Synopsis by Robert Firsching
Polish actress Ingrid Pitt became a cult figure for her portrayal of the notorious Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory in this Hammer horror film. Bathory finds that bathing in the blood of virgins restores her youthful beauty, and she enlists her servant (Nigel Green in a standout performance) to kidnap her own daughter, Ilona (Lesley-Anne Down). Bathory assumes Ilona's identity to seduce a young man (Sandor Eles), but without a supply of blood, she turns old in a hurry. The real Bathory had no such problems, reportedly slaughtering over 600 young girls before being sealed alive in her room. Pitt and Green are excellent, although director Peter Sasdy -- who helped adapt this story from Valentine Penrose's book The Bloody Countess -- moves the story along at a rather leisurely pace. Still, the performances and typically sumptuous "Hammer look" should make this film appealing to fans of historical horror. Maurice Denham, Patience Collier, and Nike Arrighi co-star.
Elizabeth Bathory, blood, aging, beauty [physical], count (nobility), fountain-of-youth, immortality, madness, virgin, women, youth, aristocracy, daughter, elderly, maniac, mass-murder, murder, masquerade, bloodshed