Our 1970s gore-vacation takes us to the Philippines.
I am completely unaware of horror in the Philippines, let alone 1970s horror from this country. One of the things I love about horror is that almost every country in the world has made at least one horror film. You could get an interesting look at international cinema through this one genre (I am sure you could do this with other genres, but I prefer horror).
We start out the film by watching attractive young women being kidnapped. They are led by mysterious figures in monk robes to a rickety old boat that leads them to a hidden island. (Let’s just not ask how the hell the boat made it to shore). The women are convinced they are going to be sold into sexual slavery, but don’t really seem all that fussed about the situation. Which is… odd?
In sort, the movie is really really weird. It seems that kidnapping is so common that no one can muster up enough energy to give half a crap about the situation. We also have the cult members pray to a head in a red box, and the priestly outfit is a poorly covering robe with popped collars. I genuinely do not know how to describe this, but I suppose we should all envy the powerful hallucinogenic drugs of yesteryear.
Despite one of the woman openly wishing for sexual enslavement, the film is oddly not offensive. The whole thing is just so weird and cheesy that none of it can be taken seriously. Sure, one could do a more complex reading, but this movie is simply nuts. I want to show this movie to other people, and I imagine most who watch this will want to inflict it on at least one other person they know. The best thing to do would be to watch it with some friends and keep a straight face throughout.
The film looks okay—it is on par with most SyFy films, and this indicates there actually was a decent budget for it. It is 70s through and through, and by this I mean the film feels like a film from the 1970s. It is hard to describe, but there is no mistaking the aesthetic.
It ends up that the cult is draining blood from young women to create an elixir for eternal youth and beauty. Yeah, we’ve seen this before, but I haven’t seen a film take it so seriously while at the same time be quite so off the wall.
We also have zombies because of course we do. A perk for this film is that there is no way you are going to be able to predict what is going on (for the most part anyway).
The bummer is that the first thirty minutes or so are completely bonkers, and this is great. I couldn’t believe this film was made, and it is truly so bad it is actually awesome. However, the next hour is still weird, but less entertaining for whatever reason. Despite some oddities, the film becomes more familiar, and the flaws do start to shine through. Folks looking for an absurd B movie will enjoy this one, but it isn’t one of the top ten I would suggest in that category. I can’t fully recommend it, but at the same time I am going to make as many people as I can suffer through this—not sure if that is a positive or negative assessment.
The Thirsty Dead will make you love, hate, envy, and fear the insanity of the 1970s. Give it a go if you’re a fan of B films, or drunk.