Countess Dracula

A 1971 Hammer film based on the historically real Elizabeth Bathory.
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Item added by edt4. Added on 02/10/2010
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Countess Dracula 3

Hammer actually managed to produce a few relatively well done, imaginative horror films in the late 60's/early 70's--- "Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde", "The Vampire Lovers" and "Countess Bathory". Sexy Ingrid Pitt is good as an aging aristocrat who accidentally discovers that the blood of female virgins will restore her youthful beauty (I've read that in actuality, the real Elizabeth Bathory did not bathe in blood, although she was undoubtedly a sexual sadist).

Although low-budget, I liked the look of the film and settings; while I'm no authority on Eastern European history, they impressed me as authentic. The supporting cast is strong as well--- Nigel Green, as the malicious Castle Steward who nonetheless attempts to talk the Countess out of her diabolical scheme, and; Sandor Eles, as the young soldier bewitched by the Countess. These characters are more complex than one would expect from a Hammer film, and this depth adds immeasurably to the overall quality of the film.

Bad points? The make-up is horrible. And at the ending, everything falls apart, quite undramatically. I got the idea that the producers suddenly discovered that they had run out of money, and, in a panic, called it a wrap.

It's too bad. It could have been one of Hammer's classics, instead of a pretty good, reasonably entertaining entry.

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