This afternoon, Tony Scott, director of the cult horror classic The Hunger jumped to his death. From The Hunger’s opening sequence, it immediately distinguished itself from other entries in the canon of vampire films. With the performance of goth rock band Bauhaus’s “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” the film established its ethereal sensuality while laying the foundation for its further explorations into countercultures.

The film portrays vampires Miriam and John Blaylock (Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie) as cultured members of society, with classical music inclinations, by day; and as chic, sexy predators by night. John is apparently only one in a long line of mates that Miriam has selected, and as her interest in him wanes, his fate becomes that of his predecessors: he ages rapidly and gets stored in a box.

For her next conquest, Miriam turns to the doctor from whom John sought help when he realized that he was rapidly aging – a transformation that was masterfully effected by academy award-winning make-up artist Dick Smith. Dr. Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon) is then seduced into a relationship by the influential succubus; thus, some of cinema’s most iconic lesbian vampire imagery was born.

Based on Whitley Strieber’s novel, The Hunger attained memorable artistic achievements not only for Stephen Goldblatt’s haunting cinematography, not only for the brave performances of the lead actresses, but also for Tony Scott’s restrained narrative style in presenting a multi-layered look into a vampiric lifestyle.

Scott also directed two episodes of the horror series, The Hunger (no connection to the film), and produced the horror, sci-fi film Prometheus (directed by his brother, Ridley Scott) in addition to producing and directing numerous film and television projects outside of the horror genre. His contributions to cinema will not be forgotten.

by Scott Feinblatt