Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thirst (1979)

Kate Davis is preparing for a month long vacation when is kidnapped by a cult and flown to their hideaway. It becomes clear that Kate has ancestral ties through her grandfather to the cult which claims to be a superior race of human since they strictly consume clean human blood. The cult wants Kate to join them, and become a bride to another member. Kate is shown around the compound by Doctor Fraser (David Hemmings of Deep Red) but isn't responding how they'd like so other leaders of the cult drug her with hallucinogens to break down her resistance. Finally Kate gives in and drinks the blood, however she remains torn between her normal life and her new blood lust when the cult releases her back in to the everyday world.

This Australian horror thriller was directed by Rod Hardy who has spent the majority of his career in television. Hardy proves capable but mostly uninspired behind the camera, never quite giving us anything more than what is to be expected. The performances are a mixed bag, with Hemmings delivering possibly the best of the bunch as the cult's doctor who still has his own set of ethics.The lead Chantal Contouri as Kate is rather annoying at times with how lackadaisical her reactions are to the craziness going on around her. The set pieces are a highlight of the film with the "blood cow dairy" being a very striking part of the film. The film would have set itself apart from the dozens of other cult films to be released in the 70s had they focused a bit more on the harvesting and distribution of the blood as opposed to focusing so much on Kate (and doing so little with her). The film follows a predictable story line until things get a little more exciting in the final act.

The biggest disappointment in the film is that Hardy went through the trouble of designing this blood dairy with human slaves that are "milked" of blood or completely drained, in what they consider to be the highest honor a prisoner can have, but so little time is spent exploring it. They briefly touch on the blood being sent out in milk cartons and other things like that but we're mostly bored to death with Kate and the generic cult doings. THIRST had a real opportunity to set itself apart but it waited too long to try and it will forever languish in mediocrity. Which is a pity since the strong 3rd act is essentially wasted.



Criss said...

"The lead Chantal Contouri as Kate is rather annoying at times with how lackadaisical her reactions are to the craziness going on around her"

This was the key point for me. Was she scared? Didn't seem it. Was she into it, but conflicted? I had to infer that on my own.

I'll assume she boned the director and make my own story.

Celluloid Terror (Seth Poulin) said...

It definitely was a situation where you had to decide what the hell she was thinking on your own.

Boning the director seems like the most logical thing, ha!