The long-time Ozploitation favourite, Thirst, finally makes its glorious debut on Blu-ray. Made specifically for the late seventies drive-in market, Thirst has aged surprisingly well, and it certainly has a very “modern” horror feel about it.
After being abducted by a mysterious group called The Hyma Brotherhood, Kate (Chantal Contouri) learns that she is a direct descendant of the infamous vampiric Countess Elizabeth Bathory. The brotherhood, headed up by the villainous Mrs. Baker (Shirley Cameron), Dr. Gauss (Henry Silva), and the slightly less evil Dr. Fraser (David Hemmings), run a “blood farm” for their vampire masters where “blood cows” – read, people – are literally bled dry, and view Kate as a trophy addition to their list of vampire clients. But Kate remains unconvinced, so a psychological battle ensues between her and The Brotherhood as they try to unleash her inner vampire. But will they push her to the brink of madness, or will she destroy them?
Less of a traditional vampire movie and more of a psychological horror, Thirst is a surprisingly solid entry into the canon of Ozploitation. Chantal Contouri gives a stand out performance as the initially weak and frightened Kate, who endures a seemingly endless parade of tortures at the hands of The Brotherhood before finally fighting back. The real star of the movie, however, giving a truly maniacal performance, is Shirley Cameron, who steals every scene with equal parts malice and malcontent. Likewise, Poliziotteschi favourite, Henry Silva, gives his usual monotone performance, but benefits from a truly electrifying finale.
In addition to the pristine transfer of the original movie, the Blu-ray also comes packed with special features, including an audio commentary from director, Rod Hardy, and producer, Anthony I. Ginnane; interviews with the pair; the original theatrical trailer and three TV spots; and a fascinating collector’s booklet packed with behind the scenes photos, original artwork, and an in-depth look into this overlooked classic from highly astute cult film commentator, John Harrison.