My time for watching movies has grown smaller of late; real life has that effect on you. So if I sit down and watch something that turns out to be bad, I may go a little overboard in condemning it, even though theoretically I could have just turned it off and tried something else. Everyone who reviews movies has done this – you really don’t have time to watch all the crap in the world, even though it sometimes feels that way.
But then you get movies like THIRST, which, are not necessarily bad (or at least no worse than many). But I’m getting ahead of myself (of course, when you’re watching this, you can’t help but do so…)
THIRST opens with a beer-guzzling redneck stereotype driving his pickup truck through the desert one night, when his truck stalls. He gets out to see a fireball crashing into the desert (admittedly a cool effect). Jeb Redneck goes to investigate, seeing a squelchy thing like a Walmart version of the Blob in its baby formation. However, Billy Bob Clodhopper is surprised by a much larger creature, which chases him back to the truck. Jethro Hayseed manages to drive off, and thank God because he’s been such a well-rounded character that- no, wait, the creature appears on the hood of the car, stabbing a large proboscis through the windscreen and clamping onto Bo Inbred’s chest, sucking like a fat man getting the last of his Shamrock Shake from the bottom of the cup. The truck crashes. Goodbye, Jedediah Rube, we’ll shoot up a road sign in your honor.
We cut to a kid, Roth (John Redlinger), driving on a quad bike through the desert to get to his aunt and uncle, who run a desert camp for rich wayward teens, who are about to get the next batch. Now, within about five minutes of meeting them, you learn that his aunt has managed to drive the business to the edge of bankruptcy despite the savings in having no qualified counselors or other staff on hand, and that his uncle was a former cage fighter who left the business after killing an opponent (and within minutes of meeting the teenagers, he is literally pinning one of them down for the terrible crime of calling him ‘Pops’). It’s not long before you get the impression that this place would be better run by Charles Manson and Bill Cosby.
It’s not long before the teen stereotypes arrive (the Smartass, the Junkie, the Hacker, the Sassy Chica) arrive and they set off (of course having to leave behind phones and other items that might have mercifully shortened this movie). Along the way through the wilderness the adults encounter the truck and the mutilated corpse of Bobby Ray Meth, but because they really need the money, the aunt decides to continue onward, thus making the stupidest corporate decision since Blockbuster turned down the chance to buy Netflix for a handful of quarters and a reacharound.
So, by the first half hour mark the creature appears and claims Cage Fighter, leaving the teen lead to step up and inspire the others towards survival. Which in this movie means going from a cave, losing more members of their group, back to their base camp, where they lose more members of their group, to getting onboard a rescue chopper, losing more members of the group…
In its favour, THIRST is a more than competent monster movie, at least on a par with the best of the Asylum/SyFy efforts. The look of the film is professional, the acting is fine, and the action scenes are fast and well-paced. The creature, which resembles a biomechanical hodgepodge of an alligator’s head, He-Man’s torso and a My Little Pony body, is better in the night scenes than the day, but then that’s pretty much expected with cheap CGI (maybe you shouldn’t have filmed your climax in broad daylight, guys?).
Once again, where this fails is in its utter lack of originality and novelty, both with the one-dimensional characters to the storyline to the Grand canyon-wide stretches of logic required to keep things moving. Maybe this will be fine for someone young who hasn’t seen more than a dozen monster movies. Not for me (though the women in it look good in vests. What can I say, my generation grew up with Sarah Connor and Ripley).
Oh, and it has a tagline “It came from outer space… It came hungry.” Not ‘thirsty’?
THIRST is available on DVD and VOD, and the trailer is below.
Director: Greg Kiefer
Plot: 1 out of 5 stars
Gore: 1 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Deggsy. Thirsty for something good to watch…