2019 Horrorfest Presents: Thirst (1979, Rod Hardy)


Rod Hardy’s Thirst (not to be confused with the modern day vampire movie with the same title) is equal parts Soylent Green and Hammer Films vampire movies put together in one over the top, marvelous package. Chantal Contouri headlines a cast that also includes David Hemmings and Henry Silva as part of a cult that is obsessed with a woman that is descended from Elizabeth Báthory. They want to turn her into a vampire just like Báthory! What you have is rooms full of giant blood vats, an opening that is rather startling, and a conclusion that left me a tad confused. This movie also gave me some David Cronenberg vibes, and I wonder if it further influenced him as much as it was seemingly influenced by him (I was reminded of Rabid quite a bit-which not a bad thing). Anyone who knows me well can attest to my love of cult cinema and strange B-movie oddities, and this movie fits into both categories.

There was parts that did bore me at times, and the fact that Kate keeps trying to escape only to be recaptured became a bit overplayed. However I still liked how the movie never stopped trying to shock her or the audience. The blood shower scene would be at home in any horror movie, and the part where she witnesses the cult members feeding is creepy and very memorable. The cast really helps with some of the thinner material, particularly Hemmings and Silva. Contouri also gives an excellent performance, as she is the movie’s anchor-you sympathize with her while also thinking “Hey she might give into all this madness.” Conformity in society is a powerful thing, and in the hands of the wrong people it can be easily weaponized.

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