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With: Lili Taylor, Christopher Walken, Annabella Sciorra, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli
Written by: Nicholas St. John
Directed by: Abel Ferrara
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 82
Date: 31/12/1994

The Addiction (1995)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Something to Chew On

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Buy The Addiction on VHS.

When I first read about Abel Ferrara's new picture, I expected a dark, bloody, gutsy tale of vampires in New York City. Something in the vein (pardon) of Bad Lieutenant and Dangerous Game (both of which I liked). The Addiction is filmed in black and white, features a rap score by Schooly D, and gutsy actress Lili Taylor in the lead.

What we get is a slight, but entertaining movie, that's (dare I say it?) unintentionally funny at times. Here's the twist; these vampires are all philosophers. Taylor plays a philosophy student at NYU. After she gets bitten (by Annabella Sciorra), she justifies her own killings by quoting philosophy. She tells her victims to ask her to leave, to validate their own lives, (which none of them seem to do) before she bites them.

In the middle of the movie, she bumps into Christopher Walken, another vampire / philosopher. He takes her up to his loft and spouts philosophy back at her. "I haven't drunk in over four years. It's a matter of control. I can lead a normal life. I have a job. I can defficate. When was the last time you did that?" He bites her a few times to keep her weak. She tries to kill herself and he laughs at her. He keeps spewing philosophy.

He lets her go. She finishes her doctorate, has a party and in a spectacular blood orgy of a climax, bites everyone there.

Regular Ferrara screenwriter Nicholas St. John often imbues his exploitation scripts with a deft intelligence, but in The Addiction, quoting from Sartre and Nietzche made me erupt in laughter. It's a student's idea of what makes an "intelligent" film. But, hey, Ferrara's grit and ferocity is there, and I haven't seen a good "bad" horror movie in a long time.

It's no Horror of Dracula or Near Dark, but it's recommended.

Note: For some reason, as of October 2004, this film still hasn't been released on DVD.

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