Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Thirsty Dead|
Actors: Jennifer Billingsley, Judith McConnell, John Considine, Tani Guthrie, Fredricka Meyers
Director: Terry Becker
Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
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Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 06/25/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The Thirsty Dead (Terry Becker, 1975)
Some movies are dogs, and some movies are dogs. You wonder how they got made in the first place. These days, they'd be no-budget direct-to-video cheapies, but let's remember that in the seventies, videocassette players where nowhere near as ubiquitous as they are now; the idea of direct-to-video wouldn't be pioneered for another decade or two. (DVDs? They hadn't even been invented yet.)
Enter The Thirsty Dead, which I picked up for three bucks at Half Price Books over the weekend. Collector's Edition DVD, no less, which means nothing other than that the distribution company has a fertile imagination. (There's scene selection and nothing else. Some collectors' edition!) But this isn't about the DVD, which, aside from false advertising, is a competent enough affair, with a surprisingly good video/sound transfer given that they probably paid three bucks, total, to manufacture this baby. Problem is, video and sound transfer only go so far; you have to have a movie to back `em up if you want to impress the masses. I was a sucker for it, because I collect zombie movies. I think--I hope--I'm the only soul on the planet who's actually a market for this thing.
The threadbare-at-best plot concerns the kidnapping of four women and their forced relocation from civilization to an island in the middle of nowhere. How this happens in a rickety wooden boat is anyone's guess, but so it goes. We quickly learn (by reading the cover copy, the movie takes its sweet time getting there) that they are captives of a cult who believes that the blood of beautiful women, mixed into a potion, will give them eternal life. The head of the cult, Baru (A Wedding's John Considine), singles out one of the women, Laura (White Lightning's Jennifer Billingsley), as he's seen her in a vision, and has been waiting for her to come to the island and take her rightful place by his side. Or something. Oh, the zombies, since I mentioned them before, are the cult's previous victims.
I'd assume it was overacted TV-movie fare if it didn't have an MPAA rating. (And when was the last time you saw a good PG-rated zombie flick?) Overacted it definitely is, and it's as short on logic and continuity as it is long on people emoting. It's also short on gore; depressing to think that de Ossorio made Tombs of the Blind Dead five years before this--and while that movie is a pedestrian affair at best, it's miles better than this. Only worthy of your collection if you're as obsessive about zombie movies as I am. *