THIRST
(***)-VITO CARLI

"..the finest gay slasher/splatter/supernatural comedic buddy horror film from Iceland..."

It's Not Easy Being an Icelandic Vampire

(041721) Thirst is an Icelandic splatter horror film has some unexpected moments of poignant drama and comedy. It’s kind of like a less arty version of Let the Right One In (which was one of the few complete horror masterpieces of the last few decades), but it much far more violent, grim, and disturbing.

The film originally came out in Iceland in December 2019, but it actually started turning up recently at some local libraries on the south side including Oak Lawn. It is also currently streaming on Amazon Prime. There is often a big lag between the time a film from another country premiers there and when it appears on American shores.

It has received mostly mixed notices along with a few rave reviews mostly in cult publications and websites like Artslut and Bloody Disgusting.

Thirst should not be confused with the films of the same name including the 1979 Australian film about vampires keeping a human farm, the 2009 South Korean film about a priest turned vampire, and the 2006 American/Canadian film about drug addicts who tangle with a vampire clan.

The film begins when a seemingly respectable businessman who lies to his wife when says he has to work late. Instead he goes to the woods at a local pick up spot for gays cruising for sex. He picks up an old guy who tears him apart and feeds on him in the most brutal way imaginable.

An apathetic and isolated female heroin user named Hulda goes to visit her brother in a small town, and when he ends up dead, the police suspect she is involved.

But an unusual friendship emerges between two of the loneliest people on Earth when she stumbles upon a street skirmish and tries to defend Hjörtur, (the actor has the same name as the character), an old man from some violent street hoods (Hjörtur was also the vamp who had earlier torn up the married man that was cruising.)

But he turns out to be an ancient vampire that can easily withstand anything the thugs can dish out. It seems like he allows himself to get beat up for a while just so he can feel something. There is more than a bit of sadomasochism in the film and in the vamp.

The vamp tries to repay his new friend for at least trying to save him by resurrecting her dead brother, but he does not come back right, and all hell breaks loose. As things get worse, audience members may find themselves caring about and rooting for the two main antihero characters despite their huge moral flaws.

Gore aficionados (particularly Fangoria readers) will appreciate the scene when the old vamp rips a thug’s face in half, and early on when the vampire brutally castrates one of his victims. In most films they would seen excessive, but somehow in this context they actually seem to be the tight creative choices, and the carnage is always presented creatively.

As you can probably tell this film is not aiming to be a high brow masterpiece, and it is not meant for the Hallmark film crowd or people with weak stomachs. But for what it’s worth, it’s definitely the finest gay slasher/splatter /supernatural comedic buddy horror film from Iceland I have ever seen (the film got some points from me for its uniqueness and originality). If that sounds like your cup of tea, you might want to give it a shot.
 

Directed by:    Steinbor Hroar Steinporsson and Gaukur Ulfarsson
Written by:    Screenplay by Bjorn Leo Brynjarsson, based on his
 book of the same name.
Starring:    Hjörtur Saevar Steinason, Hulda Lind Kristindottir
 and Jens Jensson
Released:    10/25/2019 (In Iceland)
Length:    90 minutes
Rating:    Not Rated
Available on:    Amazon Prime

For more writings by Vittorio Carli go to www.artinterviews.org and www.chicagopoetry.org. His latest book "Tape Worm Salad with Olive Oil for Extra Flavor" is also available.

THIRST © 2021 Fenrir Films
Review © 2021 Alternate Reality, Inc.