Monday, June 30, 2008

The Hunger: Proof That I Don’t Hate Bowie

So on Friday, after being enraged by poor documentary film making, it wasn’t enough to just rail against Kill Your Idols in blog form as I had hoped. I still found myself coming up with new reasons why I was disappointed and disturbed that the whole thing. Where were the Velvet Underground in this discussion? Love and Rockets put out some experimental noise rock, and they didn’t get the Sonic Youth holier than thou treatment… Did the poor cameraman who had to film those A.R.E. Weapons tools end up catching some incurable disease from being trapped in the same room with them? Is he now unable to shave, but still unable to grow a real beard?

Long and short of it, I just couldn’t turn my mind off, which typically is a good thing when referring to a film… Normally, after watching a documentary, or even well made historical fiction, I find myself wanting to learn more about the subject matter… In the case of this steaming pile, I really, REALLY just wanted to make the bad men stop…

As with any time anger, hatred, and a touch of fear start creeping into my soul, the quickest and most effective way to stamp out the invading horrors that my mind cooks up is through 80’s interpretive Vampire narrative. In this case, 1983’s Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, and Susan Sarandon’s Sapphic blood-fest, The Hunger

In all honesty, I’ve never considered myself a vampire film fan. I tend to enjoy them on some ‘that-was-better-than-a-kick-in-the-crotch’ level, and I can’t think of a vampire flick that I absolutely hated, though I think that would change if I took the time to watch Queen Of The Damned, in the long run though, if given a chance to watch a vampire flick or a slasher flick, I go butcher knife over pointy teeth every single time. Also, in the interest of full disclosure, the term ‘Vampire’ is never once uttered in The Hunger, and there’s nary a pointed tooth to be found… These aren’t your grandfather’s Oldsmobile driving vampires, these are ankh-knife wielding, goth-rock listening, fabulous-80’s-fashion wearing blood drinking freaks who just plain don’t age… But DON’T call them vampires… OK, OK, we’re not stupid… They’re vampires and we all know it, so let’s just accept it and move on.

Miriam Blaylock (Deneuve) and her husband John (Bowie) are the type of hip swinging couple that enjoys a night on the town. A little drinking, a little dancing, a cameo performance by goth pioneers Bauhaus, and a raucous after hours party that swings like CBS network programming do… Miriam and John pick up a young couple who seem down for a little bit of the old swappin’ action, and they all get down to business forthwith. Miriam’s making the moves in the oh-so-80’s living room. This is thy type of place you’d expect to see Max Headroom chatting up the Master Control Program about the most effective way to avoid the Noid… Of course, it WAS 1983, so I guess I could cut them some slack. Suffice it to say that we’re beaten over the head by the fact this is a MODERN and HIP couple of cool cats, not some old fuddy duddies…

While Miriam’s suckin’ some face and getting ready to make herself a crimson cocktail, John’s getting’ it on, AND bangin’ a gong in the equally stylish and stark kitchen. Ann Magnusen, who went on to a pretty successful career as a character actress kindly displays her assets for an appreciative audience in the role of ‘Young Woman From The Disco’, Bowie cops a feel, gets down with the makin’ out, and then quickly grows tired of these all too human of pleasures and gets with the hack and slash. One point of note abut the kill scenes in The Hunger… It seems that a modern day vampire on the go can’t manage to extract the blade end from his or her ankh necklace without forcefully pulling the entire chain off their necks.. All in all, this makes for a great dramatic begin to a kill scene, but what do these vampires DO for a living that they can afford to be replacing perfectly good gold necklaces 3 or 4 times a week each time they slice another unsuspecting victim? It’s just not practical, and for those of us living through these trying environment times, it’s also pretty wasteful… You need to reduce, recycle, and reuse Cat and Dave, no go a around breaking and tossing gold chains like they’re popsicle sticks… Not that I condone throwing away popsicle sticks either… There’s both Arts AND Crafts you can accomplish with those sticks… What happens the next time you need to build a scale model of The Alamo? You’re going to be pretty peeved that you tossed those popsicle sticks then AREN’T YOU?

So whilst Bowie’s drinking from the tap so to speak out in the kitchen, Cat D has also loosed the flow of dyed corn syrup… ERRR… blood from her unwitting victim. Young Man From Disco is portrayed ably by John Stephen Hill, who unlike his cohort in club going and vampire bangin’ DIDN’T go on to much of a career, although he was featured in a flick called Bloodbath at the House of Death, which could not POSSIBLY be as good as it’s title. A moment of silence for these crazy young kids in love… We didn’t know their names, but they shall live on in our hearts, and in the veins of their vampire slayers… Alas, poor Yoric... you’re like, dead or something…

I believe the audience reaction is supposed to be somewhere along the lines of ‘DAMN! These folks is KILLERS!’ So long as we’ve established that vital plot point, we can move along.

MONKEYS!!!

To be more specific, pissed off monkeys… To be even MORE specific, pissed off monkeys,. And the scientists who love them… One monkey gets all ‘roid raged up, and rips out another monkey’s throat. It’s not cool, but it’s nature in action. What can you do… Hold on just a second… It’s NOT nature. These monkeys have all been poked and prodded and injected with god knows what to try and reverse the aging process. We know this, because one of the monkey lovin’ scientists, Dr. Sarah Roberts (Sarandon), tells us so while on a generic film version of Good Morning Whatever City You’re Living In, complete with comfy armchairs angled in toward each other, a small round coffee table between them, an innocuous vase of flows, and mugs most likely containing coffee. If you’ve ever seen a movie, or watched television, or been to a home show and seen a staged living room, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, get off this devil box Jebodiah! You’ve got a barn to raise…

Just in cased you missed it, this was plot point #2. SS works with monkeys to try and stop the aging process… Cat D and Dave seem to have stopped the aging process through drinking blood… Could these crazy kids make a love connection? But wait! There’s a twist!

When we last left Cat and Dave’s playhouse of carnage, Davey was a young man. He partied, he sucked vein, he wore skinny jeans and tiny round sunglasses, he was everything one would expect a fun loving night dwelled to be in the mid 80’s… But now, he’s beginning to lose his hair, beginning to get wrinkly, and has a much more gaunt appearance… It’s as though 1983 David Bowie just turned into 2008 David Bowie over the course of one evening, without ever making that horrible Tin Machine mistake… Had 1983 David Bowie known then what 2008 David Bowie knows now, he may not have protested…

So getting’ old Dave decides to confront still young and hot Cat D and say, I’m paraphrasing here, but it was roughly ‘What the hell lady? You told me, like 1,000 years ago, that I’d never get old… NEVER… what’s the deal woman?’ so Cat says something like ‘Them’s the breaks my little chickadee, what do you want to do about it now? You’ll be dust in a week, but don’t worry, you’re not going to die, you’ll just live for all eternity a wrinkled old mummified prune dude, never leaving your casket… Hell, it’s worked just fine for Hugh Heffner…’ Bowie’s hip to the scientific advancements of the day, so he says ‘Give it a rest, vamp-chick… I’M going to see that monkey Dr. and she’ll give me the juice she gives the monkeys to keep them from getting all old and gross. YOU SAID FOREVER!!’ After his Jan Brady tirade is over, he heads for Monkey Lab, home of Dr. Sarandon and her monkey pals. Since he now looks like he’s in his early fifties, he dresses the part, kind of like an extra on a BBC Sherlock Holmes special… Tweed suit, Rex Harrison hat, the whole nine… Davey’s looking to impress these monkeys…

So Suzie’s on the scene, looking all haggard and worn out from her hectic scientist cum rock star schedule when Bowie corners her in the hall, and gives her the old ‘I’m one of the young dudes, I carry the news… but look at me! I look so old!! Ya gotta HELP me doc!.’ So Suzie says ‘Hold on there crackpot, gimmie 15 minutes to rap with my peeps about the monkey junk, and I’ll be right back to run some tests.’ Davey cops a squat in the waiting room whilst Suzie goes back on her merry way, pausing long enough to call her receptionist. “Yeah, there’s a looney tune in the lobby. Make him feel at home, give him some 6 month old magazines to read, and eventually he’ll get tired and go away.’

Poor older by the minute Davey sits and waits, and over the course of the next few hours goes from salt and pepper hairs distinguished older man to 140 year old too old to run for congress creep show… Suzie finally comes back, figuring the coast is clear and that Loopy has moved on to accost a statue in the park or something, but no… Not THIS nut bar, he’s still camping out, but he’s gotten so crusty she doesn’t even recognize him. Davey strolls on up to Suzie’s side and says ‘What the HELL? You’re all like It’ll be 15 minutes and I’m all like OK, just make sure it’s no longer than that, and you’re all like No Problemo, and I’m all like, I’ll wait and read this copy of Highlights and that was like TWO HOURS AGO! You suck lady… Now I’m stuck here, looking like Regis Philbin when just last night I was pulling hot bit part actress tail… You know what, screw you… I don’t need your monkey shots anyway!’ and he leaves.

Suzie’s feeling all 12 kinds of guilty for thinking Davey was just another cuckoo who flew over the nest and she tries to stop him, but Davey’s like ‘Too late Luthor… TOO LATE’ and takes his too old to renew his driver’s license ass on home to rot away, and that’s just what he does. He goes home say’s ‘Damn Cat D, I’m sorry I yelled at you. If it wasn’t for you I’d have been dead like 950 years ago, and I wouldn’t have gotten a chance to nail and drain all those young bit part actresses… You’re the best Cat D… Hold me until I can no longer function and then lock me in a pine box please…’ So that’s what Cat does. She holds him until he can no longer function, and then carries him to the attic to lock him in a pine box with all the other lovers she’s taken over the millennia… ‘Here you go Davey… Rot next to these other old pine boxes… They contain the shattered husks of good people. It’ll be fun!’

Since poor Suzie’s been all dick-in-the-dirt since blowing off the dude who went from 2008 David Bowie to 2008 Ted Turner in a matter of 2 hours, she decides she’ll pull his info and make a house call. She heads on up to Cat’s place, and asks for the man of the house. Cat says ‘Dude skedaddled to Switzerland for some experimental treatment that worked wonders for Dick Clark. He’ll be back sometime, but how about you come in for some wine. I need a new concubine… ERRRR… I’m sure I have his info around here somewhere…’ so Suzie’s like, ‘No problem, I’m not wearing a bra, and it’s totally apparent. Can I have that wine now? I need to spill it on my supple breasts so I have an excuse to take off my top and get down to some naughty lovin.’

So The Hunger was entertaining up to this point, but the next few minutes obviously rules in a complete and total way… All sorts of famous actress parts all over the place, lots of soft focus cheesy camera work, a whole bunch of wind blown sheer sheets subtly draping unclothedness, and when the whole thing is said and done, Cat and Suzie are both fully spent, oh, and Suzie’s a vampire… So Suzie takes off and heads to meet her husband for dinner. She’s not hungry, but still orders a rare steak. Odd, the idea of blood just sounds tasty all of a sudden… Why could THAT be? She spends the next few days not feeling hungry but so totally wanting to suck some vein. She’s not sure why, so she has the monkey lab run some tests on her… Turns out all the blood she’s got in her veins isn’t hers, and this other blood is like vampire HGH or something because it’s making her stay young, and healthy, and vibrant, and MAN I could go for some vein right now…

Anyhoo, Suzie heads on over to Cat’s place, and says ‘What the HELL! I’m all about touching naughty parts, but putting your blood in me? That’s just full on creepy lady…’ and Cat’s like ‘Oh yeah, well, shut up! I like so totally OWN you now… But before you get all pissed and stuff, you’re never going to get old, so THAT doesn’t suck…’ Suzie’s all like ‘Oh yeah? Well, that’s messed up, but I’ll still make out with you…’ So they start with the face sucking, and while Cat is distracted by trying to massage Suzie’s tonsils with her tongue, Suzie reaches up and pulls off the Ankh necklace Cat gave her as a gift… Up, there goes another gold chain… Damn wasteful vampires… Suzie gives a little shiv to queen vampy and sucks her dry…
From here, one of two things happen… Either shit starts to get convoluted, or I dozed off because it was quarter to two in the morning. Either way, to the best of my knowledge, Suzie is now the vampire queen and has a really awesome balcony overlooking the ocean or something… Cat’s got her own very special pine box right next to Davey’s in the attic, and we’re primed for The Hunger TWO! Regis’ Revenge!! I’m absolutely shocked that Susan Sarandon decided such a film wouldn’t be a good career move… In her defense, there was more challenging work on the horizon, like ridin’ Kevin Costner in Bull Durham, bonin’ James Spader in White Palace, and slippin’ it to Geena Davis in Thelma and Louise… Oh, wait… That only happened in the version in my head…

There was a short lived The Hunger TV show which I have never seen but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it probably wasn’t very entertaining… If by entertaining you mean lesbian erotica, and really, who doesn’t? You usually don’t see to much of that on TV, unless you pay for the premium cable channels… No matter, for the well used blood flow, the different twist on the old vampire tale, and for a heaping helping of girl-on-girl goodness, you could do worse than The Hunger… I highly suggest it as a hangover remedy the next time you find yourself drunk on delusional wanna-be-rocker losers…

By the way, David Bowie, for the treatment you received at the hands of that lying Cat D, and unsympathetic Suzie Sarandon you’re forgiven for any repressed memories I may still be clinging to from your inappropriate costuming in Labyrinth. No, that DOESN’T mean I want to hear ‘Magic Dance’, it just means I won’t be filing charges. Stick to roles that require full on pants there Ziggy Stardust. It’s better for all of us…

I leave you with this parting thought… If there is a literary term for someone who suffers from excessive use of the ellipsis, I certainly suffer from it…

1 comment:

Cruise Ship Director Julie said...

I like the Hunger... Not just for its gratuitous lesbian sex scenes but also for its juxtaposition of Cat D, the picture of class, Suzie, newly corrupt from Rocky, and Bowie, past Ziggy Stardust and just getting comfortable with his male parts again. Its truly fantastic fluff.