THIRST (1979) Odd hybrid sci-fi/vampire movie.

thirst_betaboxTheme Song: Moderately good horror music from veteran Aussie film composer Brian May (not the one from Queen).

Interesting Dated References: 70s office decor.

Best Line: Woman — “Oh, I’d prayed that you’d call me.” Man, in reply — “Why didn’t you just call me?”

Social Context: There’s certainly a lot of big brother/mind control stuff going on in this movie. Considering it is a sci-fi/vampire film, that seems to make sense. Of course, any real world context of these themes is lost as the movie switches from interesting to typical vampire fare 2/3 of the way in.

Summary: I don’t usually like vampire movies. Vampire movies are like princess fairy tales for artsy annoying goth chicks. Thirst isn’t really a typical vampire movie as it’s actually interesting. The movie begins by introducing us to a secret organization that runs itself like a modern day corporation, complete with business meetings and awesome office equipment like this phone:

So this organization abducts a young woman they believe to be a direct descendant of Elizabeth Bathory. Elizabeth Bathory was some vampire queen or something. If you really need to know who she is, go to your local renaissance fair and ask the first chick you see wearing a girdle. Anyway, this organization operates a “blood farm” where they drain blood from bodies and ship it globally to all the vampires around the world. This is all a pretty interesting take on the vampire mythos and adds a nice science fiction element to the story. The goal of the organization is to awake the blood-thirsty urges of Bathory through her descendant Kate, the young lady they kidnapped.

So over the course of a good 20 minutes, we get to see the way business is done on the farm. Falling somewhere between One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest, Night of The Living Dead, and Coma, we watch the human blood cows wander about and get their daily draining. The whole sequence really is well done and has a humorously creepy aura about it. The whole time Kate attempts to escape and resist giving in to said “thirst.” It’s still not totally clear why this corporation wants Kate’s vampire instincts to be awaked.

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Eventually the corporation steps up efforts to brainwash Kate into a vampire. This includes a dream sequence where she has sex by a goose shit-laden pond, then eats fried chicken that is all bloody, then takes a shower in blood, then gets a lot of echo applied to her vocals. It turns out that this whole dream sequence is some type of acid trip that the corporation is supervising. After an all-too-long dream sequence you get an all too long sequence where she finally succumbs to the thirst while an audience of vampires watches. Things get a little more convoluted when the next scene is some type of flash forward to a rejuvenated and healthy Kate operating her own business, then biting her assistant. Oh, but then she wakes up and realizes it was a dream. But then it wasn’t a dream and she bites her boyfriend on his neck, below his gigantic mustache. After that, the board member bites Kate, which I think means she dies and I’m cranky.

Poster and Box Art: The original art for Thirst qualifies as a great movie poster. In fact, judging by the style, I would link it to the same artist who did a few other posters at the time, but whose name I can’t ever seem to pinpoint. Regardless, his posters are always great. Take for example the “Thirst” title that is connected to the tubes draining the blood from the woman. Add in the bizarre cropping and linear floor perspective and you have an excellent and unique movie poster. Of course, as the world lost its credibility and artistic drive, this awesome cover was replaced with a shitty DVD cover that uses shitty fonts and shitty drop shadows to make a big shitty image for stupid people.

Availability: As stated above, a DVD is available, complete with commentary.

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