The Addiction (1995)

(On DVD, June 2009): It goes without saying that a horror monster is seldom “just” a horror monster, but Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction takes things to a conceptual extreme by cramming vampires in a film chiefly about addition and the philosophical implications thereof. Pretentious? Very much. Intriguing? Definitely. Shot in stark black-and-white, The Addiction features a number of notable names (including an unusually fetching Lily Taylor, and a scene-grabbing cameo from Christopher Walken) and an improbable number of soliloquies that, stripped of their pretentiousness, still manage to deliver a number of fascinating ideas. The vampire here is a junkie who has managed to blame others for his addiction, and whose appetite is only matched by self-loathing. As horror, it’s generally lame (although there is a vampire feeding frenzy late in the film), and yet there’s no denying that The Addiction is a lot more worthwhile to watch than any half-dozen cheap vampire movies.

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