When I hit the video store on Wednesday evening, I had a short list of movies to keep my eyes open for, but I decided to give the New/Recent Releases section a quick perusal before heading straight to Horror. The way the store is laid out, if you proceed directly to your right from the entrance and then begin browsing at the shelves that appear on the immediate right, you’re presented with a quick selection of recent TV series releases followed by documentaries. Continuing along the same path you reach a corner where the end of the new/recent releases begins. (I always browse this way, starting at ‘Z’ and working my way to back to ‘A’. Don’t ask why — I couldn’t tell you.) As I scanned over the covers, I was struck with some familiar and slightly disturbing artwork for a movie called Thirst. Assuming by the artwork — correctly I might add — I guessed that it was a horror movie, which was exactly what I was there for.
The description on the back of the DVD case was an intriguing one, one that involved a priest volunteering for a medical experiment. When the experiment goes badly and the priest receives an emergency blood transfusion, he soon discovers the life he new previous is almost entirely gone: the blood that saved his life has transformed him into a vampire. Further more, I read that Chan Wook Park was director/screenwriter — I immediately signed on when I read that as I thoroughly enjoyed his last movie I had seen, Oldboy (which quickly found a spot in my personal collection). Without giving too much away, it’s a great twist on an all too stale genre that really takes forbidden love/lust to a new level. Come on, a Catholic priest that becomes a vampire? Talk about inner conflict.
So if you’re looking for a vampire movie that isn’t dripping with teenage romantic angst — and you don’t mind a little blood — do yourself a favour and throw Thirst in the old movie playing box. You shouldn’t be disappointed. And on the note of enjoyable and unique vampire flicks, be sure to check out Cronos and Let The Right One In — I can’t recommend either of them highly enough. (Is it purely coincidence that people overseas are still managing to produce creative films within the driest of genres? I’m thinking not. Fucking Hollywood.)