Movie Review: Thirst (1979) (Blu-Ray)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Wednesday, May 11, 2016 0 comments

Thirst is an Australian supernatural thriller about a woman named Kate Davis (played by Chantal Contouri) whom is just an average girl that loves to work and hang out with her boyfriend.  Sadly for Kate, she soon finds out that one of her relatives died, she will also soon find out that this is one moment that will lead to an experience she soon won't forget.  While Kate and her boyfriend are busy making love, a shadowy figure is watching them and reports to a group of what looks like doctors and business men.  It all turns out that they all want Kate because she is the last member of her family, a family that has a line of vampire royalty.  Yup, Kate is a vampire queen and gets kidnapped by the creepy people so they can ease her into her duty.  Rightfully enough, Kate wants nothing to do with them and all she wants to do is escape from them go back to having her normal life.  (Click on "Read More" to read the full review).

Despite being a vampire movie, I wouldn't call this a horror movie, it is not designed to be a scary although it does have some neat scary surprises.  This movie is a thriller movie that has vampires in it and focuses on the making/training of a vampire queen and it gets quite intense, you really do feel the pain and misery that the main character is going though.  The story is very good, it sinks its fangs into you right from the start and will have you mesmerized up until the very end.  The pacing is well portioned, so no scene goes on for too long or too short and there was no scene that was dull or boring, it is nothing but clever entertainment all the way.

The first act of Thirst has a very standard linear style of story telling that is easy to follow and to get a grip of, however with act two of the film, prepare for a very trippy experience that will mess with your head and make you question what on Earth is going on.  Trying to figure out what is happening in act two ended up being fun and it was also very entertaining and won't trip you out too much, so you will want to continue the film and see how it all pans out.  While act two is trippy, it wasn't made that way for the sake of it and it does have a reason for doing so and  it helped even more to add to the elements and build up some great storytelling.

I loved how the vampires were used in this film, they were used in a much different way than you'd see in a typical vampire flick.  The vampires in this film are much more civilized, very clever, and walk around in the daytime...  Now hold on a minute, before you go around yelling Twilight tried something different with vampires and coped a lot of flak for it, this film gets it right unlike what Twilight did.  The vampires in this still have a very savage and spooky side to them and come off as creatures that'll ruin your day if you say the wrong thing to them, so they are indeed vampires, just a different kind and it was well done and you'll instantly love it. 

There is a lot of blood in this movie but believe it or not, there isn't a lot of violence in this film, despite having buckets and buckets of blood and I don't want to spoil how that works but the way they made it work was ingenious.  Sadly, the blood itself looked a little unconvincing in a few scenes, it looked very thin and tasty like it was nothing but chocolate and strawberry ice cream topping (yum) instead of blood.  With the little violence this film has, it is very great to watch due to it being gruesome and campy all at the same time, it is really entertaining.

The main character in this film is very charming and likeable, you will feel very bad for what she has to go though in this film and you will want her to get out safe, although there will be a small part of you that wants to see her get transformed into the vampire queen.  The villainous characters in this film are also great, they have an incredibly spooky vibe to them despite looking like normal business men, they have a mysterious aura to where you won't be able to predict what they'll do next or if they've got alternative motifs.  The side characters that have tiny roles are just as interesting and charming as the main characters, they have a lot of character and are just as memorable.

The sets and costumes are incredibly Australian looking with the dry grass summer look, the beautiful sun, and the vintage 70's Australian clothing.  This look is also a very good portrayal of Australia and not the silly stereotypical look of the clothes that you see in the Crocodile Dundee, Mad Max, or the Kangaroo Jack movies.  All of the buildings also have a neat Gothic styling to them and they fit right at home being in a vampire flick, it helps to create an incredibly brilliant atmosphere that will immerse you into the film and keep you on your toes.

There is an audio commentary with Rod Hardy (director) and Antony Ginnane (producer) and it is a decent listen.  It is a very standard track where they talk about what went on behind the scenes in a straight face manner and it was quite entertaining, they had a bunch of interesting things to say, so it was educational as well.  There is also a bonus thirty-seven minute feature with raw interviews with the cast and crew, the reason why I say "raw" is because that these interviews were filmed for and edited into the documentary, Not Quite Hollywood (2008) and are here in uncut form.  My one complaint about the interview set is that everything said in the segment with Rod Hardy is all said in the audio commentary, so you can fast forward that part for if you have heard the commentary track, all the other interviews have some entertaining information for you to absorb.

This release also includes the theatrical trailer and the television ads that were shown in the United States of America.  The theatrical trailer was entertaining but it gave too much of the story away and ruined some of the film's mystique, it was well edited though and does make you want to go see the movie regardless.  The television ads did the opposite and didn't show enough of the story and was edited a bit weird to where you won't get an impression of if you want to see the movie or not. 

This wonderful film does come with a booklet inside of the blu-ray case and it includes a very neat article called Sating The Thirst.  Sating the Thirst ended up being quite a very good read and added some nice extra detail to the story surrounding the movie.  The booklet also has some pictures from the film and some pictures of old promotional material, very good stuff.

Overall, this is an incredible vampire film and is one of the more original vampire films out there.  This film is a much needed breath of fresh air to the vampire film genre and is an absolute must see for all movie lovers out there.  Brilliant Australian vampire film.

Title: Thirst
Directed by: Rod Hardy
Starring: Chantal Contouri, David Hemmings, Henry Silva
Genre:  Supernatural Thriller
Distributed by: Glass Doll Films
Running Time: 93 minutes
Price: Varies
Rating: M15+ (Occasional violence, sexual scenes)
Recommended: Yes


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