While American Horror Story and Lady Gaga have been pushing the boundaries of TV censors and shocking fans even before American Horror Story: Hotel, the marriage of the two produced major shockwaves for AHS and Mother Monster fans alike after the premiere Wednesday. First, AHS and Lady Gaga fans saw a shocking rape seen with the faceless “Addiction Monster,” then the deadly orgy featuring a bloodthirsty Lady Gaga and her male consort, played by Matt Bomer.
Many Lady Gaga and American Horror Story fans may have been shocked at the premiere, but most probably don’t realize that controversial AHS scene was paying homage to a Tony Scott film from 1983 called The Hunger. The movie featured David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve as a vampiric duo who stalked another couple in a nightclub to the throbbing beat of Bauhaus performing “Bela Legosi’s Dead,” lured them back to their lair, did a little partner swapping, and split them open to drink their blood.
Fast forward to American Horror Story: Hotel Wednesday night, and all you have to do is switch Bauhaus for She Wants Revenge’s “Tear You Apart,” exchange Lady Gaga and Matt Bomer for Deneuve and Bowie, and replace the Ankh necklace daggers of The Hunger for bedazzled gloves worn by Gaga and Bomer with jugular-splitting claws, and you have a perfect homage.
Both Lady Gaga and Catherine Deneuve share platinum blonde locks swept up in the classic hairstyles, with both displaying a fondness for gloves and hats with netting. Before the controversial sex scene in American Horror Story: Hotel, Gaga’s Countess is shown getting ready to go out and putting on her deep red lipstick, much like Deneuve’s character, Miriam Blaylock. The two look very similar when made up the same way.
And for any American Horror Story fans who might think the connection between Lady Gaga and Deneuve is coincidental, remember that AHS creator Ryan Murphy already paid tribute to David Bowie last season with Jessica Lange covering some classic Bowie tunes.
It seems pretty obvious that this season of American Horror Story and Lady Gaga’s styling and performance are directly inspired, at least in part, by The Hunger and by Deneuve, although considerably intensified for this television episode that is creating quite a stir. While Lady Gaga is already known for being controversial on and off stage, she doesn’t simply do outrageous things for their own sake, according to her recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter.
“I don’t just simply do things because they are provocative or because they are shocking. I’m doing it because the story that [Ryan Murphy] is telling about addiction, the story that he’s telling about our own narcissism, the story that he’s telling bout how the human being strives to survive within the challenges of the universe — that to me is what makes the sex so good.”
For someone who stirs up so much media and hype, Lady Gaga surprised some of her fans when she actually told E! Online that she hoped she would be “forgettable” in her television debut on American Horror Story: Hotel. Like Lady Gaga could ever not stand out in a crowd, even when not rolling around semi-naked in a homicidal sex scene.
“I’d really like people to watch it and not feel like they’re watching Lady Gaga. I’d like them to feel like they’re watching The Countess. So that’s important to me, and I’ve spent a lot of time working on that. I can’t wait for everyone to just enjoy the show.”
Despite the apparent influences of Catherine Deneuve in The Hunger, Lady Gaga is bound to put her own spin on her role as The Countess in American Horror Story: Hotel. American Horror Story airs Wednesday nights on FX.