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Juraj Jakubisko (2008)

15 Certificate


Our Score
The life and the legend of 16th-century Hungarian noblewoman Elizabeth Bathory, known as the Blood Countess, are explored in this handsome but scrappy, and often risible, biopic. Veteran Czech film-maker Juraj Jakubisko attempts to question some of the more dubious stories - her habit of bathing in the blood of virgins is ascribed to a kind of herbal remedy that stained the water red - while introducing others (she is seen enjoying a curious affair with the famously gay Italian painter Caravaggio). In the fore is Anna Friel, who does her best to portray Elizabeth as a wronged woman whose reputation as a vicious, occult murderess was, in fact, just payback for daring to be a strong woman in a male-dominated world. Around her, though, the late-medieval murk - itself less than historically accurate - plays out more like a Monty Python comedy than a serious drama, with a subplot involving roller-skating friar-detectives that makes this already turgid 140-minute bore seem a whole lot longer.


The story of the infamous Hungarian countess, who rises to power at the turn of the 17th century after the death in battle of her husband. Rumours of mass murder and vampirism turn the people against her, and a jealous and covetous nobleman schemes to exploit these dark tales to destroy her. Period drama, starring Anna Friel, Karel Roden and Vincent Regan.

Cast & Crew

Erzsebet Bathory Anna Friel
Merisi Caravaggio Hans Matheson
Count Thurzo Karel Roden
King Matthias ll Franco Nero
Peter Boleslav Polivka
Monk Cyril Jiri Madl
Lucia Lucie Vondrackova
Bethlen Marek Vasut
Village mayor Andrej Hryc
Gabor Bathory Marek Majesky
Ilona Beata Greneche
Countess Czobor, Thurzo's wife Monika Hilmerova
Director Juraj Jakubisko
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: Metrodome Available on: Available on DVD Released on: 3 Dec 2010


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