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The Addiction

USA 1994, Colour, 82 min
Director: Abel Ferrara
Screenplay: Nicholas St. John
Photography Ken Kelsch
Music Joe Delia
Producer: Dennis Hann, Fernando Sulichin
Lilli Taylor Kathleen Conklin
Christopher Walken Peina
Edie Falco Jean
Annabella Sciorra Vampirin
Paul Calderon Professor

One night the New York philosophy student Kathleen Conklin becomes the victim of a bizarre attack. A mysterious women drags her into the entrance of a house urging her to take off. Kathleen, totally terrified only manages to blurt out: "please - don't hurt me". In the end the lady bites her throat and drinks her blood. At hospital Kathleen is told that she was O.K. so far; if she got infected with the HIV-virus couldn't be said yet.

During the next days Kathleen realizes some serious changes: loss of appetite, increasing paleness, nasty changes of mood and finally an insatiable thirst for blood. She soon drops into a rabbit hole, ceases to work on her thesis and doesn't care about social contacts anymore. After having bleed her first victim, a homeless old man (very inexperienced by means of a syringe), she looses all scruples and infects whoever crosses her way: friends as well as strangers.

For Kathleen everything changes when she meets the experienced vampire Peina who makes her aware of her situation forcefully. He puts her on withdrawal for a while, tells her that it was all her decision and that she was to arrange herself with the circumstances as good as possible.

This is how she resumes her studies again, writes a revolutionary thesis and astonishes the examination committee with her theses. Afterwards Kathleen gives a huge dissertation party to which her infected victims are invited as well and it all ends in a final blood orgy.

On principle Abel Ferrera Movies are not really easy ones, just think of "Snakeeyes", "Bad Lieutenant" or "MS 45". "The Addiction" is no exception to the rule. Ferrera himself said that "The Addiction" was exactly the movie he always wanted to make. It's only logical that we find a lot of elements that are typical for him: New York Downtown atmosphere, philosophical speculations and spectacular excesses of violence.. .

Nevertheless, "The Addiction" is far away from being the best movie Ferrera ever made. Actually it is not even a real vampire movie. The vampire motive merely serves as a metaphor for violence, the evil, humankind easily becomes a victim of, but also for drug addiction and AIDS (it seems that the believing and practicing Catholic Ferrera considers this disease the punishment of god). Well...

This sounds exaggerated? Well, that's exactly the main problem of "The Addiction". The actors, especially Lili Taylor and Christopher Walken are great as always, camera man Ken Kelsch visualizes the movie with atmospheric black and white pictures, shows us slow camera moves and extreme close-ups. Also splatter fans get what they want. But anyway, the overload of philosophical meaningless nonsense gets on our nerves. Everybody can quote Heidegger and Nietzsche but you need more to make a philosophical movie. And, what does Kathleen say? Philosophy is Propaganda! In "The Addiction" there's a questionable moral attitude, pictures of the Holocaust and the Vietnam war, so that even the last saphead understands what Ferrera and the author of the screenplay want to tell us: we are not evil because we do evil, but because we are evil.... O.K.!

O.K., the "The Addiction" is not as bad as we might make it sound, but most of the time it is boring and sometimes even a nuisance. Probably Ferrera, who normally is an excellent Director, somehow lost control of the movie. Those who think "interview with the vampire" lacks philosophical depth might want to try their luck with this movie.


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