• 15
  • Juraj Jakubisko (2008)
  • Cz Rep / UK / Hun
  • 134 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
1 out of 5

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.

Plot Summary

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 and crew


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


Juraj Jakubisko

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Available on DVD
Released 3 Dec 2010
Certificate 15
Metrodome Distribution Ltd