Thirst (1979)
By: Mark Nichols on November 17, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Umbrella Entertainment (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 2.35:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0. 91 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Rod Hardy
Starring: Chantal Contouri, Shirley Cameron, Max Phipps, Henry Silva, Rod Mullinar, David Hemmings
Screenplay: John Pinkney
Music: Brian May
Tagline: This ancient evil of vampirism is now a modern industry.
Country: Australia
Chantel Contouri stars as Kate Davis, who is tracked down and kidnapped by a sect who call themselves 'The Brotherhood'. They believe her to be a long lost vampire Baroness and proceed to psychologically torture and brainwash her to understand her 'true calling' as their leader despite her protestations.

This film takes an intelligent and refreshing approach to the contemporary vampire genre. It rejects the traditional concept of vampirism being a physical transformation of the flesh that can be conquered by religion and turns it into a state of mind. The elitist 'vampires' in Thirst have no aversion to daylight, garlic or crosses. They are not even mentioned. Here is a world of rich aristocrats who keep drugged men and women (referred to as 'cattle') in farms for a continually fresh supply of blood that is packaged into hygienically safe cartons for distribution to the vampire masses. Not bad for an Aussie movie that on the surface seems like cheap exploitation is it?

Contouri gives a brilliant performance in a very demanding role and is believable in every scene she does. Second billed David Hemmings is so low key it is like he is hardly there. It is great to see the scary looking Henry Silva playing a villain in an Australian horror film, but unfortunately his character has hardly been fleshed out.

The cinematography by Director of Photography Vincent Monton is top shelf with great use of widescreen frame composition. The acting, lighting, sound and music are flawless.
Video
The 16:9 widescreen format (aspect ratio 2:35:1) looks great. Transfer is immaculate.
Audio
Perfectly transferred and recorded. Dialogue and music by Brian May sounds great in Dolby Digital.
Extra Features
Thirteen minute interview with Producer Antony I. Ginnane, creator of Fantasm, Fantasm Comes Again, Blue Fire Lady (Mark Holden's cameo feature film debut!), Snapshot, Thirst, Patrick and Harlequin. Commentary track with Director Rod Hardy and Antony I. Ginnane. Stills and poster gallery. Thirst theatrical trailer and television spots. Trailers for Dead Kids, Patrick, Snapshot, Harlequin, Turkey Shoot, The Survivor.
The Verdict
This is iconic 1970's Aussie horror film making at its technical and commercial best. The only thing that lets it down is that it is too slow.
Movie Score
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