Quench (2007)

quenchTonally, “Quench” tends to be scattered and while normally that’d be cause to give this a negative marking Zack Parker’s film balances the mixture of genres, and direction so well that I really enjoyed that the film jumps from mood to mood with pure ease. “Quench” could be described as a horror movie in a way, but it’s very unlike a horror movie when it wants to be. Parker takes the underground sexually unlimited world of “Eyes Wide Shut” and mixes it with a bit of “Martin” along with a coming of age drama and really never stops there.

I really can’t describe it too much for you because I found myself trying to comprehend it in my own mind to sort of peg it on a singular genre or subset. You can’t. And I think that’s why Parker’s film is so strong. It’s a little bit of everything for everyone with a story that manages to be quite compelling. On the other hand, Parker also examines the odd appeal of the sexual practices here. Vampirism is a very seductive fetish that’s really never openly discussed because frankly, the sucking or consumption of blood is often described as cannibalism. Often it’s really more of a spiritual practice, like drinking the blood of Christ. It’s a contradiction and a bout of hypocrisy that’s firmly confronted here. “Quench” is such a genre confused movie, but I found myself utterly fascinated with what Parker hands us in spite of it. The man is a great director who takes two parallel storylines and uses the theme of vampirism as a method of self-discovery.

But on the flipside, there’s an undertone of devious cult pinnings that loom where Derik is seduced by the underbelly of this sanguine society and has a much too convenient meeting with charming member Gina who introduces him into their rituals and ceremonies. Mia Moretti os devilishly sexy as the soft spoken outcast of the group who brings Derik in to a new light in his life, while respective cast members Bo Barrett, and Ben Schmidt pull in very strong performances as men in different parts of their lives. While Derik is a person perpetually set in stone, he perceives himself to be normal whereas Jason is one who is living a life of surreal sexuality and is always moving forward.

Parker takes this time to explore the “grass is always greener” adage all the while asking us to decide who presents the better the spectrum of true normality in the climax. Are these people really vampires? That’s left for us to discover as the movie progresses. “Quench” is a rich tapestry of sub-genres, moral questions, and undertones that ends as a great indie horror picture that works against being another typical horror entry. It’s a wonky concept, but Parker pulls it off. And wait for the twist in the final minutes of the movie. Yow.  This, folks, is one of the reasons why I spend hours watching indie movies without asking for money. “Quench” takes a potential caveat and turns it in to one big advantage with a horror film that’s very unlike horror, and a drama that’s very unlike a drama. I enjoyed it. Very much. Oh so very much.