Our Rating: ★★★★½
L Factor: Major lesbian content
Short Take: A sophisticated vampire (Catherine Deneuve) seduces a doctor (Susan Sarandon). Classic and sensual.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 1983
Duration: 97 min
Language: UK/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Tony Scott
Writer: James Costigan, Ivan Davis
Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Susan Sarandon, David Bowie, Cliff De Young, Beth Ehlers, Dan Hedaya, Rufus Collins, Suzanne Bertish, James Aubrey, Ann Magnuson, John Stephen Hill, Shane Rimmer, Bauhaus, Douglas Lambert, Bessie Love

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OK, I have to admit it. The Hunger contains the first lesbian love scene that I had ever seen on film. As a teenager, I watched it over, and over, and over, and over again. Viewing it many years later, Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon making love hasn’t lost any of its mesmerizing qualities. With billowing curtains and classic beautiful women, it remains one of the most sensual and erotic images to grace the screen.

Miriam (Catherine Deneuve, 8 Femmes, Belle de Jour) and John (David Bowie) are a sophisticated New York vampire couple who frequent goth clubs to find their next victims. Brutally subsisting on the blood of others gives them immortality, and Miriam is centuries old. But John starts to rapidly age, as evidently Miriam’s lovers are not truly immortal.

Enter Dr Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon, Thelma & Louise), a scientist focusing on the subject of aging. John goes to her for help, but it’s too late for him. What Miriam finds in Sarah is her next lover. When Sarah comes to the house, Miriam seduces her, and while making love, she transfers some of her blood into Sarah’s veins. Sarah becomes a vampire as well, but she is strong willed, not quite accepting the life Miriam has planned for her.

There are many vampire flicks out there that employ lesbian themes, but this one is a real step above the others.

(Note Susan Sarandon’s interview in The Celluloid Closet regarding The Hunger. The script called for her character to get really drunk before being seduced by Miriam, thereby giving her some kind of excuse for letting it happen, but she insisted that not be the case. ‘Certainly, you wouldn’t have to get drunk to bed Catherine Deneuve. I don’t care what your sexual history to that point had been.’) (AB)