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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Thirst' or 'Bakjwi')

Directed by Chan-wook Park
South Korea 2009


Plot: When priest Sang-hyun (Song) volunteers for a medical experiment, a transfusion turns him into a vampire. Soon he’s drawn to Tae-ju (Kim), the put-upon wife of an old friend. The couple kill her husband, and Tae-ju turns into a bloodthirsty creature...


The whole world seems to be intent on turning out vampire movies, TV shows and novels at the moment. Yet Park Chan-wook, the Korean director who made Oldboy, has still managed a fresh spin on the subgenre in this lengthy, quirky tale.

Thirst opens with a mixture of spiritual questioning and black comedy as Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho), a sincere and boyish Catholic priest, survives a pustular disease through an unholy miracle, but tries to remain true to his clerical — and medical — vocation in his new vampiric state. Rather than hunt for victims, Sang-hyun lies on the floor and sucks blood through the drip-feed tube of a coma patient, excusing himself because the blood donor has made a fuss about his charitable treatment of the starving. The nagging Lady Ra (Kim Hae-sook) seeks the miraculous survivor’s prayers to help her sickly son Kang-woo (Shin Ha-kyun), a semi-friend from Sang-hyun’s childhood, and the vampire priest — who defrocks himself in several ways — is sucked into an unhealthy relationship with the ailing Kang-woo’s downtrodden but sensual wife, Tae-ju (Kim Ok-vin). With the characters in place, Thirst turns into a surprisingly close adaptation — admittedly, with vampires — of Emile Zola’s 19th century shocker, Thérèse Raquin.

Excerpt from Kim Newman at Empire Online located HERE


Theatrical Release: May 13th, 2009 - Cannes Film Festival

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DVD Review: Universal - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 2:13:48 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.42 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Korean (Dolby Digital 5.1) 
Subtitles English SDH (non-removable on bottom), French, Spanish (optional on top)

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• none 

DVD Release Date: November 17th, 2009

Keep Case
Chapters: 20



Focus Film / Universal have given us a reasonably strong progressive and anamorphic transfer to this dual-layered DVD. For SD quality the image is quite striking - strong detail and bright colors. There are few artifacts and noise is minimal. For this particular format the visual appearance is impressive.

Audio is a reasonably aggressive 5.1 track with a lot of boisterous effect sounds springing form corners of the room with a decent punch. We get a bit spoiled with lossless HD - but this Dolby track seems to hold its own - and then some - if not exhibiting the demonstrative range and depth of its superior cousin.

Regarding the subtitles - I couldn't remove the English no matter what I did - even through the menu - and the French or Spanish (if chosen) appear at the top of the frame in a larger font. It's not a huge issue but it seems an odd authoring glitch or the source print already had them fixed.  

There are no extras at all which seems a bit disappointing considering the director's building reputation and following. I don't know if a commentary would be warranted but some form of 'making of..' or better yet - interviews.

For Chan-wook Park fans - this is another of his films that will get under your skin and stay there with some notable dark humor present. There is both sexual activity and violence so the R-rating is earned. Fans of the genre will definitely appreciate this one - recommended!

Gary W. Tooze


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DVD Box Cover


CLICK to order from:

Distribution Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC

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