Screened as part of NZIFF 2009
Incredibly Strange opens its doors to unleash the ravenous vampire priest flick Thirst, the latest from Korean auteur extraordinaire Park Chan-wook, the disturbed mind behind fan-favourite Oldboy.
“Thirst is a torrid expression of predatory instinct and insatiable, all-consuming love, embodied through its protagonist’s difficulty in holding his day job as a priest-cum-miraclehealer, and his night shift as an accidental vampire and fornicating murderer… Park takes his famed eroticization of violence, pain and cruelty to new, feverish heights, and garnishes it with deliciously sadistic gallows humor… Song Kang-ho turns in another forceful yet controlled performance as Sang Hyun, a provincial priest who volunteers to undergo an experiment in Africa to find a cure for a deadly virus. He survives, but becomes a vampire through an unknown blood transfusion. Unlike conventional vampires who only crave blood, Sang Hyun discovers that he ‘thirsts after all sinful pleasures’. He develops a flair for mahjong, justifies his way of obtaining blood supplies, and covets his childhood classmate, Kang-woo’s wife Tae-ju.” — Maggie Lee, Hollywood Reporter
“It’s liberating to watch a film… that strips the moorings from genre expectations and leaves viewers asking whether the film has lost its mind or they have. Our advice… when Thirst goes nuts, go with it… Blending plot elements of Double Indemnity and Natural Born Killers with the ripe sensuality of Francis Coppola’s take on Dracula, the film has made festival critics sit up in startled pleasure, as if they’d just received the most luscious neck-bite.” — Richard Corliss, Time