Countess Dracula

COUNTESS DRACULA  1970 
Directed by Peter Sasdy 
Cast - Ingrid Pitt, Nigel Green, Sandor Eles, Maurice Denham, Peter Jeffrey, Leslie Anne Downs, Patience Collier 

  Here's a Hammer film about the legendary Countess Elisabeth Bathory. This medieval period piece starts out with the reading of a wealthy baron's will. The Countess Elisabeth has just inherited her husband's wealth and estate, but it's to be shared equally with their daughter, who's been away for many years. While in a fit a rage, the aged Countess slaps one of her maids and accidentally draws blood. She soon discovers that fresh blood makes her skin younger looking, and quickly decides to 
have a "blood bath". The Countess now looks young and beautiful, but the effect is only temporary as she must bath in blood regularly to maintain her young appearance. Knowing her daughter is coming home, she orders her right hand man, Captain Dobi, to abduct the young woman and hide her. While this takes place, Countess Elisabeth pretends to be her daughter and falls in love with a young soldier. 

  Despite the slightly misleading title (this is not a vampire film), Hammer studios created a fairly entertaining tale of greed and madness. No amount of make-up is going to let Ingrid Pitt pass for a 19 year old women, but she does well with her role. Every time she reverts back to her old self, she becomes uglier . This leads to her madness as she's determined to stay young looking, and will kill as many virgins as it takes to stay beautiful. The movie has a little blood and nudity. Ingrid Pitt exposes her breasts a few times, so does a well endowed prostitute, and there are several naked female corpses. The film moves along at a good pace and is directed pretty well. Recommended viewing for fans of European horror.

-T. Luster

 

 

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