Couch Potato

I Like to Watch (Instantly): Slap Shot, The Hunger

Notable titles from the Netflix Watch Instantly world

Slap Shot
Slap Shot

Slap Shot (1977)

Directed by George Roy Hill

Cast: Paul Newman, Michael Ontkean, Jerry Houser, Andrew Duncan, Jennifer Warren, Lindsay Crouse

Besides having the most eloquently foul-mouthed script this side of Repo Man, Slap Shot is also notable for its utterly authentic backdrop of depressing, beer-swilling, industrial Northeast gloom (it’s set in Pennsylvania, but shot in upstate NY). Gleefully violent and crass, this film is nonetheless a class act with great comic timing and rich character work by Paul Newman, Lindsay Crouse, and Strother Martin. But it’s Nancy Dowd’s game-changing original screenplay that deserves most of the praise. Clean widescreen copy too.

The Hunger
The Hunger

The Hunger (1983)

Directed by Tony Scott

Cast: Rufus Collins, Cliff De Young, James Aubrey, Beth Ehlers, Catherine Deneuve, Allan Richards, David Bowie, Susan Sarandon, Willem Dafoe, Shane Rimmer, Dan Hedaya, Suzanne Bertish

Before vampires were young, buff, abstinent and vaguely Christian, they were stylish up-all-night goth fashion plates like David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve. Miriam (Deneuve) is the queen vampire who selects a new companion to be her partner in crime every few hundred years due to, well, certain difficulties with the vampiric transformation process. Tony Scott’s film is steeped in style but manages to present an internally consistent vampire mythology with moments of genuine, resonant horror. Way better than I remembered it being when I saw it on cable in the ’80s. The super-nice widescreen WI copy is available in HD.