Indulge your obsessions... 22 tales of the forbidden and bizarre as seen on Showtime Terence Stamp hosts the first season of this spine-tingling horror anthology series from Executive Producers Tony and Ridley Scott, which... more » features a phenomenal cast of familiar faces (including Karen Black, Joanna Cassidy, Daniel Craig, Bruce Davison, Giancarlo Esposito, Colin Ferguson, Jason Flemyng, Balthazar Getty, Lena Headey, Margot Kidder, Sally Kirkland, Jason Scott Lee, Chad Lowe, Stephen McHattie and Timothy Spall) as you?ve never seen them before. Inspired by leading genre writers, each episode will draw you into a mesmerizing world of terrifying characters and erotic encounters, where demons feed on the weakness of men and temptation consumes reason.« less
"This was a Showtime series back in the late 90's. It was produced by brothers Ridley and Tony Scott. The show is basically Tales From The Crypt without the in-your-face black humor and less interested in the scares and more interested in the eroticism of its stories. It's a spin off of the Tony Scott directed film of the same name starring David Bowie(who would go on to host the second season's episodes). The whole show is on the same level as that film. It's filmed in the similar smokey style, the sex is explicit and integral, and it involves the supernatural world on some level or another.
Most of the episodes are really entertaining, all only running about 25 minutes, and all are introduced by a very cheeky Terrence Stamp. Tony Scott even takes the directorial reins on the first episode of this season and the next. Some familar faces show up as well like Lena Headey(300, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles), Karen Black(Trilogy of Terror, Five Easy Pieces), Daniel Craig(what, you live under a rock? He's the new Bond!), Curtis Armstrong(Revenge of the Nerds, Risky Business), and some others. Actually, this may only be interesting to me, but this is the only time you'll ever see Curtis "Booger" Armstrong involved in a sex scene. Whether that's good or simply interesting is up for you to decide.
The transfer for this first season DVD set is pristine. It's fullframe, though. Not sure if it was filmed that way like Tales From The Crypt, but it seems to have been framed with the intention of fullframe. The sound and colors all shine. There are no really good special features to brag about. On the fourth disc you get a 20 minute featurette that goes beind the scenes of the second season and gives you a preview of it as well. There are interviews with the show's creators and producers including Ridley and Tony Scott, but nothing too deep or insightful. You get some tid bits in regard to what their intentions with this show were. It's worth checking out and it does wet your appetite for season two, which I believe was the last season this fine show had.
They better release the second season and not pull an Outer Limits, the other really good anthology show that aired on Showtime. I mean this show is only two seasons long so I would hoep that it's not a problem. We'll see. This is more like the old HBO series The Hitch Hiker then it is The Outer Limits or Tales From The Crypt. So, keep that in mind and remember this show is about dark and supernatural eroticism, so if you're offended by all the boobies and girating man-parts just skip it all together. The sexuality plays a major role in the character development and almost all the themes of every episode. CHECK IT OUT!"
A pre-review review
C. S. Junker | Burien, WA USA | 05/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm writing about this series before the product is released because it's not that well-known. It's often confused with the 1983 film The Hunger, featuring Catherine DeNeuve, Susan Sarandon, and David Bowie. There is no connection between the two.
The Hunger is like a soft-porn Twilight Zone, with each of the 22 half-hour episodes introduced by Terence Stamp. (Season 2 features David Bowie as the host, causing more confusion with the 1983 movie.) Filmed in Montreal, the show is darkly atmospheric, dark, grim, moody, with a lot of stylish, flashy photography that sometimes overwhelms the substance. Still, there are some great stories here; the episode featuring a young Daniel Craig, ten years before he was offered the role of Bond, is one of the best.
This has been available on DVD before, but in the worst possible form. The 44 episodes of both seasons were scattered across 11 discs, which were poorly distributed and tough to find. Episodes were mixed in random order, some from Season 1 sharing a disc with shows from Season 2. One disc even had no menu! Worse yet, none of the episode titles were listed on the back of the boxes.
So far, Season sets have been available only in Europe, but this release will, if nothing else, make all 22 Season 1 episodes available in a form that lets you find the episode you want.
Since I don't have the product yet, I can't vouch for the picture or sound quality, but even if it's no improvement on the old release, simply being able to have all the shows in one set is a major upgrade."
Entertaining series that explores the darker appetites of th
z hayes | TX | 06/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow - I had no idea that this series even existed and when I first saw the title pop-up on Amazon, I thought it referred to the 1983 vampire movie starring Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie. Well, it turns out that Tony Scott who was behind the movie, got together with brother Ridley in 1997 and produced a horror anthology which was shown on Showtime.
The episodes all run about 28 mins, with an introduction and conclusion for each episode by host Terence Stamp. The episodes boast some familiar names, like Daniel Craig, Jason Scott Lee, Karen Black etc. Oh, and each episode has an explicit sex scene with lots of nudity, muted colors etc.
The stories all deal in one form or another with the darker appetites of humans, i.e. hunger for money, hunger for blood, hunger for love etc. Each story has some sort of twist which is usually revealed towards the end. I'd have to say that as a fan of the supernatural, this series was quite entertaining and addictive. Some of the plotlines worked better than others, but of the 22 episodes, I found the majority of the episodes fun, watchable and entertaining.
Here is a list of all 22 episodes contained on 4 discs:
1. "The Swords" - a young man looking for some affection is captivated by the poster of a seductive woman surrounded by swords. 2. "Menage a Trois" - Karen Black hams it up as a mysterious rich invalid who hires an attractive nurse to work for her. The nurse and the handy man about house [pre-Bond Daniel Craig] get together for some pretty heavy sex, wch seems to have a rejuvenating effect on Ms Black. 3. "Necros" - a guy is lured by an attractive woman married to an old man, despite warnings to stay away from the pair believed to be the Devil's disciples. 4. "The Secret Shih Tan" - based on a story by horror maestro Graham Masterton, Jason Scott Lee plays a successful chef who is determined to discover the secrets of Shih Tan, an ancient culinary treatise that may harbor some very dark secrets. 5. "Bridal Suite" - a pair of newlyweds seek shelter at a remote B&B, and are given the bridal suite which contains a rather mysterious and forbidding looking bridal bed. 6. "Room 17" - a struggling salesman has a sexy encounter with a woman in a TV 7. "Anais" - A married man finds himself beguiled by an attractive woman. 8. "No Radio" - A torrid and illicit affair results in a shocking outcome. 9. "But at My Back I Always Hear" - A student develops an obsession for a professor with bad consequences. 10. "Red Light" - A model flees a photo shoot, thinking that the cameras are out to steal her essence. 11. "I'm Dangerous Tonight" - a mysterious red dress casts a deadly spell on a young designer with love problems. 12. "The Sloan Men" - A woman thinks she has fallen in love with a regular Joe, but mom-in-law to be sets her right about the family she is about to marry into. Has Margot Kidder in it. 13. " A Matter of Style" - Vampires 14. "Hidebound" - A woman who had her heart broken takes a job as a night security guard. 15. "Fly-By-Night" - another vampire-themed story 16. "The River of Night's Dreaming" - an escaped con seeks shelter in a sinister mansion 17. "The Lighthouse" - a lighthouse keeper still grieving over a failed love affair holes up in a remote lighthouse, conjuring a rose and more in his despair. 18. "The Face of Helen Bournouw" - A journalist finds that three famous personalities who suffered tragedies were all linked to the same woman 19. "Plain Brown Envelope" - a journalist decides to go undercover to write about hitch-hiking, but finds the assignment may not have been wise choice. 20. "The Other Woman" - A love traingle 21. "Clarimonde" - A priest-to-be encounters visions of a woman. 22. "Footsteps" - an obese man finds a beautiful woman watching him in a restaurant.
Extras - a feature titled "The Hunger Inside" hosted by David Bowie and provides sneak peeks at Season Two.
Conclusion - I found this anthology to be in the vein of Tales from the Crypt [though perhaps not as entertaining] but definitely merits a watch, especially for fans of such shows."
"It's not what you eat. It's what's eating you."
trashcanman | Hanford, CA United States | 06/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Hunger" is an erotic horror anthology series that aired for two seasons on Showtime in the late 90's. I decided to check this series' recent season 1 DVD release out based on the cover alone. If you ever read my reviews, and you look at said cover, this will not surprise you. The show was produced by brothers Tony and Ridley Scott and hosted by Terence Stamp (David Bowie took over for the second season) who adds his British witticisms and musings to the opening and closing segments of each episode. The series seems to be tagged with the "softcore" label often which I feel is largely unfair in spite of the fact that each episode features -if not revolves around- an explicit sex scene. But the scenes in question are artistically shot, brief, sensual, and feature genuine actors which puts them in an entirely different place from the embarrassing silicone-heavy eye-rolling phony sex scenes one associates with the softcore porn genre. "The Hunger" is a horror series first and foremost and while it nearly runs out of gas towards the end of the first season, it is still one of the few examples of erotic horror done right.
The first half dozen episodes or so really blew me away with their creepiness and outstanding casting. Seeing Lena Headey rape Daniel Craig was pretty damn shocking and stories featuring cannibalism, meta-fiction, and a female spirit in a motel room television who seduces and destroys unsuspecting men made for great material. Jason Scott Lee, Karen Black, and Margot Kidder are also among the established actors with major roles. The first half of this series is great and does a good job balancing the sexuality and looming tension. One episode forgoes the sex angle aspect almost altogether and simply tells the tale of a lone night security guard at a haunted construction site. If that's not the creepiest possible job, I don't know what is. Then there are episodes that mislead you to believe it's a straightforward tale and then flip the story on you in surprisingly effective twists. Great material garnered from many sources. One tale of a newborn vampire is actually rather sweet as the socially awkward nerd in life attempts to remake himself into a suave predator of the night, but tries too hard and fails comically. In the end it turns out that the woman who wants him is the only one he is ever himself around. It's an interesting change of pace from the usual grimness of the show if nothing else. Many other episodes deal with mental illness, false reality, and illusions which always make for interesting stories.
Early on, I planned on giving this an easy 5 stars, but the sheen definitely wore off as the season progressed. There are definitely a few clunkers among the tales of terror that border on the ridiculous. For example, a family of men who bend women to their will using power from a bunch of mushroom in a cave. What kind of nonsense is that? The site of the enslaved women enthusiastically assaulting the offending penis-shaped fungi for their freedom is just too silly to take seriously. Plus, the white fluid squirting around makes the whole thing look like bukake. Yeah, I said it. And an episode that plays as 100% erotica between a female hitchhiker and her ride -a trucker transporting sex toys, of all things- only got worse when they tried to shoehorn in a supernatural aspect at the end. Worst twist ever. Another featuring a man trailing a faceless woman whose lovers all commit suicide upon her leaving them wasn't bad, but the score was so full of awful saxophone playing that it seemed terrible. The season finale held a ton of promise as a female werewolf story, but took a turn for the worse when she ditched her sexy lesbian date to go for.... a male vegetarian who teaches her the virtues of the eggplant? The old bait-and-switch, eh? Well screw you too, then. I forgot that non-straight pairings on television were still a no-no back then. Yawn.
Even with the ubiquitous sex and nudity, this show comes off as a bit tame sometimes. A few extra shots of gore per episode would have done wonders. But considering the tiny budget and other limitations, "The Hunger" does a lot with what it has and delivers both naturally beautiful women and settings in abundance. Overall, it's about on par with similarly inconsistent Showtime successor Masters of Horror quality-wise, but features more explicit sex and less explicit violence. Definitely one of the better forgotten anthology series of years past and I'm glad it's out on DVD. Hopefully season 2 managed to gather a more consistent batch of stories, but 22 episodes is quite a lot when each has to be a complete self-contained story unto itself, I suppose so I'll cut some slack considering how hard it is to do something like this right. This should definitely be considered a series of interest to horror anthology fans who prefer sex to violence."
X-Files + Boobs = The Hunger
M. Ferguson | 02/06/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Each episode of 'The Hunger' is a stand alone episode. Characters and plot lines are introduced and summarized in each 25 to 30 min episode. That seems to be plenty of time to tell a good story, however, and most of the season 1 episodes are entertaining.
They really did remind me of some of my favorite X-Files episodes in their execution. Instead of being from a detectives point of view, this show is told more from the mysterious and supernatural event's point of view.
You'll see some familier faces as each episode seems to feature an actor you've seen in something else. Also, each episode contains some level of boobage. Let's face it, boobs just make everything in life more entertaining.
In conclusion, I would strongly recommend this show to anyone interested in the paranormal, or boobs."