The Addiction: vampires à la Ferrara or the purgatory of philosopher junkies

We sometimes forget that after The King of New York and bad lieutenantAbel Ferrara has made an authentic vampire film, whose title, The Addictionsummarizes his torments of the time.

There are subjects that impose themselves. We devoted a small cycle to the figure of the vampire (with At the edge of dawn, Interview with a Vampire, Vampire, did you say vampire ? or even the sublime Walrus) and an article to one of Abel Ferrara’s most famous films, The King of New York. Logic therefore imposes a text on The Addictiona little-cited encounter between these two worlds.

Of all the vampiric movies we’ve covered, this is probably the least famous, and for obvious reasons. Shot in the middle of the 1990s in black and white, lasting just over an hour and twenty minutes, this small production seems to offer a reading that is both classic and I don’t care about the myth, spread indigestible philosophical references. Christopher Walken only makes a brief appearance, to the chagrin of his aficionados. And yet, his vampire has more than enough to enter the pantheon of bloodsuckers.

The walken dead

Drugs, drugs and drugs

It is not stepping on the toes of the tabloid press to assert that the most popular portion of Abel Ferrara’s career was conceived under the influence of substances of all kinds. The filmmaker, now clean, sober and proud Buddhist, assumes it in various interviews, for The Independent (in an interview titled “It’s a miracle that I’m still alive”), RollingStone or even The Fix. His confirmation was not necessary: ​​it is enough to see him raving frantically in front of the editing table in an archive unearthed by the recent Blu-ray edition of Carlotta to see the state he was in at the time.

In the mid-1990s, the drug infused the director’s entire filmography, so being aware of the conditions of production of his feature films gives them a sick authenticity, passed down to posterity in the controversial bad lieutenant, poisoned by an anything but fictitious cam. At that time, the director was convinced of the need to let his addictions show through on screen. He confirms it to The Fix : “I thought that to make these films I had to be addicted”.

Photo Harvey Keitel, Bad LieutenantBad Lieutenant, aptly named

He then bathed in an environment plagued by cocaine and heroin. Moreover, Zoë Lund, actress and co-author (author, according to her) of bad lieutenant, paid dearly the price of her assumed consumption of these two drugs: in 1999, she died of an overdose. More than a collection of gossip, these elements of context are a key to understanding his work, where a New York oozing addiction welcomes characters on the fringes. The other key is Nicholas St. John, the director’s screenwriter since his short film Nicky’s Movieand even on his porn 9 Lives of a Wet Pussy. St. John is a true Christian who refused to be drawn into his colleague’s spiral of self-destruction, giving his career a unique aura.

The Addiction: vampires à la Ferrara or the purgatory of philosopher junkies