Theatrical film poster
|Directed by||Rod Hardy|
|Produced by||Antony I. Ginnane|
|Written by||John Pinkney|
|Music by||Brian May|
|Edited by||Philip Reid|
F.G. Film Productions
New South Wales Film Corporation
Victorian Film Corporation
|Distributed by||Greater Union Organisation (Australia) |
New Line Cinema (US)
|28 September 1979 (Australia) |
29 September 1979 (US)
Thirst is a 1979 Australian horror film directed by Rod Hardy and starring Chantal Contouri and Max Phipps and British actor David Hemmings. It has been described as a blend of vampire and science fiction genres, influenced by the 1973 film Soylent Green as well as drawing on the vampire folklore of Elizabeth Báthory – one of several vampire films in the 1970s to do so.
The plot revolves around single professional Kate Davis (Contouri), who is kidnapped by a shadowy organization known as 'The Brotherhood'. This organization believes her to be a direct descendant of Elizabeth Báthory and claim to be part of an ancient race that consumes blood in order to retain their youth and strength. They have taken her to a hospital-like compound where they clinically 'bleed' brainwashed and hypnotised humans and harvest and consume their blood. Kate is horrified by what she sees and refuses to join, as well as to take one of the Brotherhood as a mate, leading to them using hallucinogens to break down her resistance. Only one member, Dr. Fraser (Hemmings), is against this treatment as he believes that it will only result in losing her respect for them even if it was successful. Kate is brainwashed and initiated into the cult through a ceremony that involves her using fake metallic fangs to drink the blood of a sacrificial victim.
Once home Kate acts as if she has seemingly forgotten all of what has happened, only for her to end up killing a woman in her apartment and drinking her blood. Once back at the compound Kate is still resistant to drinking blood and taking the lives of other humans. In an attempt to make her comply the Brotherhood kidnaps her lover Derek (Rod Mullinar) and takes him to the farm. Dr. Fraser helps him escape and seeks out Kate, seemingly in attempt to reunite them, only to reveal he is also descended from a vampire lineage and seeks a union with her. He did save Derek from the farm, but only so he could drain Derek's blood and offer it to Kate. Initially angry at seeing Derek's drained body, Kate's will is finally broken and she submits to Dr. Fraser and the Brotherhood.
- Chantal Contouri - Kate Davis
- Max Phipps - Mr. Hodge
- David Hemmings - Dr. Fraser
- Henry Silva - Dr. Gauss
- Shirley Cameron - Mrs. Barker
- Rod Mullinar - Derek
- Amanda Muggleton - Martha
- Christopher Milne - David
The artists' colony of Montsalvat north of Melbourne was used as the cult's headquarters. Producer Ginnane had sought out Hemmings and American Henry Silva in supporting roles to bolster the film's popularity outside Australia.
Released on 28 September 1979 in Australia, the film did not do well at the local box office. Nevertheless, it was highly regarded by influential American film critic Leonard Maltin, who gave it three stars out of four.
- Bruce Sandrow, "Thirst", Australian Film 1978-1992, Oxford Uni Press, p48
- Murray, Scott (1993). Australian Film 1978-1992. Oxford University Press. pp. 48. ISBN 0-19-553584-7.
- Silver, Alain; Ursini, James (1993). The Vampire Film: From Nosferatu to Bram Stoker's Dracula. New York: Limelight. p. 184. ISBN 0-87910-170-9.
- DVD Talk
- Kuipers, Richard (2009). "Thirst (1979)". National Film and Sound Archive website. National Film and Sound Archive. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
- David Stratton, The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival, Angus & Robertson, 1980 p254
- Maltin, Leonard (2004). Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide. New York: Signet. p. 1405. ISBN 0-451-21481-1.