Hunter S. Thompson, back from the dead with new doc Animal, Whores and Dialogue


Breakfast with Hunter, like the man’s life, ended too soon. That film also followed the writer through a number of episodes over the course of several years.

Animals,  Whores and Dialogue is much more tightly focused. It lingers on Thompson’s efforts in the course of a single evening to write a column, with side journeys to his sentimental Louisville homecoming and the American literary establishment’s tribute to him on the 25th anniversary of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Rather than covering a lot of years and ground, the new film allows Ewing to give viewers the sense of what it was like to spend an evening in the kitchen, reading, laughing and arguing.

Unfortunately, there was no gifted documentary filmmaker to follow around Mark Twain. But Wayne Ewing was smart enough to recognize that his Colorado neighbor was an artist of immense – and under-appreciated – talent. But for the electric typewriter and the attire, there probably wasn’t a lot of difference between spending an evening with Twain and an evening with Thompson. Both were brilliant and astute observers of American culture.


Since Thompson’s suicide in 2005, his friends and admirers have often mused about what he would have had to say about the events of recent years. Alas, Ewing was not granted access to Thompson’s afterlife. But he does bring Thompson back, sitting him down behind the typewriter in the kitchen and putting him to work.

We’re lucky to have him back.

This is Ewing's fourth Thompson film. The earlier films are:

Breakfast With Hunter. Ewing started filming Hunter for a television show that never happened back in the early 1980s. This film shows him cavorting with movie stars (primarily Johnny Depp and Bill Murray, the two actors who've portrayed him so brilliantly) and hanging with his friends in Woody Creek.

When I Die. This is a deeply moving film about how Thompson's broken-hearted friends decided to honor him with a huge and outlandish funeral. It's like a documentary about the artist Cristo -- the making of the art becomes the art.

Free Lisl. Thompson's last crusade was to get Lisl Auman freed from an unjust prison sentence.  This case is also the subject of Matthew Moseley's excellent new book, Dear Dr. Thompson.

All of these films can be ordered through Ewing's Hunter S. Thompson Films site.[image-3]

William McKeen chairs the University of Florida’s Department of Journalism and is the author of several books, including the acclaimed Hunter S. Thompson biography Outlaw Journalist, available in paperback.

Truth in Advertising Department: This Book Blog is really a Movie Blog.

Wayne Ewing’s Breakfast with Hunter was a great documentary film, but it had one small problem.

It ended.

Ewing has rectified this shortcoming with Animals, Whores and Dialogue, a welcome sequel to – and continuation of – Breakfast with Hunter.

We get a little more time with the exhilarating and fascinating American writer, Hunter S. Thompson.

Ewing – who, for 30 years, was Thompson’s cinematic Boswell – adds to his brilliant portrait of this major artist.

Rarely has a filmmaker ever had such a long and intimate audience with his subject. Ewing began following Thompson in the 1980s and amassed miles of film before the writer’s suicide in February 2005.

In Animals, Whores and Dialogue, we get to watch Thompson as heritually prepares to write – parrying with his friends, bouncing ideas around the room, formulating what he needs to say.

Click to view the trailer for "Animal, Whores and Dialogue"

(You can also order the film directly from the filmmaker at the link above.)

Scroll to read more Local Arts articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]