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Directed by Abel Ferrara

United States 1995 82 mins. In English

With The Addiction, maverick auteur Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant, Ms. 45) returns to the genre excesses of his 1979 horror experiment The Driller Killer, albeit with a more nuanced, art house-infected bent on display. What to make, for instance, of newly bitten vampire Kathleen’s (Lili Taylor, in perhaps her most committed onscreen performance) proclivity for spouting philosophical musings before feeding on hapless victims? And then there’s Christopher Walken’s curious performance as an elder vampire whose advice on how to navigate the undead life is akin to William Burroughs’s musings on heroin addiction in Naked Lunch. Captured in luminous black-and-white by Ferrara’s longtime director of photography Ken Kelsch (Big Night, 4:44 Last Day on Earth), The Addiction isn’t your average tale of vampirism, offering up a more intellectual take on well-trod material, one that will have you engaged far past the end titles sequence. “The pop-culture grittiness and high-minded theme offer the first clues that this is an Abel Ferrara film. Love him or hate him, Mr. Ferrara is one of the few directors who can turn genre movies into something deeper.” – Caryn James, The New York Times.