Thirst (1979)
Directed by Rod Hardy

Starring Chantal Contouri Henry Silva Max Phipps Rod Mullinar Shirley Cameron

The late 1970s may have seen a renaissance in cinematic horror. Unfortunately, this ill-conceived vampire film wasn't part of it. In fact, the late '70s and early '80s really saw the vampire film in a state of life support, and this film is proof that the sub-genre was having trouble adapting to the post-Hammer era of terror.

Countouri is dull as a doornail as a wealthy woman who turns out to be the ancestor of some famous vampire. She's kidnapped by a sci-fi-like cult of vampires who have set up a commune where they systematically drain blood from tranquilized subjects. The cult also holds satanic rituals where they bear their fangs and bite victims. They want to convert Countouri to their cause, trying to get her to drink blood at every turn, and even putting her in a coffin. These vampires are also able to walk around and function in the day.

The only bright spot of this one-dimensional mess is the presence of David Hemmings, who four years earlier had starred in one of the best horror films of all time: "Deep Red." When he's on the screen as a morally conflicted doctor in the cult, the film almost works. Sadly, his role isn't large enough.

Devoid of any serious gore or even much sex (unusual for a fear film from the late '70s), "Thirst" is one of the weakest efforts from the last half of the decade. It's managed to crop on video and, now, DVD but should be avoided. Go quench your thirst for quality horror somewhere else.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore


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