Curtis Armstrong (Revenge of the Nerds Booger). He check into a sleazy motel to watch erotic videos. However the spectravision action gets personal. This is one of my favorite performances by Armstrong as he hungers to pass through the screen. “No Radio” has couples sex games go out of control. It stars Amanda De Cadenet. A decade ago she was Courtney Loves party pal. What happened to her? “But At My Back I Always Hear” makes a professor swear hes being stalked by a student. The guy cant quite grasp that shes not quit able to attend class anymore. “The Sloan Men” makes a bride discover theres something special about her husband and his family. The first warning should have been Margot Kidder being her mother-in-law.
“A Matter of Style” brings more vampire action. This time an older female vampire teaching her inept pupil. “Hidebound” forces a female security guard (Weeds Brooke Smith) to hunt down the spirit haunting a warehouse. Nobody believes in her suspect. “Fly-By-Night” has a vampire (Giancarlo Esposito) stuck inside an insane asylum. He offers salvation to a vet thats gone over the edge. “The Other Woman” is a timely tale about a wife warning her husband what will happen if he cheats on her. “The Face of Helene Bournouw” gives us the evil of being inspired by a fickle woman. Artists drop dead when she walks out of their lives. “Footsteps” unleashes a female vampire on Paris. Shes eager to taste French food. Her blood buffet is interrupted by a fellow diner with a different diet.
The Hunger is a top notch horror anthology with creative cameramen and the appearance of high production values. Since it originally aired on Showtime, the series pursued the erotic angle without it being a tease. Theres no carefully placed objects to obscure the action. Stamp is such a freakish host that he sets the tone for the show. This isnt a family friendly spook-tacular. The Hunger: The Complete First Season is a radical way to scare people in an adult fashion.
“The Swords,” “Menage a Trois,” “Necros,” “The Secret Shih-Tan,” “Bridal Suite,” “Room 17,” “Anais,” “No Radio,” “But At My Back I Always Hear,” “Red Light,” “I’m Dangerous Tonight,” “The Sloan Men,” “A Matter of Style,” “Hidebound,” “Fly-By-Night,” “The River of Night’s Dreaming,” “The Lighthouse,” “The Face of Helene Bournouw,” “Plain Brown Envelope,” “The Other Woman,” “Clarimonde” and “Footsteps.”
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers are sharp enough to see the chilled breath of the actors. The audio is Dolby Digital stereo. The mix is fine. The opening theme music is disconcerting so you might lower the volume knob.
The Hunger Inside (25:58) is a preview of the second season hosted by David Bowie. Theres interviews and clips. The Hunger: The Complete Second Season is due out on October 13.
The Hunger: The Complete First Season is perfect for viewers wanting flesh and blood in their horror anthology. There is an overwhelming taste of the temptations that creates the hunger inside humans and inhumans. This is not the series made for the tween set.
E1 Entertainment presents The Hunger: The Complete First Season. Terence Stamp, Daniel Craig, Karen Black, Margot Kidder and Giancarlo Esposito. Boxset Contents: 22 episodes on 4 DVDs. Released on DVD: June 16, 2009. Available at Amazon.com
Tags: Daniel Craig, vampires