Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 20th, 2014
BluRay released: March 11th, 2014
Approximate running times: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono Spanish
BluRay Release: Severin Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.95
Thirst is an unusual twist on vampires and Elizabeth Bathory a blood drinking countess who preyed on virgins. The vampires in the film were fangs that they insert when they drink blood. This is not your shape shifting or afraid of sunlight type of vampires. They even have a full scale operation of cultivating the blood for widespread distribution. The vampire cult rounds up donors (victims) who are kept on a commune like farm for their blood harvesting. The donors are then slowly drained via a machine that attaches a nozzle to their jugulars that sucks out their blood while they are strapped down. The film also alludes to the fact that this is just one of many of these types of farms around the world.
Outside of Kate Davis who has ties to Elizabeth Bathory no one else who is connected to this vampire cult appears to have any heritage that points towards their vampirism. It is almost like the other members of the cult especially the doctors are self appointed chosen ones who view themselves as superior to those who they drain blood from. Besides the elements of vampires, the film also covers the aspect of cults with great effect. When compared to other vampire films Thirst never fully goes for the jugular as the violence is subdued.
The cinematographer on Thirst was Vincent Monton whose other notable film include Long Weekend, Fantasm, Fantasm Comes Again, The True Story of Eskimo Nell and Newsfront. Visually the atmospheric and dream like imagery perfectly complements Kate Davis fragile state of mind in the film. One of the film’s more memorable moments is a shower scene where the Kate Davis character is soaked in blood. One of the more amusing moments in the film is a scene where tourists walk through the processing area while donors are being drained. The film’s lush score was composed by Brian May whose other notable scores include Patrick, Mad Max and Dark Forces.
Chantal Contouri is cast is the film’s lead role of Kate Davis. She gives a strong performance that captures the essence of her characters metal breakdown. After starring in Thirst she only appeared in a handful of films like Metal Skin. Two other notable performances in the film are David Hemmings (Blowup, Barbarella, Deep Red) and Henry Silva (The Manchurian Candidate, Assassination). Even though they both play roles that serve a similar function their characters couldn’t be more different. There is a subtlety to the way David Hemmings character Dr. Fraser approaches a problem while Henry Silva character Dr. Gauss is more aggressive and at times careless. Ultimately Thirst’s fascinating premise and strong payoff more than make up for the film’s other short comings.
Thirst comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. And for this release brand new HD transfer has been sourced from the film’s original negative. Black levels are greatly improved, colors and flesh tones also looked slightly improved, details are crisp throughout and there are no issues with compression or DNR. Overall another strong HD make over from Severin Films.
This release comes with three audio options, a Dolby Digital Mono mix in English and a Dolby Digital Mono mix in Spanish. Both audio mixes sound clean, clear and balanced throughout. Once again the lack of lossless audio mix is disappointing. The third audio track is a isolated audio track for the films score.
Extras for this release include three T.V. spots, a trailer (1 minute 38 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen) and an informative and detailed audio commentary with director Rod Hardy and producer Antony I. Ginnane.
Also included with this combo release is a DVD that contains the same contents that is present on the BluRay counterpart. Overall Severin Films gives Thirst its best audio/ video presentation to date.