The Addiction Blu Ray Review (Arrow Video)
The Addiction is a 1995 vampire film directed by Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant, King of New York, Ms .45, & The Driller Killer). The screenplay was written by Nicholas St. John (The Funeral, Body Snatchers, Dangerous Game, & Fear City). It was produced by Hip Hop Icon Russell Simmons (The Nutty Professor, Gridlock’d, How to Be a Player, & Def Comedy Jam). The original genders were switched between the characters Peina & Casanova because Christopher Walken wanted to play the role of Peina after reading the script. It was nominated & won several awards at 45th Berlin International Film Festival, Mystfest, & Málaga International Week of Fantastic Cinema.
Kathleen Conklin (played by: Lili Taylor from Leatherface, Six Feet Under, Rudy, & Say Anything…) is a philosophy student at New York University. She’s trying to get her work done & graduate with best friend Jean (played by: Edie Flaco from The Sopranos, Nurse Jackie, OZ, & Copland). One night after class, she is attacked by a mysterious woman named Casanova (played by: Annabella Sciorra from The Sopranos, New Rose Hotel, Romeo Is Bleeding, & Jungle Fever). She starts to act different including avoiding daylight & a distaste for food. She starts craving blood after all these recent changes. She meets various people & makes them her victims including her Professor (played by: Paul Calderon from Tenement, Pulp Fiction, Boardwalk Empire, & Sea of Love), anthropology student (played by: Kathryn Erbe from Law & Order: Criminal Intent, OZ, Stir of Echoes, & D2: The Mighty Ducks), street kid Black (played by: Fredro Starr from The Wire, Clockers, Sunset Park, & Light it Up), & others. Kathleen’s addiction is out of control until she meets older vampire Peina (played by: Christopher Walken from True Romance, The Deer Hunter, The Dead Zone, & The Prophecy franchise). She teaches her how to have to deal with her new lifestyle & what to do to have a balanced reality. She os struggling to survive with this curse until her maker Casanova shows up to help progress from the pain & get her situation together!!!!
The Addiction is one of a kind & 100% original when it comes to the vampire sub genre. At the same time this was being made, the mainstream was starting to produce a decent amount with similar monsters. What I love about this feature is that Abel Ferrara went a totally different direction with this. He could have capitalized on the vampire craze & made way more money from this but instead he made the exact film that he wanted to with this. Shooting it in black & white was also risky because no one else was doing it in the 90s. That style definitely wasn’t popular for most movie goers & turned off some to the point they wouldn’t even give it a chance. The script is very smart & the whole thing is basically a big metaphor for drug use. It’s a little slow & very artsy at times but it’s one of those flicks that pays off for the wait. I really enjoyed the dinner scene. The main cast that I already mentioned above delivered some quality performances especially Lili Taylor & Christopher Walken. It also has some nice cameos from The Soprano’s Michael Imperioli & Jamel “RedRum” Simmons from Gravediggaz. It has an awesome score by Joe Delia (China Girl, Freeway, Caged Fury, The Blackout, & The Substitute 2: School’s Out) & a perfect soundtrack featuring various hip hop artists. It added to the dark New York atmosphere of the feature. I can’t believe that I’ve never seen this until now. Hopefully others finally catch on & give The Addiction a shot after all these years!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Arrow Video! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer from a 4K scan of the original camera negative approved by the director & director of photography is very impressive. They made the right choice shooting this in black & white because it looks fantastic! It adds so much more to the production & focuses more on the simple things. It has the director’s signature style all over it & it’s a completely original vampire flick with great authentic locations. It has two different audio options the English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 & English 2.0 LPCM tracks. They sound amazing & that’s not surprising since Russell Simmons was a producer but the soundtrack for The Addiction is top notch! It’s probably my favorite one that I’ve reviewed in a long time. It also includes English SDH subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features on this blu ray disc! Audio Commentary by Abel Ferrara moderated by Brad Stevens. Abel Ferrara talks about producer Russell Simmons & the soundtrack for the film. He chats about the cast,crew, & locations for the production. He brings up some of his film making techniques used during this. It’s basically a scene specific track as he covers what he sees on the screen. From his reactions, you can tell he hasn’t seen it for a long time. He comes off pretty excited to experience it again. Brad Stevens barely even speaks on the commentary which is weird considering he was supposed to be the moderator. “Talking With the Vampires” is almost 31 minutes. It features interviews with actors Christopher Walken, Lili Taylor, composer Joe Delia, cinematographer Ken Kelsch, & director Abel Ferrara. They chat about their experience on the film & working with the director. Lili Taylor mentions her own addictions & her working process during this. Christopher Walken brings up remembering lines, vampire films, & working with Abel Ferrara again. Joe Delia plays some music & says he still has ever recorded for this including unreleased material. Everyone seems to have good memories about this production. “Interview with Abel Ferrara” is a little over 16 minute chat with the director. He didn’t say much the previous extra but he definitely speaks up here. He brings up that a female lead was rare back then. He talks about this being a lower budget film & difficulties of getting it made. He brings up crew members he worked with on this production. He talks about his own addiction after making this feature. He brings up what happened to the lead character after the film. “Appreciation by Brad Stevens” is almost 9 minutes. He praises the feature & goes into great detail about it. He shares some of his theories on it & makes some comparisons. “Abel Edits The Addiction” is almost 9 minutes & shows the director putting the film together. It’s cool to see his working process while finalizing a project. You get some promotional material like a “Still Gallery” & a “Theatrical Trailer”. It also has reversible artwork & a real nice booklet that covers lots of information with pictures from The Addiction. I’ve never seen a vampire film like this before & that’s very refreshing plus it’s really good so it comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! It’s available everywhere right now, check it out!!!!