Because I’m sick of shit Vampires: Thirst

 

Well, I’ve had enough. I’ve tolerated shitty emo-vampires or ridiculous screechy vampires for far too long and my patience has finally snapped. I’m pig sick of vampires that sparkle like a magpie’s wet dream in sunlight, or vampires as an excuse for some drippy sub-Mills and Boon level romance drivel, or piss-poor lame cowardly fucking vampires. It’s reached the stage where if I even see the word “Vampire” on a film, then I’m automatically reaching for the off switch. There are exceptions and in the run up to “Twilight: First Period” I’m going to periodically pick them out and review them. I want proper blood-crazed, explode in daylight, stake them to kill them motherfuckers, I don’t want anything resembling a tween romance and prescription for wife-beating. So there will be no Twilight, no True Blood, no Moonlight, no Underworld, and so forth, these are all proper undead bastards, and will behave like proper undead bastards. 

 First up: Thirst. This 2009 film comes with a very, very impressive pedigree. It’s made by Chan-Wook Park who made some of the finest films of the last decade in the Vengeance Trilogy, and starts Kang-ho Song (previously excellent in The Good, the Bad and the Weird). It’s a modern take on the Vampire myth but a clever one, and it’s one that portrays vampirism as a curse, not an excuse for painful cunnilingus. Not that there isn’t a doomed romance in it, but it’s not about some drippy little twat that wants to fuck a corpse.

Thirst follows Father Hyeon. He’s a man riven by guilt, feeling that he can’t do enough for the sick patients in the hospital he works in. He begs his superior to allow him to partake in a shady African experiment, and during the course of this becomes infected with vampirism. Probably as a result of the virus, or perhaps tainted blood that he was transfused with. On his return to South Korea, he has become a minor celebrity, as the bandaged saint, the sole survivor of the experiment. Unfortunately for Hyeon, not only has he become afflicted with vampiric cravings, but the rest of his libido has woken up.

Enter Tae-ju, an unhappy wife living in servitude. Her life sucks( no pun intended) and she self harms, fantasises about murdering her husband and is generally an unhappy woman. She’s dominated by the alcoholic matriarch of the family, and her husband is a hypochondriac. She begins an affair with Hyeon, one thing leads to another and after murdering her husband, he infects her. The rest of the film descends into tragedy with a deeply depressing ending that you can see coming a mile away.

Thirst is a novel take on the vampire ethos, being as it is actually a film about Catholic guilt, amongst other things. Hyeon is riven by what he has to do to live, the guilt plays in his eyes and his expression is consistently set to mournful. Tae-ju, on the other hand, is a sociopath. She is eventually revealed as a manipulative witch before she becomes a vampire, and she discards her humanity only just faster than she discarded her underwear at the start of the film once she is turned. The contrast between the two characters is fascinating, and although Hyeon constantly wants to do the right thing, he is incapable of it: he’s more addicted to Tae-ju than to blood.

Thirst is a funny film to describe- it’s actually quite hard to put my finger on precisely what kind of film it is. On one hand, there’s the gruesome murders and generally vampiric behaviour, then there’s Hyeon flagellating himself to control his sex drive, but on the other hand there’s the absurd comic sequences with Hyeon and Tae-ju coming to terms with the murdered husband. At one point he literally appears between them while they’re having sex. Thirst is a strange hybrid of a film, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad film.

It is, however, a film that I don’t particularly like. It’s slow paced to begin with, but rushed in the last act. Needless to say, the early scenes are by far the more compelling sections of the film, Hyeon’s battle with his nature is far more interesting than his futile attempts to keep Tae-ju on a leash. The characters, again aside from Hyeon, aren’t particularly interesting or pleasant, with a few (blind priest leaping to mind) bordering on stereotyped. Tae-ju in particular is an intensely annoying witch, and my sympathy for Hyeon evaporated completely in the last third.

Nevertheless, Thirst isn’t a bad film either. It’s certainly not up there with the Vengeance trilogy, but it is a clever and interesting modern Vampire tale. It’s not the greatest vampire film ever made, but the first half of it in particular (aside from the ridiculously gratuitous sex scene that seems to last forever) is compelling, and the film as a whole is clearly well made.

Overall, would I recommend it? Grudgingly, yes. Park is always an interesting director, and this is an interesting film, but at the end of the day, I feel it’s more a film that I should like rather than one I will ever hold any genuine affection for. It’s not bad, but it ain’t great. I give it 2 Changs.

Until next time,

Jarv

PS- the recommended link below is to a fucking Twilight fan site. I abhor Twilight and if I could get it off this review then I would. Instead, ignore the evil Mormon propaganda filth, but if you are interested in Shitlight, then click here for an academic dissection of it

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

84 responses to “Because I’m sick of shit Vampires: Thirst”

  1. DocPazuzu says :

    David Schow said it best some years ago when he proclaimed that “vampires have become the Star Trek of horror.”

  2. DocPazuzu says :

    “They’re more Star Trek Voyager”

    With the added suckage of the Enterprise theme song.

    • Jarv says :

      never even heard the Enterprise theme.

      I detest Star Trek, though. All of them.

      • ThereWolf says :

        I’m now giving serious consideration to reviewing all the Star Trek films.

        Shit, no, I couldn’t sit through Insurrection again. Or Nemesis. Oh, Final Frontier was a bit cack as well.

        Forget that, I think I just went temporarily insane.

  3. Jarv says :

    I’m thinking of films to do for this- I don’t want to really go before 1980 (and even then I’m fudging it because I want to do Near Dark and Fright Night).

    So any suggestions for films from 1990-2010 that don’t have the word “blade” in them. Koutch has already done Daybreakers.

  4. Droid says :

    Vampires. Meh. I’m so fucking bored of them. When was the last really great movie about them we saw? Daybreakers was good, but not great.

    The first Blade maybe? There have been so many I’ve lost track of them.

    • Jarv says :

      That’s why I’m doing this (also partially as an excuse to rewatch the great ones).

      Let the Right one in.

      • Droid says :

        Yes LTROI is great. Unfortunately the shit outweighs the great 20-1 (at least).

      • Jarv says :

        Yup. Easily.

        I reckon there’s a good few months till the next Twilight, and I’m going to do a few of these.

        The other reason is that I’m STILL stuck with the Angel review.

      • koutchboom says :

        LTROI Remake starring Hitgirl and the retard from The Road……..

        10 quid says there is a line “Yeah, I’m a vampire. It’s cool” in there said by Hitgirl.

  5. Jarv says :

    Right- Coming up:

    Innocent Blood, Fright Night, Near Dark, Cronos, LTROI, Lesbian Vampire Killers, Lost Boys.

    That will do for a while.

  6. DocPazuzu says :

    Cronos is great and Innocent Blood is severely underrated.

    • Jarv says :

      Yup. They’re 2 I was thinking of when I decided to do this.

      It was actually a trip to Gingertown yesterday that forced my hand- I saw another fucking schill for Twilight, and my temper snapped.

      • DocPazuzu says :

        Gingertown — what a shithole. Still, I almost broke my semi-retirement from TB when I read the awful Alien prequel(s) news and just happened to catch AssLives’ latest comments on “good” and “bad” cinema in one of the other TBs.

      • Jarv says :

        Twilight and The Descent 2 broke my retirement. But it will be a long fucking time before I go back again.

        I just find it to irritating.

      • Droid says :

        I made a few comments under an alias when Crack Sweat posted that “Ebert is dead wrong about Kick Ass” article.

        That was the first time since leaving that I posted anything. No one there is remotely interesting, they all just spout absolute shit.

        The cream departed for AIBN and WotM and the dregs remained.

      • Jarv says :

        That is true.

        A few long standing stalwarts fight the tide (D. Vader and MNG) but as a rule it’s a dickhead sanctuary.

      • kloipy says :

        i just was there the other day to scope it out as well. Saw the Ebert article. Fatboy is such a douche bag. He also apparently ‘loved’ the movie were apparently some guy rapes a baby or something to that affect. “A Serbian Film” it’s called.

      • Jarv says :

        I refuse to watch that.

        Fat hypocrite cunt. If he’s not wanking over shit like Twilight, then he’s deepthroating whatever blockbuster comes his way.

        Fool

      • DocPazuzu says :

        Jesus… Did you guys see that Elm Street “review” in Gingertown? And Harry’s endorsement? Fucking hell, this is what happens when plant killers leave the site. Sickening.

      • Jarv says :

        Just read it.

        Nauseating.

      • koutchboom says :

        I’m going to see the nightmare remake. Unlike everyone else I haven’t really minded the Texas and Jason remakes. They were dumb and fun.

      • Jarv says :

        Didn’t (much to my surprise) despise TCM. Loathed everything else Platinum Goons have done that I’ve seen. Particularly The Fog.

      • koutchboom says :

        Well that wouldn’t be Platinum Goons thats Revolution. Platinum really haven’t done much:

        Fiasco Heights (2011) … Production Company
        A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) … Production Company
        Friday the 13th (2009) … Production Company
        The Unborn (2009) … Production Company
        Horsemen (2009) … Production Company
        The Hitcher (2007) … Production Company
        The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006) … Production Company
        The Amityville Horror (2005) … Production Company
        The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

        The Hitcher is probably the worst thing they’ve done, but I’ve never seen it. It had a bad ass trailer, I wonder if it’s any good and the reviewers were just poo pooing it. Sean Bean is Sean Bean after all.

      • Droid says :

        I’ve seen

        The Unborn (2009) … Shit, but the chicks hot and spends a lot of time in her underwear. Still not worth watching though.

        The Amityville Horror (2005) … Boring and shit.

        The Texas Chainsaw Massacre … A bit too nihilistic for my tastes. Not terrible, just not not very good. Biel looked mighty tasty though.

      • Jarv says :

        Of that list Koutch-

        I’ve seen The Hitcher, Amityville, and both TCM’s.

        3 of which are shit and one of which is meh.

        I’ve also heard that The Unborn is a huge pile of crap as well

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah but nothing anywhere close to as bad as The Fog remake.

        The new Jason is pretty stupid and fun, its just like any Jason movie. Plus its got the dude from Supernatural which makes everyones panties around here moist. And if you can get past that its also got major boobage.

      • Droid says :

        What dude from SN is in the Jason remake?

        I’ve seen MY Bloody Valentine with Dean (this was before I knew who Dean was) and it was garbage.

      • Jarv says :

        This actually raises a good point. Revolution are as guilty of, if not more so, putting out utter shit and yet they always get a pass- I genuinely thought that The Fog was PD.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah I think it steams from Bay hate.

      • koutchboom says :

        Well you’ll be happy to know that Revolution is now defunct shut down after Legend of the Water Horse.

        They at least gave us Rocky Balboa, but pretty much everything else is shit.

      • Jarv says :

        Can’t say I’ll shed a tear.

      • Droid says :

        Jesus tittyfucking christ. I looked through their list of films and was appalled.

        Their only good films…

        Black Hawk Down (2001)
        Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
        Hollywood Homicide (2003)
        Hellboy (2004)
        Rocky Balboa (2006)

        A selection of their crimes against celluloid.

        Tomcats (2001)
        The Animal (2001)
        America’s Sweethearts (2001)
        Stealing Harvard (2001)
        The New Guy (2002)
        The Master of Disguise (2002)
        XXX (2002)
        Maid in Manhattan (2002)
        Gigli (2003)
        Radio (2003)
        Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
        White Chicks (2004)
        The Fog (2005)
        XXX: State of the Union (2005)
        The Benchwarmers (2006)
        Little Man (2006)

      • Jarv says :

        Not to mention:

        Darkness Falls
        Mona Lisa Smile
        DaddY Day Care
        Hollywood Homicide
        Are we there yet
        Are we done yet

        And other atrocities. I was sure they had something to do with Resident Evil as well.

      • Droid says :

        I liked Hollywood Homicide. I was as surprised as anyone.

        Maybe I was stoned or something.

      • Jarv says :

        The Hartnett atrocity?

        Weirdo.

      • Droid says :

        Yep. It’s on my list if I do that revisit series… (where I’ve seen something once and/or not since I was a kid, and either have a strong opinion either way.)

        The list off the top of my head includes

        Hollywood Homocide
        Willow
        Flight of the Navigator
        Watership Down

        ….

        Thats all I can think of. There are loads.

    • Tom_Bando says :

      Am sure it got 3 goat hooves up on the Almada scale as well, Elm St remake and all that.

  7. DocPazuzu says :

    Although Ravenous is technically a cannibal film, it has very vampiric undertones. It’s also fucking awesome.

  8. Tom_Bando says :

    I did go thru there yesterday and saw how the Ibex WonderBoy is still saturating the TB’s w/ his drivel. Ooo! Armageddon is his fave movie to lambast! I seriously wanted to pummel him just because that’s a Frighteningly Obvious safe target, and B: goat assblasters need to be (verbally) beaten once in a while just because.

    The few remaining decent ones (besides our Conti Pops) are D. Vader, MrGeyser, YackBacker, Turd on the Run (or whatever he calls hisself now) and Moto, whenever he chooses to show. Most of the rest? deserve what they get.

    It’s a sad day when the best thing going are Quint’s twice a month postings.

  9. Bartleby says :

    Jarv,

    great call on Thirst. As I was reading your review, I was getting nervous thinking you were going to go positive on it due to the fact it is original and not inherently crap.

    Kudos for being objective though. I felt the same exact way, wanting to like it, admiring what it was doing in some places, but ultimately feeling like it was just a let down and a disappointment.

    I think that’s bound to happen though with vampires because let’s face it, you can only get so original, and usually it’s better to be original in an over-the-top campy way.

    Other vampire movies to review with ‘REAL’ vampires in them, ones that haven’t been mentioned above:

    Frostbiten– Swedish vamp comedy that uses the same device as 30 Days of Night, with vampires attacking a town shrouded in night for a month. It’s far creepier, funnier and more effective than the aforementioned flick.

    Razorblade Smile– I think this was vampires. I think it sucked. I can barely remember.

    Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat: Bruce Campbelll and David Carradine. Nuff said.

    Cold Hearts–uber cheap vamp movie going for romeo and juliet and just ending up in the toilet.

    Subpsecies–Ahh, Full Moon. I think there were like half a dozen of these damn things.

    Salems’ Lot– the remake with Donald Sutherland as the vampire.

    Twin Effect– not a good movie, but I seem to remember the vamp girl heroes actually firing their fangs out at their enemies. I think Jackie Chan had a cameo too. No lie.

    Habit (a nasty vamp movie from Larry Fessenden)

    Addiction (Abel Ferrara and Chris Walken and college student vampires)

    Nadja ( I don’t recal much about this, but I think it was a black and white vamp flick with Peter Fonda)

    To Die For (think the first one was in 1989, but there were two of these and they were more or less modern takes on Dracula)

    The Lost Platoon– that’s right,, a military unit of vampires. I remember this thing being cheesy as hell, and it’s been about 19 years since I saw it.

    • Jarv says :

      Cheers Jonah,

      This is a film to admire rather than like, and I do recommend it, sort of and very grudgingly. I can’t at the end of the day go overboard, because I know I Should like it and the more I think about it the less I do.

      The “Pathetic humans” bit in particular is wretched.

      Thanks for the suggestions, there’s a few there that I’m certainly going to add. I will be retiring this feature when Koutch publishes his positive review of Twilight 3: Period with a vengeance.

      • koutchboom says :

        Koutch publishes his positive review of Twilight 3: Period with a vengeance.

        I AM SO FUCKING READY!

  10. koutchboom says :

    I say you have to watch Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant/Little Vampires/Vampire in Brooklyn.

    • Jarv says :

      Don’t want to see Cirque, hate Little Vampires (that’s exactly the sort of shit vampire I was thinking of), and don’t like Vampire in Brooklyn

  11. koutchboom says :

    You could also do the whole John Carpenter Vampires series. Or the Wes Craven Presents Dracula series?

  12. Lb says :

    Salems lot seconded. Made for tv, book is better but still. A hearty second for ravenous abloody good show that one is. Damn this apple touch typing technology

  13. koutchboom says :

    What about straight up FFC Bram Stroker’s Dracula?

  14. Jarv says :

    Salem’s Lot is in, Bram Stoker’s is not. There’s far too much of the sappyness that pervades the modern vampire film/ tv/ book in that.

  15. Stuntcock Mike says :

    I don’t know what it says about me, but that poster kinda gave me a slight chub.

    But oh yeah, vampires can go fuck themselves.

  16. koutchboom says :

    I read some review of this film somewhere that said it was something like this is surehanded film making at its best. Which the movie is, its very confident in terms of technical decisions and camera movements and acting. Its just the whole thing is let down by a weak script. Its really odd.

    • Jarv says :

      It’s a really, really odd film.

      I stand by this review- it isn’t a bad film by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a film to admire rather than like. Nobody is going to fall in love with this.

      I think the big problem is Tae-ju. She’s just such a twat. What they should have done (enormous spoiler):

      Basically, when he kills her, he shouldn’t have bought her back. He should have gone off and done something else, but tormented by guilt. It would have fit the big theme of the film

      Anyhoo, A good film, and a good start to this series.

      • koutchboom says :

        Yeah I agree.

        Yeah you gave a good review of the film. And I think its one people should see at least once. Especially you like Oldboy and such, just realize its not going to be that good.

  17. Continentalop says :

    If you are doing post 1980s, you can The Hunger. It’s got boobs (or “BOOBS!!!” as Droid would say.

    Maybe add Love At First Bite. Don’t watch LA Vampires. It is shite (although it does have boobs).

  18. Continentalop says :

    Maybe do Return to Salem’s Lot. It sucks, but it is by Larry Cohen and has Michael Moriarty AND Sam Fuller in it.

  19. ThereWolf says :

    Typical, I’m getting to the end of the comments thinking ‘no one’s said The Hunger yet’… and in comes Conti right on cue!

    Coincidentally, I’ve just been reading a review of ‘Thirst’ which was also fairly positive with one or two misgivings. I do want to see this one. Plus, the DVD is fairly cheap online…

  20. herr milflover says :

    You can avoid Dracula 2000… the big reveal of Dracula’s real identity (I wont spoil it just in case some of you are interested in seeing it) is so fucking stupid, it made a boring shitty movie even worse than it already was.

  21. Jarv says :

    Ha!

    That’s done it.

    Wins to me.

  22. koutchboom says :

    Hrmmmmm what the fuck is this????

    QT presents, Mayor of Ginger town quote, Ellen Page. Sounds like a vampire movie Jarv will hate. But I can’t find it anywhere on line? Not even IMDB has it for those people?

  23. Shit talker says :

    I’m sick of your motherfucking shit talker lil bitches I hope you all suck big dicks. Or should get fucking laid instead of bitching!

  24. Fata says :

    I never thought it would come to this, but I’m absolutely hooked on True Blood. I lent the first season at my local library last week, and now I’m reeled in. The story is ridiculous beyond belief, but I cannot help myself. Whats next in store for me? Twilight? Somebody should put me out of my misery.

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