Posted: 10/06/2010


Animals, Whores & Dialogue: Breakfast with Hunter Vol. 2

by Elaine Hegwood Bowen

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Gonzo journalism is a term that described the writings of the late Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson committed suicide in 2005, and the latest film by Wayne Ewing called Animals, Whores & Dialogue: Breakfast with Hunter, Volume 2 chronicles some of the career of Thompson.

The DVD, which is available now, is full of interviews, musings, tributes and a final birthday party held in Thompson’s honor, six months after his death. The birthday celebration was even weirder, because the late CBS news anchor Ed Bradley was in attendance, giving a toast to his dear renegade friend.

Thompson was an accomplished writer, having written books, movies and regular columns for social magazines. The unique aspect of Thompson’s writings is that he was subjective, offering brash commentary, often filled with ranting and profanity.

Animals, Whores & Dialogue is more than just a sequel to Wayne Ewing’s 2003 Breakfast with Hunter, which Variety declared to be a movie “that captures the essence of his jazzy pop journalism.” This new feature length documentary goes deeper into Gonzo journalism with intimate scenes of Hunter at work writing, editing, and recounting the creation of classics like Hells Angels and Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. Animals, who*es & dialogue were three elements Hunter often relied on as elements in his writing, and the words were emblazoned on his typewriter.

The documentary was interesting, as you get to see a great, respected writer at work and at play. Whenever Hunter spoke, the audience seemed to hang onto his every word. I guess it was the fact that his movies and commentary were different than other writers. He would hang around his typewriter, smoke, drink and have pow-wows around whatever he was writing at the time. But the film goes from Hunter and his desk, to an event where he’s speaking or either accepting an award and back to his desk. It’s gets a bit confusing at times.

Hunter was known early in his career for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72. At one tribute, one of his high school classmates reads an article that Hunter had written when he was 16. Hunter loved firearms and hated the late Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. But for all the success, Thompson was troubled, and took his own life after a life of notoriety, alcoholism and drug abuse, and the accompanying legal trouble, and declining health.

Animals, Whores & Dialogue: Breakfast with Hunter, Volume 2 and other Ewing films about Thompson are available at

Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.

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