29 user 76 critic

Thirst (1979)

The descendant of Elizabeth Bathory is abducted by a cult of self-proclaimed supermen who achieve this state of superiority by drinking from the "blood cows" (read: people) kept at the "dairy farm", and they try to get her to join them.


Rod Hardy


John Pinkney (original screenplay)
1 win. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chantal Contouri ... Kate Davis
Shirley Cameron Shirley Cameron ... Mrs. Barker
Max Phipps ... Mr. Hodge
Henry Silva ... Dr. Gauss
Rod Mullinar ... Derek
David Hemmings ... Dr. Fraser
Rosie Sturgess Rosie Sturgess ... Lori
Robert Thompson ... Sean
Walter Pym Walter Pym ... Ditcher
Amanda Muggleton ... Martha
Lulu Pinkus Lulu Pinkus ... Nurse
Chris Milne Chris Milne ... David
Jacqui Gordon Jacqui Gordon ... Leah
Val Christensen Val Christensen ... Toni
Glenys O'Brien Glenys O'Brien ... Guide


The descendant of Elizabeth Bathory is abducted by a cult of self-proclaimed supermen who achieve this state of superiority by drinking from the "blood cows" (read: people) kept at the "dairy farm", and they try to get her to join them.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Surrender to an Unholy, Insatiable Evil. See more »


R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 September 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ânsia See more »

Filming Locations:

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia See more »


Box Office


AUD750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


According to 'E-FilmCritic', "Thirst (1979) was designed partly as a star-making showcase for the glamorous Chantal Contouri." See more »


Mrs. Barker: Vampires? We dislike that word. The Brotherhood is something far nobler than peasant superstitions given it credit for. There's nothing supernatural about us Kate.
Mr. Hodge: Oh, we're simply a superior race of people who, over the centuries, have proved that the drinking of the vital human essence confers youth, power. It's the ultimate aristocratic act.
See more »


Referenced in A Coffee Break with Antony I. Ginnane (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Australia's best horror movie and one of the most underrated vampire movies of all time. 'Thirst' - acquire the taste!
9 May 2004 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

Back in the 1970s the Australian film industry went through a renaissance due to Government investment and tax cuts. Many of the best known movies from that period and into the early 1980s were costume dramas ('Picnic At Hanging Rock', 'My Brilliant Career', 'Gallipoli'). Though there were a handful of exceptions to this, most notably the biker movie 'Stone' and Peter Weir's black comedy 'The Cars That Ate Paris', there were very few genre or exploitation movies being made. Inspired in part by Roger Corman local producer Antony Ginnane attempted to shake things up by making sex comedies, thrillers, and this, Australia's first vampire movie. Ginnane recruited experienced TV directors who could work quickly and effectively with small budgets. 'Patrick' was his first major success, and that was soon followed by 'Thirst', which is arguably the best horror movie to come out of Australia. 'Mad Max' was in post-production around the same time, and both movies deserve some kudos. Ginnane continued with a few other movies (including the schlock classic 'Turkey Shoot') but sadly his dream of creating the Aussie equivalent of AIP or New World just wasn't to be. Chantal Contouri, a popular TV actress, plays Kate Davis, a successful advertising executive, who is the descendant of the Countess Elizabeth Bathory. A secret society of hi-tech (for the time!) vampires kidnap her at try to convince her to fulfill her destiny. They try all kinds of tricks, including drugs and brainwashing. The supporting cast includes Max Phipps (later The Toadie in 'Mad Max 2'), and Rod Mullinar ('Patrick'), even Patrick himself, Robert Thompson. The Australian cast is helped out by two overseas imports Henry Silva and the late David Hemmings. Silva doesn't do all that much apart from look cool, but Hemmings gives a good performance as the enigmatic Dr. Fraser. He and Ginnane continued to work together after this movie e.g. 'The Survivor' starring Robert Powell which Hemmings directed and Ginnane produced. The DVD of 'Thirst' features a great looking print. For such a low budget movie (under Aus$750,000) it stands up well and has surprisingly strong production values. The commentary from Ginnane and director Rod Hardy is also an eye opener and emphasizes just how resourceful Aussie film makers had to be back in the 1970s and 1980s. It's no wonder so many of them went on to successful Hollywood careers. 'Thirst' in my opinion is not only the most effective and interesting Australian horror movie, but one of the most underrated vampire movies of all time. It has languished in obscurity for too many years. 'Thirst' - acquire the taste!

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