Friday, 20 May 2011

Pretty Thirsty

'Countess Dracula' is one of the few Hammer horror films that uses fact as its starting point, i.e. the nasty real life exploits of Countess Bathory, although it departs very quickly from actual events and distorts and twists the source material to its own evil ends (also see 'Rasputin, The Mad Monk') .

Ingrid Pitt stars as the decrepit Countess Elisabeth who discovers that she can radically rejuvenate her appearance by the application of fresh blood from a virgin. Naturally, this isn't the sort of beauty product you can buy in Boots, which leads to murder and mayhem and some truly massive hats. Ingrid is very good as the old Countess, not so good when posing as her own daughter (ironically, she's slightly too old for the role), but, overall, gives probably her best film performance.

Originally released as a double bill with 'Vampire Circus', 'Countess Dracula' is an interesting and atypical Hammer which, despite the title and most of the promotional material, contains absolutely no vampirism whatsoever.

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