Thirst (1979 film)
|Directed by||Rod Hardy|
|Produced by||Antony I. Ginnane|
|Written by||John Pinkney|
|Starring||Chantal Contouri, Max Phipps, David Hemmings, Christopher Milne|
|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 (USA)
|Release date(s)||28 September 1979
29 September 1979 (USA)
|Running time||93 minutes|
Thirst is a 1979 Australian film by Rod Hardy. It stars Australian actors 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 married professional Kate Davis (Contouri), who is kidnapped by a shadowy organization known as 'The Brotherhood'. She is informed of her ancient lineage of descent from Báthory. The Brotherhood have a hospital-like compound where they clinically 'bleed' brainwashed and hypnotised humans and harvest and consume their blood. After Kate refuses to join, the cult debates over whether to give her hallucinogens to break down her resistance. Dr. Fraser (Hemmings) is against this but is outnumbered. Kate is initiated into the cult, feasts on blood and is returned home. Later, Kate's lover Derek (Rod Mullinar) is kidnapped and taken 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.
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. p. 48. ISBN 0-19-553584-7.
- Silver, Alain; James Ursini (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.