Posts Tagged ‘Judith McConnell’

Movie Reviews 402 – The Thirsty Dead (1974)

July 26, 2019

I’ve reviewed a string a great films for the last little while and decided it was time to get back to cheesy films and so this week we’ll be diving to the bottom of the barrel and review an older Philippine production called The Thirsty Dead. (AKA Blood Hunt)

Four young women are kidnapped off the streets of Manila and brought to a remote jungle subterranean community and while they are not free to leave, they are well treated, almost pampered, while at the same time kept in the dark as to the motivation for their capture. Their stewards are a cult of lithe young people who worship “Raoul” (or Raoum?) which is a man’s head encased in a ruby-red translucent cube which does little more than flinch or grimace on occasion.

One of the men, Baru (John Considine) takes particular notice of Laura (Jennifer Billingsley) who looks a lot like a woman in a number of paintings around the place. Baru describes how the group have become immortal by feasting on the blood of others and begs Laura, the “Chosen One” to join them in immortality. As one can imagine she balks when offered the blood of innocents (so much for the titular “Thirsty”). Of course when they girls decide they’ve had enough the clan is not as acquiescent and their leader Ranu (Tani Guthrie), a ravishing princess with needle-pointed nails that would make Catwoman envious, sends a cadre of silent hulking, loin clothed attendants under her command to stop the group.

Definitely a film of it’s time (and budget), I got a bit of a nostalgic kick with the Manila opening sequence featuring Claire (Judith McConnell) a Go-Go dancer in a smoky lounge just before she gets apprehended. As the token rebel of the group luxuriating in her hosts hospitality, her minor character turned out to be one of the more interesting her otherwise vapid co-abductees. While the clan women are mostly garbed in colorful array of fine fabrics Baru’s wardrobe is something else. When not fitted with his horned collar cape (think Doctor Strange) he wears a gold giant chained pendant that makes him look like a honky rapper years ahead of his time.

But while there are a few interesting brief moments of terror, this thinly veiled exposition of the superiority complex of entitled elite is a bit of a snoozefest at times, even when it attempts to ratchet up the tension. As an example of a failed thrilling scene the spot where a snake wraps itself around the leg of one of the girls. After all the screams and discussion as to what they should do the situation gets resolved when the snake just lumbers away on its own from what I suspect to be boredom (lucky snake!).

Truth be told I would have never even come across this film had it not been included in one of my Vampire themed DVD sets which included Paul Naschy’s The Werewolf VS The Vampire Woman] and Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things, both highly more entertaining than this tripe. Wanna know what’s really scary? The next film in the set is yet another Philippine production from the same year in which girls in Manila suddenly start disappearing titled Blood Thirst! Sound familiar?

I may have been parched for a good horror movie but I did not thirst for this one.