The Hunger
Series 1

Starring: David Bowie, Daniel Craig and Rachel Weiz
Infinity Video and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RRP: 29.99
ODX 3403
Certificate: 18
Available 31 October 2005

In case you weren't aware, this Tony & Ridley Scott presentation is an anthology series which combines, in separate stories, different elements involving the theme of sex and horror, with obvious supernatural elements. It is loosely connected by name and David Bowie music to The Hunger feature film. Anyone who read my review of that film knows I didn't think much of it. Merely by its variation this is better, although only fractionally so.

The 4-disc set incorporates 22 individual tales, all introduced by esteemed actor Terence Stamp. The style of the opening credits has been copied from the late-night English violent horror anthology Urban Gothic, using video flick trickery which was popular in the eighties and early nineties. Superimposed over these titles are the key phrases: For Power. For Sex. For Life. Longevity. For Money. For Blood.

The pilot show is a simple story called The Sword, in which a man is sexually attracted to a young woman who has a sword plunged into her, with no ill effects, as part of a travelling act. When she falls in love with him he cannot commit himself to a relationship. The heartbreak ultimately causes her death. Other tales include: Red Light, in which a model is diminished every time her photograph is taken; and Room 17, in which a salesman is seduced by an adult channel performer.

It naturally piqued my interest when I noticed there are two adaptations of Graham Masterton short stories, who is in my opinion the greatest writer of horror fiction ever. However, neither Bridal Suite or Anais manage to come close to capturing the magic of the written prose. Another offering, The Secret Shih Tan (a top young chef is persuaded by a businessman to prepare an illegal dish, a woman who has been killed during the act of lovemaking) is actually a Masterton short, but somebody else entirely is credited.

Probably the best one I came across was Clarimonde: A young priest must endure a cold winter in a small remote parish. A beautiful young woman comes to him at night and seduces him into the pleasures of the flesh. But he awakes to find he has dreamed the whole thing. This happens every night until she tells him her carriage is arriving and he can come with her or remain in a cold church. An elderly priest saves him from the wrong decision by showing him the witch's tomb.

Even this high point can't detract from the fact the majority is average stuff. Perhaps it would have been more sensible to explore more varying themes, because once you've seen a few of these, you pretty much know what to expect.

Ty Power

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