Legend of the Hungarian Countess Erzsebeth Bathory, the most prolific murderess in the history of mankind. Did she torture young virgins and bathe in their blood for eternal youth... or was she the victim of the political elite in a society heaving with religious wars?
STARRING: Anna Friel (Land of the Lost), Karel Roden (RocknRolla), Vincent Regan (300), Hans Matheson, Deana Horvathova, Franco Nero
DIRECTED BY: Juraj Jakubisko
PRODUCED BY: Jakubisko Film, Film & Music Entertainment (UK)
GENRE(S): Action, Drama, True Story, Historical
RUNTIME: (138 min)
YEAR: 2008
Countess Erzsebet Bathory is proclaimed the most prolific murderess of mankind – torturing young virgins, tearing the flesh from their living bodies with her teeth and bathing in their blood in her quest for eternal youth. Through his lens of magical fantasy, director Juraj Jakubisko lifts the veil on the horrific legend and presents its many faces in this provocative new film inspired by the life of this notorious woman.

Turn of 17th century Europe heaved with religious conflict and war, and for two centuries Hungary had served as the bastion of Christianity. Ferenc Nadasdy (Vincent Regan), one of the country’s wealthiest noblemen and commander of the Hungarian army, fought tirelessly to protect the Holy Roman Empire from the Ottomans. Violence and cruelty were customary amongst medieval aristocrats and the rumored bloodlust of his neglect wife, Countess Erzsebet Bathory (Anna Friel), enraged the local clergy whose sermons of “bloodbaths behind castle walls” inflamed the malcontent simmering in Central Europe.

A noblewoman of luminous beauty and more property and riches than King Matthias II (Franco Nero), Bathory’s alleged deed play into the hands of Palatine Gyorgy Thurzo (Karel Roden), whose political allegiances were influenced by his thirst for personal gain. In a desperate bid to gain control of the Nadasdy-Bathory fortune, Thurzo bets on vengeance, setting in motion the case to destroy the widowed Countess.

Was Bathory a persecuted Renaissance healer whose enthusiasm for science spawned rumors of vampirism, or a lonely widow whose passion for life, love and the arts was turned against her in a century besieged by war and witch-hunts? Taking inspiration from the controversy, Jakubisko’s bloody fairytale brings fiction to life, shining fresh light on the dim corners of Bathory’s legend, her nemesis Palatine Thurzo, her would-be lover the famous Italian painter Caravaggio (Hans Matheson), and the local sage Darvulia (Deana Horvathova).


Jun 07, 2011
chris smith - my magazine
this moving was amazing on one hand and other the other...
View Review
Jun 29, 2011
joe blow - variety
amazing!!! beautiful!!!
View Review


Year Category Awarded By Result Recipient
2011 Best Director Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Honorable Mention Juraj Jakubisko

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Master Format: HD

Dubbed Versions: English

Sub-titled Versions: French

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