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Park Chan-wook's 2009 dark, erotic drama about a priest who becomes a vampire.

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Thirsty For More!!!

  • Jun 24, 2010
Favorite Movie Quote: "Ravage my body sworn to chastity leave me with no pride, and have me live in shame."

Should the name Chan-wook Park sound relatively familiar, it is. More than almost any other living Korean film-maker, Park solidified his well-earned reputation with the sleeper hit Oldboy. Although I've enjoyed & certainly respected his decisions when it comes to other works, I couldn't fathom anything so masterful nor as mature. Thirst actually exceeded every last one of my expectations & easily became my favorite film of 2009.

Thankfully, we were granted a North American release for Bakjwi although the 145 min Director's Cut is a bit more obscure & harder to find. At any rate, I am grateful to have seen the film at all & am completely excited about Park's future endeavors once again. Park has earned his weight in gold as far as I'm concerned.

After witnessing the deaths of so many around him, Priest Sang-hyeon decided to undergo a medical procedure which could prove to be extremely fatal. However, Sang-hyun is convinced that his Lord will watch over him & he's determined to go through with the experiment irregardless of how risky the treatment may be.

As fate would have it, Sang-hyun does survive by means of infected blood which turns him into a vampire. Now he must drink the fluid of life for sustenance as well as battle his new found carnal desires. It's not an easy task to obtain blood but Sang-hyun embraces the challenge & finds himself battling the seven deadly sins.

Although it's hard to decide whether Park intends for his film to be a very morbid comedy with splashes of drama, Thirst is compulsively watchable & you'll find yourself irrevocably glued to the screen from the opening scene until the tragic ending. If you love Chan-wook Park, you know pretty much what to expect. His films are often tragic, twisted, & yet darkly comical. Thirst makes good use of Park's skills to weave a great tale and keep you begging for literally more.

Much like Oldboy, it's not always evident where Thirst will take you but you can be sure it's going to be a wild ride worth taking. The story is incredibly rich, the characters are brilliant, & the Korean vampire twist seems quite authentic making Thirst the most unique film experience in the most extreme sense of the word. Also like Oldboy, Thirst is a very dark if not strange love story with many turns & twists. However, I suggest you stick with it as the film does promise quite a bit & successfully delivers each one of it's promises. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!
Thirsty For More!!! Thirsty For More!!! Thirsty For More!!! Thirsty For More!!! Thirsty For More!!! Thirsty For More!!!

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May 27, 2011
Excellent quote from the film. I enjoyed your review!
May 31, 2011
Thanks Adrianna! I've reallyenjoyed this one and even managed to sell a few people on it too. If you haven't already seen this, I can't recommend it enough. :-)
June 03, 2011
I've asked my hubby to get us a copy. He hasn't yet, but I'll let you know what I think if/when we get around to it. We haven't been watching a lot of movies as of late. :-P
June 03, 2011
Sounds great. I know what you mean. Haven't bought much in the line of movies lately but I plan to.
June 03, 2011
Nods. Neither have I. We seem to be watching a lot of television as of late.
December 10, 2010
Yes indeed, excellent review. i need to pop this one in again.
December 14, 2010
I have watched it about 3 times since i purchased it. I have even bought a few extra copies which I gave as birthday gifts. I love this movie!! Thanks as always Alex!!
July 05, 2010
This is one of the many films that have been on my list for ages. I COULD watch it on the computer, but I'm unsure how much that would take away from the film.
December 14, 2010
Thanks Queen! I moved over a bunch of review to the communities so it should be somewhat easier now to feature reviews. Fingers crossed. Queen, you really need to see this. I watched it on a computer so it's doable although a bigger screen may be preferable. Please tell me you've picked up Otto; Or Up With Dead People?
December 16, 2010
I'll probably feature OTTO first. That should shake up a few people. It's just the type of thing I had in mind for my little subworld.
December 17, 2010
Ahh, Otto and Thirst just warm my heart. I really am glad to have both in my library. Admittedly, those were unexpected gems in my book. I do love the idea of your subworld by the way. It's definitely right up my alley. ;-)
December 18, 2010
I' debating about whether to put out a bulletin before Xmas or wait until January since I've already done a couple. There isn't a lot of movie watching going on this time of year anyhow...
December 18, 2010
Good question. It might serve the community well if you put it out for those who love to give movies as holiday gifts. And then you have those who love starting off the new year right by watching some great movies. Or maybe that's just me. LOL ;-)
December 18, 2010
That's an idea too.
June 27, 2010
oohh...yeh! very nice work, Brian! I sent you a couple of invites by the way...
December 14, 2010
Thanks Woo!! I knew you'd be glad to see this review. As I was telling Alex, I bought three copies of this. That's one for me and two I gave away as birthday gifts. This may be my favorite vampire film and easily my fav of 2009. This was my Otto: Or Up With Dead People for 2009. I loved everything about it!!!
More Thirst (Bakjwi) reviews
review by . August 02, 2009
posted in ASIANatomy
            Winner of the Grand Jury Prize in the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and recipient of critical and box-office acclaim in Asia, I jumped at the chance to see Park Chan Wook’s (Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) latest film in a limited screening engagement in San Francisco. “THIRST” is a horror-satirical drama that explores the dark bestial side of humanity that is quite bizarre, even creepy on occasion, but never for one minute does …
Quick Tip by . May 14, 2011
posted in ASIANatomy
After Park Can-Wook's Vengeance Trilogy, the acclaimed Korean director goes forth with a harrowing fable about vampirism and the life of a priest who gets turned into one of the undead.      Sexy, sometimes disturbing and definitely a thematic affair, Park uses his signature style of blending symbolisms, dark humor and themes that bring the viewer to ask questions about what he has seen. Exquisitely acted and definitely a must-see, "Thirst" is one of my best of …
Quick Tip by . May 27, 2011
Thirst is at once an interesting film. From the standpoint of a vampire historian, the film manages to go places and try things that haven't been attempted in vampire films before. At times gruesome, darkly funny, graphically violent, overtly erotic, and ultimately disturbing, Thirst manages to create a flavor (no pun intended) that is unique among horror films. However, it may not be a taste that everyone will appreciate.         The story follows Sang-hyun, a …
review by . October 30, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Sang-Hyun, a Roman Catholic priest, develops urgent cravings after he selflessly volunteers to be guinea pig in a dangerous medical experiment. He resists at first, but thirst has a way of overcoming both scruples and vows. It's a story about faith and redemption, a deeply romantic and moving love story ... and a story about murder, mayhem and sex. Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy, Lady Vengeance, I'm a Cyborg, but That's OK), won the Jury Prize at Cannes for this stylish and bloody reinvention of the vampire …
Quick Tip by . November 19, 2009
So far, this one is making my list for top 10 films of 2009 to see although 2009 isn't over yet.
About the reviewer
Brian ()
Ranked #28
I've spent years trying to make others happy & not really focusing on what's most important in my own life. Having said that, my own health & security are paramount so now I'm more … more
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About this movie


A 2009 film directed by Park Chan-Wook (director of Oldboy) based on Emile Zola's novel. The film is the story about a priest who becomes a vampire because of a flawed experiment. In turn, this priest experiences all the powerful, strong frailties of being a flawed human being and comes face to face with his own conscience and lust for a woman named Tae-Ju.

Screened in San Francisco in April 2009.

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Director: Park Chan-wook
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Horror
Release Date: April 30, 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Seo-Gyeong Jeong
DVD Release Date: November 17, 2009
Runtime: 133 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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