Saturday, May 17, 2014

THIRST (Severin Blu-ray) - Aussie Vamp Flick with a Twist of Bathory

This is the final installment in our look at the Severin Films Ozploitation series. Each one has been a great experience from the Ozploitation trailer real that is the perfect companion to Not Quite Hollywood to Patrick, one of the most important Aussie productions to the lighthearted fun of Dead Kids featuring Billy the Kid from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. With Thirst, the exploitation of the great Oz (Ozploitation being Australia based exploitation) takes us to a neo-Gothic plane of existence where Lady Bathory still bathes in blood to stay young or at least the heir to the almighty throne.

Synopsis from Severin Films:

The ‘Ozploitation’ classic – and one of the most unique vampire movies of our time – is back like you’ve never seen it before: David Hemmings (BLOW-UP, DEEP RED) andHenry Silva (THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE) star as executives of an international blood-drinking cartel known as ‘The Brotherhood’. But when they abduct a descendant (Chantal Contouri of THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN) of Elizabeth Bathory to reboot her depraved legacy, she must escape before the corporation can expand their human ‘blood cow’ dairies and create a vampire master race.

If the term "human blood cow" doesn't make you want to enjoy this first then perhaps the cast will. Henry Silva, David Hemmings and Cantal Cantouri as well as Max Phipps. For those of you familiar with Ozploitation cinema some of these names will have more meaning than others. I firmly love Henry Silva in whatever I see him in though my personal preference is Alligator. It comes from the producer of Patrick and Turkey Shoot, two pieces of Oz gold.

Thirst attempts to reinvent the vampire legacy, throwing out the traditional Dracula vamp for the Bathory legend with plenty of modern day sensibilities. Bloodsuckers would get pretty sophisticated in the 1980's. To create a blood bank of people for a population of needy vamps... that almost sounds like one of the subplots of the HBO series True Blood. This 1979 classic is well before its time apparently featuring a level of storytelling that went beyond the cape and fang set. Perhaps it's kind should be considered Martin and The Hunger, but something about the general feeling of this one made me thing of the Midnight Mess story from The Vault of Horror. Putting people on tap and what not.

The transfer is really great though this was my first time enjoying it with nothing to compare it to. 1080p HD transferred from the original camera negative. 2.35:1 AR. This disc set features both DVD and Blu-ray. It includes TV spots, a theatrical trailer, an isolated Brian May music score and audio commentary with the director and producer. I love the woman-on-tap cover art.

Vampire fans... this one's unique. You may have seen hundreds of vampire flicks, but this one doesn't actually feel like a vampire flick. It feels like a great big social criticism with supernatural elements to it. That's the formula that made George Romero famous. It's not wonder that I compare this in length and breath to Romero's Martin; not as an imitation mind you, but as a movie that offers a perspective not often presented in fang lore. I strongly recommend you check this one out. Fans of the movie and other oz flicks, this is the edition you've been waiting for.

You can pick up Thirst from Severin Films now.

-Doc Terror

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