Taglines: The dark is their sunlight. What makes them different is what keeps them alive.
Director Abel Ferrara applies his eccentric vision to the vampire genre with this cerebral “Art” film about graduate philosophy student Kathleen Conklin (Lili Taylor), who is bitten by an aggressive female vampire (Annabella Sciorra) and soon spirals into a nightmarish world of blood addiction and existential angst. Driven by her merciless condition, she attacks several of her pretentious friends and classmates (even her professor) and mainlines their blood like heroin.
Just as she becomes more bold in seeking prey on the streets of New York, she is waylaid by a potential victim — actually a sophisticated vampire himself named Peina (Christopher Walken), who chooses to control his own blood addiction through fasting and meditation.
Seeming to regain her self-control, she eventually completes her graduate thesis (helped by a bit of vampire nepotism) and holds a party to celebrate, inviting the entire faculty as well as members of her new “family” to join in the festivities. Although the parallels to heroin addiction are in plain view, this is also a study in the essential evil of humankind — a theme evident in much of Ferrara’s work.
The Addiction is a 1995 American vampire film directed by Abel Ferrara, starring Lili Taylor, Edie Falco, Paul Calderón, Kathryn Erbe and Christopher Walken. It was written by Ferrara’s regular screenwriter, Nicholas St John, filmed in black-and-white and released simultaneously with Ferrara’s period gangster film, The Funeral.
The film has been considered an allegory about drug addiction, as well as an allegory of the theological concept of sin. It contains philosophical, theological and other intellectual content, including references to Husserl, Nietzsche, Feuerbach, and Descartes. The film also features a vampire quoting theologian R. C. Sproul, who is a critic of Roman Catholicism.
The Addiction (1995)
Directed by: Abel Ferrara
Starring: Lili Taylor, Christopher Walken, Annabella Sciorra, Edie Falco, Paul Calderón, Fredro Starr, Kathryn Erbe, Avron Coleman. Michael Imperioli, Jamal Simmons
Screenplay by: Nicholas St. John
Production Design by: Charles M. Lagola
Cinematography by: Ken Kelsch
Film Editing by: Mayin Lo
Costume Design by: Melinda Eshelman
Set Decoration by: Sara Baldocchi, Mary Prlain
Art Direction by: Beth Curtis
Music by: Joe Delia
Distributed by: October Films
Release Date: October 6, 1995