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YMMV / The Hunger

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Miriam is definitely lonely but it's left open how much sympathy she deserves. She clearly grieves for her individual partners, but she doesn't give them Mercy Kills and just places them in coffins in her attic. She also moves onto the next candidate pretty soon, and forgets about Alice once John has killed her. Is she so desperate for companionship that she just moves onto the next person once she can no longer have someone? Or is that her way of trying to avoid the heartbreak that must come with such repeated losses?
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  • Angst? What Angst?: Miriam is definitely sad when John rapidly ages and has to be put into a coffin along with the rest of her other partners. But for all her sadness, she gets over it very quickly and moves onto Sarah.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: The film is best known for the very gratuitous lesbian sex scene between Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve. The TV spin-off was Hotter and Sexier for this reason, despite the sex being minimal in the film. The bloodlust is actually paralleled to addiction rather than sexual lust.
  • Cult Classic
  • Fair for Its Day: Despite the eventual sex scene being completely gratuitous and shot for the Male Gaze, both Miriam and Sarah are surprisingly deep characters for females in a vampire movie. Both are strong in their own way - Miriam as a powerful seductress and Sarah as a scientist. They're also allowed to be vulnerable and feminine without it being shown as a weakness. Their lust is also not something they are punished for. What's more is that the script called for Sarah to be drunk when Miriam seduces her, but Susan Sarandon insisted on it being 100% consensual. And although Miriam is a fairly twisted person, her seduction of women as well as men is not depicted as a sign of her depravity.
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  • Fanon Discontinuity: Most fans disregard the ending where Sarah turns out to be alive, feeling the original choice was better. There Sarah killed herself rather than live as a vampire, and Miriam's victims were allowed some form of rest. As it was tacked on by the studio in the hopes of a Sequel Hook (which of course never materialised), fans pretend it doesn't exist.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • John's sudden and rapid deterioration over a period of days became a lot harsher after David Bowie's sudden death. Bowie kept his terminal cancer a secret and was still seen in public apparently healthy only days before his death.
    • Tony Scott was revealed by his brother to have had cancer himself at the time of his death. What’s worse is that Frank Scott, Tony and Ridley’s brother whom the film is dedicated to, died of skin cancer in 1980.
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  • Retroactive Recognition: A young Willem Dafoe is one of the youths at the phone booth.
  • Signature Scene: The opening with Bauhaus performing.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: The film effectively translated The Vampire Chronicles and its portrayal of vampires to the big screen eleven years before the official film adaptation of Interview with the Vampire came out. While The Hunger was adapted from a different novel, director Tony Scott was a huge fan of Anne Rice, and his interest in directing an adaptation of Interview led Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to hire him for this film.
  • Squick: It's heavily implied that the teenage violinist, Alice, who John and Miriam are friends with, is being groomed by the two of them as their next paramour. Ick.
  • Vindicated by History: Somewhat. The film did get some lukewarm reception and praise for Bowie and Deneuve's performances, but was criticized for it's slow pace and plot despite the great atmosphere and visuals. It later on developed a cult following within the goth culture for its dark and gloomy atmosphere. The usage of Bauhaus especially with the intro worked in its favour.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Even those who don't like the movie acknowledge that John's Rapid Aging (and aging, and aging, and aging...) is a sight to behold, thanks to Dick Smith's makeup work. Between this and David Bowie's performance, John is something of an Ensemble Dark Horse, as he gets little to do after the first half.

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