Thirst (1979 film)

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Thirst poster.jpg
Theatrical film poster
Directed by Rod Hardy
Produced by Antony I. Ginnane
Written by John Pinkney
Starring Chantal Contouri
Max Phipps
David Hemmings
Henry Silva
Christopher Milne
Music by Brian May
Cinematography Vince Monton
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
28 September 1979 (1979-09-28) (Australia)
29 September 1979 (1979-09-29) (USA)
Running time
93 minutes
Country Australia
Language English
Budget $750,000[1]

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[2] as well as drawing on the vampire folklore of Elizabeth Báthory – one of several vampire films in the 1970s to do so.[3][4]


The plot revolves around single 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.[3] 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.[5]

Producer Antony I. Ginnane followed his then-usual practice of hiring new directors from television by giving the job of directing to Rod Hardy. [6]


Released on 28 September 1979 in Australia, the film did not do well at the local box office.[5] Nevertheless, it was highly regarded by influential American film critic Leonard Maltin, who gave it three stars out of four.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bruce Sandrow, "Thirst", Australian Film 1978-1992, Oxford Uni Press, p48
  2. ^ Murray, Scott (1993). Australian Film 1978-1992. Oxford University Press. p. 48. ISBN 0-19-553584-7. 
  3. ^ a b 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. 
  4. ^ DVD Talk
  5. ^ a b Kuipers, Richard (2009). "Thirst (1979)". National Film and Sound Archive website. National Film and Sound Archive. Retrieved 21 June 2009. 
  6. ^ David Stratton, The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival, Angus & Robertson, 1980 p254
  7. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2004). Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide. New York: Signet. p. 1405. ISBN 0-451-21481-1. 

External links[edit]