'The Addiction: Special Edition'
(Lili Taylor, Christopher Walken, Annabella Sciorra, Edie Falco, Kathryn Erbe, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1995) 2018 / Arrow Films UK)
Overview: 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 realizes this isn't any ordinary disease when she develops an aversion to daylight and a thirst for human blood.
Blu-ray Verdict: In truth, and having made a big-budget foray into science fiction two years earlier with 'Body Snatchers', Director Abel 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,' etc. - 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.
As was always present within Ferrara's blood-letting movies, 'The Addiction' is not about vampires; moreover it is about resistance, or lack of it.
About what may be right around the corner, about discipline, or about lack of discipline. About being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It can happen to anybody, and it happens to everybody. It's a pyramid scheme.
Beautiful black and white composition by Ferrara tied tightly in a wonderfully creative Joe Delia score, the casting was of the usual Ferrara/indie suspects: Paul Calderone, Edie Falco, Kathryn Erbe, Lili Taylor, Annabella Sciorra.
The theme of the movie presents four new questions for every one it answers. Do we have a choice? Can we resist? And just when we think we have it all figured out, Christopher Walken has to show up and throw an entirely new tilt on things!
The story is about a young philosophy student Katie (Lili Taylor) who has a very moralistic and sensitive view of life and human behavior. Writing her essay on the holocaust to show the evil or sin in mankind she gets deeper involved in the dark side of humanity.
While walking home one night, a mysterious woman (Annabella Sciorra) appears and assaults her. She tells her if she is so afraid of being hurt all she has to do is tell her to leave.
Katie, being in shock can't say a word, and with a timid "I didn't think so" the mysterious woman bites her in the neck. Her last words to Katie are: "You just wait ... and see what happens".
In probably one of her most intense performances, actress Taylor dwells through the streets of New York looking for the next "fix". In looking for a fix, she and others spread the vampire virus through the city, drawing parallels between the AIDS epidemic of the '80s and hardcore drug addiction (which explains the title of the movie).
That all said, and playing the devil's advocate here, some have also, and loudly, said, that Ferrara made a pretentious and pedantic mixture of vampires cinema and philosophy.
Adding, along the way, that the issues he deals with in this movie are way too transcendental for a 60 minutes film, so everything is so arbitrary and senseless, they have a point, sure, but it's how you view this work of cinematic art that makes it what it is to you; and you alone. This is a brand new High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation enhanced for 16x9 TVs and come with the Special Features of:
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