A Need to Live With an Acquired… – Blood Thirst (1971)

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Blood Thirst is a strange hybrid of a film that mixes classic noir with horror and surprisingly, does a pretty good job of it. The movie is no masterpiece, but for those that love low-budget talkies, it rarely disappoints. Sure, the story Blood Thirst 5sometimes meanders a little and not all of the acting is as great as it could be, but the movie consistently entertains and once you get into it, you find you have to see it through to the end.

With a title like Blood Thirst, you have to know that it might be about vampires and at first, that is what it seems like as a young girl is attacked by a hideous monster. While most would think the mystery solved, viewers eventually find out that there is more to the story. What follows is an American detective named Adam Rourke on vacation who agrees to help the locals out, a shady nightclub full of shady men, a young and vivacious, blonde belly dancer and a little hesitant, slightly violent love-making.

The film has all the hallmarks of a great noir without actually being one. A lot of shadows and extremely dim lighting, good guys who are a little bad, bad guys who are less than good and ambiguous women that are a mystery unto themselves among other things are perpetuated throughout. Though women are dying, it is not until the latter half of the movie that we find out why and thus the horror that slowly creeps in. It never becomes frightening in the classic sense, but the situation itself is quite horrific.

Robert Winston stars as Rourke, the main protagonist of the film and he does a good job of it – sometimes a little over the top and sometimes like he thinks he is a little too good to be in the picture. One of the better parts of the entire movie might be the scenes involving Yvonne Nielson who plays the femme fatale of it all. You never quite know just Blood Thirst 3what is going on behind those eyes of hers and Rourke finds her more than just a little intriguing.

What makes this more interesting than anything else is the atmosphere that director Newt Arnold creates and that is what keeps you watching. The mystery, the tension and the suspense is what draws your attention and while the characters are somewhat interesting, it is the situation and the ambience that really makes this film as good as it is. Blood Thirst may never have won any awards and nor will it leave its mark on history, but it is a fun watch for those that like movies like this.

3 out of 5
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