To go along with the exclusive clip we just posted, Bloody-Disgusting’s Ryan Daley has compiled a very special list in honor of Focus Features’ forthcoming Thirst, which arrives in theaters July 31. A huge subplot of Park Chan-wook’s film is the conflict between faith and sin. So we decided to throw together a list that we like to call “A ‘Thirst’ For Redemption: 12 Movies They Won’t Show You At Bible Camp!” Read on and then say 10 Hail Marys.
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In Thirst, the new horror film from highly acclaimed director Chan-Wook Park (Oldboy, Lady Vengeance), a well-respected priest is inadvertently transfused with vampire blood while volunteering for a vaccine development project. Suddenly cursed with an insatiable appetite for human blood, the clergyman is torn between faith and desire. His unwavering belief in God forbids him to kill, even as his instinctive need for the red stuff grows stronger and stronger. Thirst opens in selected cities on July 31st.
Like Thirst, many past horror films have explored the ages-old conflict between faith and sin, some with lessons of dubious spiritual worth lurking in the subtext. What follows is not a definitive list of the hundreds of films that explore similar pseudo-religious themes, but simply a flesh baker’s dozen of beloved horror films you’re not likely to find in God’s Blu-Ray collection.
THICK MEATY SPOILER ALERT!!! Major plot points are discussed below.
“It’s like a wire inside me getting tighter and tighter.“–Rosemary Woodhouse
After being slipped a roofie by her Satan-worshipping neighbors, young Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) is date-raped by Lucifer. She chooses to carry his evil spawn to full term, only to be understandably horrified when her baby is born with glow-in-the-dark devil eyes.
Moral: Only party with people you trust.
“Your mother sucks cocks in Hell, Karras, you faithless slime.“–Regan MacNeil, as possessed by Pazuzu
The ancient demon Pazuzu spews outrageous blasphemy, yaks soup onto nearby clergy, masturbates with sharp-looking holy relics, and airplane spins visiting neighbors out of upper floor windows, all while possessing the body of helpless 12-year-old Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair).
Moral: When provoked, evil spirits aren’t above resorting to “yo’ mama“insults.
“You’ll see me in hell, Mr. Thorn. There we will share out our sentence.“–Father Brennan
Plagued by a sudden baby shortage after his wife’s stillbirth, diplomat Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) secretly obtains a black market infant from a mysterious priest slinging babies in the hospital hallway. Thorn eventually discovers that the adopted boy hates church, attracts dangerous dog breeds, is always accompanied by eerie music, and inspires others to commit suicide, all of which are textbook signs of the anti-Christ. Daddy Thorn eventually attempts to execute the youngster with a dull-looking ritual dagger.
Moral: Stay away from jackals. Jackals are Satan’s booty calls.
“And the Lord visited Eve with the curse, and the curse was the curse of blood!“–Margaret White (Piper Laurie)
Religious fanatic Margaret White is alarmed when her daughter Carrie finally gets her period at age 16. After Mrs. White delivers a bible-thumping lecture lamenting her daughter’s “dirty pillows“and the dangers of consensual sex, an enraged Carrie is compelled to burn down the high school on the night of the prom, with all of the students still inside.
Moral: Girls who don’t get their period until age 16 are highly likely to commit acts of mass murder.
“No matter how cleverly you sneak up on a mirror, your reflection always looks you straight in the eye.” Louis Cyphre
Rumpled private detective Harry Angel is hired by a Luciferian Robert DeNiro to locate a missing singer who has bartered away his soul. Along the way, Harry eagerly spends his spare time boning voodoo enthusiast Lisa Bonet, who introduces chicken blood and intense African chanting to their love making routine.
Moral: Satan likes eggs.
“The Cenobites gave me an experience beyond limits… pain and pleasure, indivisible.” Frank Cotton
As a reward for solving a complex puzzle box, everyman Frank Cotton is whisked away to hell to be tortured for all eternity by the malicious Cenobites. Luckily he manages the occasional escape back to our dimension, lacking skin, to request blood offerings from any willing ex-girlfriends.
Moral: Hell isn’t such a bad place as long as you’re into the whole S&M scene.
“I can lay you out and fill your mouth with your mother’s feces, or we can talk.” Lucifer (Viggo Mortensen)
Disgusted with God for allowing lowly humans into heaven, Gabriel the sort-of-dickish angel of death, recently fallen from God’s grace, begins a sarcastic reign of destruction on earth. Gabe intends to locate the most evil human in the world, and recruit him into a celestial cage match against God. An innocent little girl is later used for soul storage.
Moral: Fallen angels and charismatic Lucifers are way cooler than good guys.
“We see a deadly sin on every street corner, in every home, and we tolerate it. We tolerate it because it’s common, it’s trivial. We tolerate it morning, noon, and night. Well, not anymore. I’m setting the example.“–John Doe (Kevin Spacey)
Nihilist wackjob John Doe—in an attempt to partially cleanse the earth of sinners—gruesomely murders a half dozen innocents after deeming each of them guilty of violating one of the seven deadly sins. He caps his divinely inspired murder spree by decapitating a police detective’s pregnant wife.
Moral: If you’re using pine tree air fresheners to mask the stench of a decaying body, you’re not required to release them from the plastic an inch-at-a-time.
“Hell is only a word. The reality is much, much worse.“–Dr. Weir (Sam Neill)
After enduring a lengthy detour through the bowels of hell, an empty spaceship finds a dimensional gateway back to our solar system. Exploring the interior of the haunted vessel, a small crew led by Lawrence Fishburne is killed one-by-one by a unseen presence of unflinching evil. The final reel carnage is highlighted by disturbing visual depictions of hell itself, complete with barbed wire, metal hooks, and other unspeakable means of cruelty and suffering.
Moral: If Satan puts you in a trance and makes you wander out into space wearing only jeans and a flannel shirt, it’s in your best interest to snap out of it before the first air lock is secure.
“Guilt is like a bag of fuckin’ bricks. All ya gotta do is set it down.“–John Milton (a.k.a. Satan)
Young Southern lawyer Keanu Reeves is recruited by Satan (Al Pacino) to work at a prestigious law firm in the big city. Keanu embraces the task of aiding murderers and child molesters with such vigor, he neglects to notice when Satan rapes his wife behind his back. Later, Satan pushes his personal incest agenda by tempting Keanu into having a sweaty go at his own hot, topless sister.
Moral: If Satan says your wife is a “7“in bed, she probably is.
“Killing people is wrong, destroying demons is good. Don’t worry, God will send you your own list when you’re older.“–Dad Meiks
Doting father Bill Paxton schools his young-‘uns on the proper way to abduct and murder those folks who have a demon inside of them, working from a secret master list delivered by an angel. To Paxton’s unbridled joy and paternal affection, one of his two sons embraces the murder routine, while the son who actually respects human life is treated like a complete pussy.
Moral: Your daddy ain’t never gonna love you if you cain’t kill folks like he says.
“You lock someone in a dark room. They begin to suffer. You feed that suffering, methodically, systematically, and coldly. And make it last.”
B.F.F.s Ana and Lucia stumble onto a cult of religious fanatics who believe that some women—if tortured severely enough—will experience pain of such depth and intensity that they literally see the face of God. The final “transcendence” is apparently more likely to occur if the woman is skinned alive and chained to a metal bar.
Moral: If you really want God to pay attention to your prayers, you’re gonna need a tater peeler, some rubbing alchohol, and a couple of Lortab.
THIRST arrives in theaters July 31 from Focus Features