Monday, September 16, 2013

Blood Thirst / The Thirsty Dead (DVD Review) - Vinegar Syndrome

Philippines/1971, 1974
Directed By: Newt Arnold, Terry Becker
Written By: N.I.P. Dennis, Terry Becker/Charles Dennis/Lou Whitehill
Starring: Robert Winston, Katherine Henryk, Jennifer Billingsley, John Considine
B&W/Color/162 Minutes Not Rated
Region FREE

The Films
BLOOD THIRST is a horror mystery, centering around a series of bizarre murders where women have been drained of their blood through a cut on their arm. Detective Rourke is on the case and finds a lot of weird characters within the nightclub that the case seems to revolve around. Eventually he discovers a blood cult is behind the whole thing.

THE THIRSTY DEAD is similar to BLOOD THIRST in the way that it is also a blood cult type film. This time a group of pretty women have been abducted and taken deep into the jungle where they fall prey to an ancient cult using the blood of women in their prime to stay young. When the leader falls for the woman chosen to be the cult's new leader they all try to escape the dungeons and the dead.

Both BLOOD THIRST AND THE THIRSTY DEAD are b-movies that likely pulled up the rear on any double or triple feature they were a part of. Neither is overly horrific, though both have their moments of creepiness. It's a shame those moments weren't a bit better and more frequent. Neither of these films are particularly good but both are quick, easy flicks that don't need the viewer to invest much at all. They're perfect for a lazy night of horror movies where the beer has taken a strong hold around 1 AM.

The Audio & Video
Both films suffer from lots of scratches and marks throughout the print but Vinegar Syndrome has both films looking better than they do on any of the budget mega packs that they've seen releases on previously. The black and white photography on BLOOD THIRST looks pretty good under the scratchy print as do the colors on THE THIRSTY DEAD where the picture even looks strikingly vibrant at times given the cheap production and not so great elements. The audio is much of the same, perfectly listenable but plenty of pops, crackling and other background noise is present. Far from a perfect transfer on these films but probably the best they've ever looked and sounded on home video.

The Extras

The Bottom Line
This release is far from perfect and the films are far from classic but Vinegar Syndrome pairs up a couple cheesy horror flicks that would each be a fun way to end a night or weekend horror marathon full of friends and drinks. I like horror marathons, friends, and drinks so for that reason this is a useful release. Recommended.

 BLOOD THIRST/THE THIRSTY DEAD Drive-In Collection Double Feature is available HERE

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