Thirst


1h 35m 1979

Brief Synopsis

The descendant of Elizabeth Bathory is abducted by a cult of self-proclaimed supermen who achieve this state of superiority by drinking from the "blood cows" (read: people) kept at the "dairy farm", and they try to get her to join them.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Horror
Release Date
1979
Production Company
Screen Nsw
Distribution Company
Greater Union Organization
Location
Australia

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

The descendant of Elizabeth Bathory is abducted by a cult of self-proclaimed supermen who achieve this state of superiority by drinking from the "blood cows" (read: people) kept at the "dairy farm", and they try to get her to join them.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Horror
Release Date
1979
Production Company
Screen Nsw
Distribution Company
Greater Union Organization
Location
Australia

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

New Age Vampires? 1979's Thirst on DVD


Australian director Rod Hardy has helmed over 30 films for television, but only a handful for theatrical release - and of these, the Pierce Brosnan-starring Robinson Crusoe (1997) at least gets literary name recognition. This is too bad, because his first theatrical release is actually a very interesting vampire film that qualifies as a gem within its own right. Thirst (1979) stars Chantal Countouri as a descendent of Elizabeth Bathory (aka: The Blood Countess), the Hungarian aristocrat who allegedly killed between 40 and 650 women in the early 1600's for the purpose of bathing in their blood because she thought it would help her stay young. The numbers of victims are sketchy because wealth has always carried with it certain advantages. There are several connections between Bathory and the Dracula reign that preceded her, including some overlapping characters, properties, and similar family crests (featuring dragons), but the main connection is in its colliding historical influence on Bram Stoker's mythos for his book Dracula (1897). What Hardy does in Thirst, however, is create his own template - one that updates the aristocratic privileges of the 1600s to a contemporary setting. Anyone who feels that the rich are privy to undue influence over the bourgeois masses will find Thirst (distributed by Image Entertainment) full of allegorical parallels that are still very relevant.

It all starts with advertising executive Kate Davis (Chantal Countouri) being kidnapped by the Hyma Brotherhood, an aristocratic sect who believe that it is Kate's destiny to return to her roots - something they hope to hasten via a series of mind games and tests. Added to the story we find that there are over 70,000 aristocratic vampires in the world, and that the Hyma Brotherhood, overseen by a board of directors, seek to provide untainted blood to this group by an elaborate system that harvests the precious fluid from listless humans that are farmed for their blood into milk-like containers that then get exported to meet demand. In look and feel, Thirst balances itself between the paranoia of things gone awry in techno-savy world of white lab-coats, such as in Michael Crichton's Coma (1979), and also tosses into the mix the singular assault on one person's frail mental psyche, such as in Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1964). The latter especially comes to mind during one memorable sequence where Kate experiences an unrelenting attack in a large, gothic drawing room wherein everything "outside" seems to be fighting very hard to get "in."

Among others, Thirst co-stars the late David Hemmings (Blow-Up, 1966) and Henry Silva (The Manchurian Candidate, 1962). The film can be seen as part of a pre-packaged "Aussie Horror Collection" (bylined "Terror from Down Under") that includes the films Patrick (1978) - a film that shares producers (Antony I. Ginnane,William Fayman) and an actor (Robert Thompson) with Thirst, and Strange Behavior (1981) - which was also produced by Ginnane and Fayman. The dvd by Elite features Thirst in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, a theatrical trailer, t.v. spots, filmographies, a commentary track with director Rod Hardy and Producer Antony I. Ginnane. The dvd also allows you to isolate the music score, includes a photo gallery, and has a Spanish dubbed track. Anyone interested in Bathory's bloody legacy will also want to keep their eyes open for the upcoming film Eternal (2004) - but until that film finds its release, Thirst is an interesting time-capsule worth revisiting.

For more information about Thirst, visit Elite Entertainment. To order Thirst (and the "Aussie Horror Boxed Set"), go to TCM Shopping.

by Pablo Kjolseth
New Age Vampires? 1979's Thirst On Dvd

New Age Vampires? 1979's Thirst on DVD

Australian director Rod Hardy has helmed over 30 films for television, but only a handful for theatrical release - and of these, the Pierce Brosnan-starring Robinson Crusoe (1997) at least gets literary name recognition. This is too bad, because his first theatrical release is actually a very interesting vampire film that qualifies as a gem within its own right. Thirst (1979) stars Chantal Countouri as a descendent of Elizabeth Bathory (aka: The Blood Countess), the Hungarian aristocrat who allegedly killed between 40 and 650 women in the early 1600's for the purpose of bathing in their blood because she thought it would help her stay young. The numbers of victims are sketchy because wealth has always carried with it certain advantages. There are several connections between Bathory and the Dracula reign that preceded her, including some overlapping characters, properties, and similar family crests (featuring dragons), but the main connection is in its colliding historical influence on Bram Stoker's mythos for his book Dracula (1897). What Hardy does in Thirst, however, is create his own template - one that updates the aristocratic privileges of the 1600s to a contemporary setting. Anyone who feels that the rich are privy to undue influence over the bourgeois masses will find Thirst (distributed by Image Entertainment) full of allegorical parallels that are still very relevant. It all starts with advertising executive Kate Davis (Chantal Countouri) being kidnapped by the Hyma Brotherhood, an aristocratic sect who believe that it is Kate's destiny to return to her roots - something they hope to hasten via a series of mind games and tests. Added to the story we find that there are over 70,000 aristocratic vampires in the world, and that the Hyma Brotherhood, overseen by a board of directors, seek to provide untainted blood to this group by an elaborate system that harvests the precious fluid from listless humans that are farmed for their blood into milk-like containers that then get exported to meet demand. In look and feel, Thirst balances itself between the paranoia of things gone awry in techno-savy world of white lab-coats, such as in Michael Crichton's Coma (1979), and also tosses into the mix the singular assault on one person's frail mental psyche, such as in Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1964). The latter especially comes to mind during one memorable sequence where Kate experiences an unrelenting attack in a large, gothic drawing room wherein everything "outside" seems to be fighting very hard to get "in." Among others, Thirst co-stars the late David Hemmings (Blow-Up, 1966) and Henry Silva (The Manchurian Candidate, 1962). The film can be seen as part of a pre-packaged "Aussie Horror Collection" (bylined "Terror from Down Under") that includes the films Patrick (1978) - a film that shares producers (Antony I. Ginnane,William Fayman) and an actor (Robert Thompson) with Thirst, and Strange Behavior (1981) - which was also produced by Ginnane and Fayman. The dvd by Elite features Thirst in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, a theatrical trailer, t.v. spots, filmographies, a commentary track with director Rod Hardy and Producer Antony I. Ginnane. The dvd also allows you to isolate the music score, includes a photo gallery, and has a Spanish dubbed track. Anyone interested in Bathory's bloody legacy will also want to keep their eyes open for the upcoming film Eternal (2004) - but until that film finds its release, Thirst is an interesting time-capsule worth revisiting. For more information about Thirst, visit Elite Entertainment. To order Thirst (and the "Aussie Horror Boxed Set"), go to TCM Shopping. by Pablo Kjolseth

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States March 1980 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Contemporary Cinema) March 4-21, 1980.)

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1979

Released in United States on Video November 23, 1988

Released in United States March 1980

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1979

Released in United States on Video November 23, 1988