Abel Ferrara's moody, 1995 vampire flick makes bold and pointed statements on sin and redemption, spirituality, philosophy and the nature of good and evil. Unfortunately, it has been widely ignored and shunned in America. Thankfully for us fans, the team at Arrow Video are breathing new life into the film with their upcoming Blu-ray release.
Lili Taylor gives a brooding and memorable performance as Kathleen Conklin, a New York University grad student who is pulled into an alley and bitten by a seductive female vampire, from which she emerges uncontrollably drawn into a world of violence and insatiable cravings for human blood. Ferrara's urban hell landscape of New York City is more realistic and frightening than other vampire films that feature unbelievable settings. Ferrara does a fantastic job with contrasting Taylor's "addiction" to the horrors of the past (war atrocities, the Holocaust) and present (drugs, AIDS), the film features just as much bite and impact as any other vamp flick but offers a hauntingly bleak and unique look into the misfortune of being cursed with vampirism. In my opinion, it features many qualities of George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead. While The Addiction is definitely not for everyone, I thoroughly enjoy this art house masterpiece from Abel Ferrara.
As expected with an Arrow Video release, the 4K restoration is absolutely stunning! The picture quality is crystal clear and though it's a black and white film, the contrast is spot on. While this release doesn't feature surround sound audio, I have zero complaints with in the sound department. Everything is heard clearly and the quality never waivers.
As for special features, this Blu-ray includes some great interviews with cast and crew that offer some inside and rather personal looks into the process of making the film. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the different perspectives on this film from the people involved in its creation.
Bottom line, if you're a fan of Abel Ferrara's The Addiction, this is the definitive version to own. If you've never seen the film, now's the time to do so! Releasing on August 26th from Arrow Video.
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The mid-nineties were a fertile period for the vampire movie. Big-name stars such as Tom Cruise and Eddie Murphy flocked to genre, as did high-caliber filmmakers like Francis Ford Coppola, veterans Wes Craven and John Landis, independents Michael Almereyda and Jeffrey Arsenault, and up-and-comers Quentin Tarantino and Guillermo del Toro. Amid the fangs and crucifixes, Abel Ferrara reunited with his King of New York star Christopher Walken for The Addiction, a distinctly personal take on creatures of the night.
Philosophy student Kathleen (Lili Taylor, The Conjuring) is dragged into an alleyway on her way home from class by Casanova (Annabella Sciorra, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle) and bitten on the neck. She quickly falls ill but realises this isn t any ordinary disease when she develops an aversion to daylight and a thirst for human blood...
Having made a big-budget foray into science fiction two years earlier with Body Snatchers, Ferrara s approach to the vampire movie is in a lower key. Shot on the streets of New York, like so many of his major works including The Driller Killer, Ms. 45 and Bad Lieutenant¬ ¬ and beautifully filmed in black and white, The Addiction sees the filmmaker on his own terms and at his very best: raw, shocking, intense, intelligent, masterful.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
New restoration from a 4K scan of the original camera negative by Arrow Films, approved by director Abel Ferrara and director of photography Ken Kelsch
High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
Restored 5.1 audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Audio commentary by Abel Ferrara, moderated by critic and biographer Brad Stevens
Talking with the Vampires (2018) A new documentary about the film made by Ferrara especially for this release, featuring actors Christopher Walken and Lili Taylor, composer Joe Delia, Ken Kelsch, and Ferrara himself
New interview with Abel Ferrara
New interview with Brad Stevens
Abel Ferrara Edits The Addiction, an archival piece from the time of production
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Peter Strain
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet containing new writing on the film by critic Michael Ewins