Twilight, for all its heat, takes no pleasure in flesh or fluids. (The Village Voice got it right when it called it "the vampire movie for vegetarians.") Thirst, a Korean vampire flick that comes out on DVD today, three days before New Moon hits theaters, has a good time with both. (PHOTO: KIM OK-VIN IN THIRST, COURTESY OF FOCUS FEATURES)
After volunteering for a risky inoculation experiment, a Catholic priest (Song Kang-ho) discovers he's not the man he was before: sunlight hurts, and the smell of blood gets him salivating. He also discovers a sexual appetite for the unhappily married girl next door, Tae-joo (Kim Ok-vin).
Upon learning his secret, Tae-joo begs him to make her a vampire. The priest has fewer qualms about biting a friend than Robert Pattinson's porcelain-cool Edward does, and soon finds himself trying to restrain his reckless lover from killing her next meal. (He prefers to get his blood from comatose hospital patients.)
A master of visual and audio shocks, director Park Chan-wook–best known for Oldboy, the most sucessful film in his so-called "Revenge Trilogy"–prefers wet scenes to dry ones, and uses long shots to emphasize squishy sound effects the way Herzog did in his 1979 Nosferatu.
This is a movie with an oral fixation, to say the least. If the sight of blood makes you squeamish, be advised that the vampires drink it chilled, chug it out of Nalgene bottles, and (more often) use a sharp object to slurp it straight from the source. There's also an amazing tailor-shop sex scene, the kind those abstaining Twilight protagonists can only dream of! These are vampires of drinking age, after all.