Most vampire flicks pile sex, violence, and blood on high. Some tread into the territory of garlic, silver, and holy water as means of extermination, while others promote wooden stakes, blood disorders, and sunlight. The point is that most vampire movies do not break new ground. In contrast, The Thirst sets itself apart by transforming its central characters into vampires and viewing their blood-thirsty underworld from the inside out.
Maxx (Matt Keeslar) and Lisa (Clare Kramer) are a pair of recovering drug addicts and lovers. When Maxx discovers that Lisa is dying of cancer, Lisa leaves the ward and commits suicide. Maxx struggles with her death, but just as he ventures back into the “real world,” he spies his former flame in a bar. Wait! Isn’t Lisa dead? Is Maxx seeing things? Nope. Lisa is now a vampire — under the ruling of a madman leader named Darius (Jeremy Sisto).
As soon as Maxx learns how his lover was resurrected and reformed, he decides to join “The Family” and become a bloodsucker. Only when Darius and his clan set their sights on a Christian kids’ camp for feeding do Maxx and Lisa team up to resist all temptations and destroy their fanged friends.
The title, The Thirst, refers to the characters’ cravings for blood, love, life, and happiness. The drug addiction metaphors for vampirism are prevalent, and the characters attempt to quit cold turkey. However, with The Thirst being the second released film of 2006 to share the title, the heading reads The Thirst (2006/II) for proper clarification. Title aside, The Thirst may seem original in concept; yet, it borrows more than it pioneers.
Advertised as “Requiem for a Dream meets Near Dark” by a subsidiary of its own production company, The Thirst is exactly what the quote claims. Seriously, if you were to play both movies side-by-side and compress the screens together, you would arrive at The Thirst. Sadly, the previous statement is not a compliment; The Thirst is more of a makeshift carbon copy rather than a meeting between the two.
On the downside, the cast is second-rate — not surprising a for B-horror feature. The dialogue (between patient and doctors most specifically) is unauthentic to the max. The blood flows like water, and the fire scenes are poorly executed. Additionally, a few of the plot points are unbelievable. For instance, the instant Maxx thinks that he sees Lisa, he runs to her gravesite and aims to dig up her corpse. Then again, the film is camp, and you know that going into it.
On the upside, the romance is credible. The Lysol quote, arrest scene, and ending are enjoyable. Fans of the genre get their fair share of T&A as expected. Furthermore, the process of watching a virgin vampire transform and try to take a bite out of his first prey is fun. Again, the film is camp, and you know that going into it.
The overall consensus, however, is that while The Thirst is not that bad for second-rate horror, it’s not that good, either. Director Jeremy Kasten’s straight-to-DVD effort makes for a skeevy late-night rental and nothing more. It doesn’t necessarily suck as much as its protagonists do, but certainly bites off more than it can chew.