Year of Release2008
DirectorJuraj Jakubisko

Bathory is one film I had been looking for for a while now. I was glad to finally get my hands on it. This film follows the life and trials of Elizabeth Bathory the fabled countess of Hungary. Legend has it the countess reportedly bathed in the blood of virgins to preserve her body against the ravages of age. This film does take a different take on the popularly accepted version of events. It  portrays a much more human take on the countess.


I have to commend the makers of the film for delivering what is an absolutely magnificent film. Immaculately costumed and shot and authentic sounding dialogue. The attention to detail is just awe inspiring. I can’t help wondering if this film cost half the GDP of Hungary.  ***$15 million USD. I later found out it was the most expensive Hungarian piece of cinema ever produced but in alliance with the UK / Slovakia / Czech Republic I should add***.  Expense aside, they’ve done an amazing job of bringing the movie to life.

The movie itself sits somewhere between a drama and a period piece. With a fair sprinkling of violence and blood it will appeal to horror fans as well. I think this is definitely one film that has a universal appeal. Featuring no actors I’d ever heard of before, there is nothing to distract from the realism of the film. Anna Friel as the Countess is perfectly cast and beautiful to watch. Friel really gives the countess a life and sexyness and vunerability  that I’d never associated with the character she plays so perfectly.


The film itself is a hefty affair and goes for well over 2 hours and spans the entire adult life of the countess in. It details her life from a young countess to an older countess who appears to be physically untouched by the ravages of inevitable ageing. Its a great watch and though some might consider it overkill to some degree it is quite engrossing the whole way through. For my money it had a vibe similar to that of the English Hammer films (like Witchfinder General) or even the Francis Ford Copolla version of Bram Stokers Dracula.

I can’t recommend Bathory enough for anyone who is thinking of watching this one. I’m just glad  found it on disc!

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