The Thirst (2006/I)

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Released 11-Sep-2008

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-producer and composer
Deleted Scenes
Gallery-Photo
DVD-ROM Extras-Script
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 84:37
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (58:51) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jeremy Kasten
Studio
Distributor
Starz! Pictures
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Starring Matt Keeslar
Clare Kramer
Jeremy Sisto
Serena Scott Thomas
Neil Jackson
Adam Baldwin
Ave Rose Rodil
Alicia Morton
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Joe Kraemer


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Maxx (Matt Keeslar) is an addict who regularly attends AA meetings. His girlfriend Lisa (Clare Kramer) was an addict too, but is now dying of cancer. Struggling with the pain, she commits suicide. So Maxx is led to believe at any rate.

Maxx is taken out to a Goth nightclub by some of his AA buddies (so much for the "anonymous" part) to cheer him up after Lisa's death. To his surprise he finds Lisa alive and well at the club, but she isn't too pleased to see him. Returning the following night, Maxx chases Lisa down and finds out that she has become a vampire when her new vampire family decided to slaughter everyone alive in the establishment. Maxx joins the family, led by Darius (Jeremy Sisto) and Mariel (Serena Scott Thomas), and joins them as they stake out a summer camp with the intent to eat all the children. Alas, Maxx and Lisa struggle with the morality of being a vampire and try to wean themselves off the thirst for blood as they did their alcoholism.

The Thirst is the same as pretty much every vampire movie you could think of in one way or another, only with much lower production values, a muddled plot that is desperate for purpose but lacks any, and shakier acting than most. It "borrows" most heavily from the brilliant Near Dark, virtually lifting its entire overarching plot and a number of its characters. Most of the cast is borrowed from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The closest thing to an original subplot is the films likening of a vampires' hunger for blood to conventional addictions. Unfortunately, this subplot is quite a jumble.

The acting in The Thirst is all over the shop. Each of the actors have moments where they're quite good only to dismally overact or underact a moment later. Jeremy Sisto cannot decide whether he is Eastern European or Texan. Adam Baldwin is also in there, but never even gets a chance to overreact - he is in every other scene but barely has a line. The direction is similarly erratic. The cinematography is plain ugly.

The effects are universally terrible, even taking into account the film's extremely limited budget. The blood looks like red water and you can see the rubber tubes that squirting it out - and they certainly don't look like veins. At the least most of the countless boobs in the movie look real.

Despite its numerous faults The Thirst is surprisingly watchable, though anyone who does so is bound to spend half their time thinking of all the better movies that this is just like. Most viewers would probably be better off just watching Near Dark again.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The film is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.

The video generally looks mediocre. The image is fairly soft and looks to have been shot on video rather than film, although white flecks resembling film artefacts are visible in a few shots (though these could be digital distortion or signal noise). There is a reasonable level of shadow detail in the frequent dark scenes, though there is a lot of grain in darker areas that are out of focus.

The colour in the film is all over the place. The film lights many scenes in a red light to add atmosphere and hide the poor special effects. The colour in these scenes tends to come off better than the normal scenes, which tend to look pale with overly pink skin tones.

The video is surprisingly free of compression artefacts.

No subtitles are present for the feature.

This is a RSDL disc. The layer break occurs at 58:51 but was not noticeable on my equipment.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kbps) and Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 Kbps) audio tracks are present for the film.

The dialogue is clear and easy to understand. There are no problems with audio/visual sync.

The film's score, by Joe Kraemer, is a very spartan affair that uses little more than the occasional electric guitar or synthesizer.

There is little use of the surround speakers in the film. I literally noticed them only once during the film when a big, deliberate pan crossed them. The subwoofer did not rumble once.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Audio Commentary with Mark A. Altman (writer/producer) and Joe Kraemer (composer)

This commentary is from producer (and one of the film's 5, yes f-i-v-e, writers) Mark A. Altman & composer Joe Kraemer, not director Jeremy Kasten as the case and menus indicate. To be perfectly honest, this commentary is far more interesting than the movie itself. It explains the gestation and production of the movie as well as providing insight as to how the team went about producing such a low-budget affair. It also provides a lot of insight as to how the film became such a jumble, particularly as the commentators aren't shy to point out where they have "borrowed" bits from. This one is well worth a listen.

Photo Gallery

A series of rather shonky promotional stills.

Deleted Scenes (16:40)

Almost every one of these scenes is an extended version of a scene in the film. None really add anything to the plot and look to have been cut to speed the film up.

DVD ROM - Script

The initial script for the film, prior to the producer's rewrite.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The Region 1 edition features a "Making Of" featurette and a featurette about vampires that are not on the Region 4 edition. This one is a winner for Region 1.

Summary

An erratic, highly derivative, straight to DVD vampire flick that owes an awful lot to Near Dark and other brooding vampire dramas. As bad as it is, it is surprisingly watchable even if you spend half the time thinking of the better movies it's knocking off.

The video looks fairly mediocre, but is generally free of compression artefacts. The audio is very basic. The extras, particularly the commentary, are surprisingly worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
Display Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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