32 thoughts on “Witchy Wednesday: Bathory – Countess of Blood (2008)

  1. Wow. It’s real dedication you Frock Flicks ladies have for us! That movie looks…deranged. Somehow the roller-skating monks just put it over the top for me, LOL! Especially when compared with The Countess, which I watched after you reviewed it here, and really enjoyed! This one just looks cracked-out.

  2. I am a bit obsessed with vampires and have read several biographies of Elizabeth Bathory, and I lost it laughing when Caravaggio showed up. This movie was just weird, and bears no resemblance to her actual life.

    I, too, would wear the shit out of the black beaded whisk ruff. I might have to make one now :D

  3. OMG that was hilarious, one of the most ROTFL reviews you’ve ever done. I would totally watch it — but only if you recorded a rifftrax I could listen to while watching and I had copious amounts of booze..

  4. I AM SO GLAD YOU REVIEWED THIS. I watched the first half (the thing is like 3 hours long) a few years back and was like “wtf, this is so weird, I have to watch this with Trystan & Sarah.” Now I can see things got EVEN CRAZIER in the second half.

    *****THE HAIR*****

    That red masquerade costume — BACK FAT ALERT (hey, we all have it, but we don’t necessarily need to share it with the world)!

    1. It is SO VERY BAD. I did try to find some kind of historical precedent for the bullshit hair & costumes, but no, it does not exist. This is some grade-A nonsense!

      And yes, 3 hours of movie, plus 3 freaking days of screenshots & writing, no lie! I made a commitment here!

    2. It’s just a crap fit. Like all back fat, it’s caused by poor fitting and that dress is incredibly ill fitting. It must have been painful to wear.

      1. Maybe Roller Skating Monks is on its way to becoming a TV Trope meme? A bit searching revealed that besides this movie, there is a web comic featuring a monastery of roller skating monks and in Burma there is a Buddhist monastery where the monks routinely roller skate.

  5. At least five other versions of the story: Daughters of Darkness (71) a contemporary version; Countess Dracula (71) Hammer;s version; Bathory (08), Countess (09) reviewed here, and last, but not least (???) Die Blutgrafin, a musical version starring Tilda Swinton. Sharpen those stakes, folks. I have seen only the early versions, and Hammer’s at least gets the ending right.

  6. This is one of the very few movies associated with my own country (Slovakia – its director is Slovak) and talking about Slovak-ish history, and I actually liked this one a bit as a work of art, if not as a piece of historical fiction, so it’s a bit painful to see it being torn apart (especially in comparison with The Countess, which, to be honest, I think is godawful). However, I love your costume analysis. I’ve been a fan of yours for a while and really adore your work. Sorry for being so negativistic, I may not disagree with you in this case (when it comes to quality of the movie, not the historical and costume accuracy), but I am still a fan.

    1. Oh, and also, I feel like I have to defend the reputation of Slovak film. Yes, productions with higher budgets aren’t very common, but hey, those few don’t always suck! See also The Seven Ravens, a Czecho-Slovak coproduction fairytale/fantasy.

  7. This makes me question whether the real Elizabeth Bathory was really a serial killer, or she was a victim of “written by victors” case.

    1. She probably wasn’t as bad as bathing in virgins blood however there quite reliable accounts describing her as being brutal to her servants. And by brutal I mean physical violence and torture. Local girls wouldn’t go to serve in her household if they had a choice.

  8. As a Czech I feel a need to defend this film. I saw it in cinema when it came out. I was a movie buff back then and it was kinda compulsory, with all the hype about it being a new Juraj Jakubisko film and a big budget production aimed at European market to boot. Which is main problem of the whole film. Jakubisko is an arty director so he goes more for look and feel that historical accuracy. But because of the cost of the production he had to try to please more mainstream audience hence the weird romance subplot. I remember the film being too long, bland, with story pulled in too many directions, trying to please to many people at once and desperately needing skilled editor. The length of the thing actually made the comic relief scenes with monks quite refreshing.
    Try your luck with cheaper films. They don’t tend to be so pretentious. We’re really good at fairy tales and comedies. Three Wishes for Cinderella has nice renaissance-ish costumes and feisty Cinderella that can ride a horse and shoot from crossbow better than the prince. Beauty and the Beast has regency-ish costumes and the Beast’s castle really creeped me out as a kid. And Emperor’s baker and Baker’s Emperor is a comedy about Rudolf II with really good 50s renaissance costumes.

  9. What is with all the harpsichord playing? I hope it’s a harpsichord anyway, cause pianos hadn’t been invented yet. Please tell me that there is a harpsichord soundtrack expressing her angst through music.

  10. Trystan, I admire you for your persistence, because from what I see on the caps the costumes are the worst ones I have ever seen in a period film. And even the script couldn’t make up for the crappy costumes … In short, this must have been the worst period film you have ever watched and I really appreciate your sacrifice for us Frockflickers :-).

    I have been a reader of Frock Flicks for over a year now and I have learnt from your articles that costumes in period films have in the vast majority nothing to do with real historical clothes and that the viewer should be really glad if she/he finds a period film with halfway historically correct costumes.

  11. I actually didnt hate it… I don’t really think of Erzebet in the historical sense anyway because who really knows how much said about her is true or for political and monetary gain… I liked the 17th century hair because I am OBSESSED with Velazquez and his portraits of all those infantas and the queen and its not a hairstyle we see often in film because its weird as hell. I think the ratty way they did it was interesting. The only possible portrait of her is pretty dull so they had to clearly make it up anyway since nobody knows what she looked like or wore. I’d like to think she wore similar things to that Habsburg in green but she was Hungarian…and it seems they liked those peasanty looking folk outfits which I abhor so Im thankful theres not much of that… ALSO in film, I doubt they would ever do that since it would look so similar to the servant outfits etc… they have to have contrast.

    I never watched it all because it was super long lol and got boring but I didnt hate the clothes. Now that Julie Delpy Bathory films outfits were complete shit imo so this was a step up (prob again, bc the 17th century is my favorite) I also appreciate how they didnt just make all the costumes sexy… they were weird and elaborate and kinda insane. I am assuming the main issue with the costumes came from budget, I am guessing alot of this stuff was rented (except obviously the ruffs, both black and white and maybe the portrait costume) I am probably way off but the most historically accurate red and gold gown reminds me heavilly of the gown worn in the Brothers Grimm (but I know it isnt)

    Honestly, another way they could have just did it, is used another artist as inspiration instead of Velazquez. CRANACH. Those cranach gowns would have been folksy enough with the front laces yet luxe enough with the velvets and fit (sorta) the time period. Hell, they could have worn them with ruffs for all I care, I also love cranach lol and the necklaces which are clearly made up for his 16th century glamour portraits! (Thats what I must like about Cranach, Velazquez and Peter Lely…they all seem to paint imaginary clothes and the same exact clothes on every subject! lol like 1980s glamour portraits…it cracks me up when I think of it like that but thats what they were)

  12. Hm… you may want to give more Czech movies a chance. This one got all sorts of bad reviews even here, and I was never ever tempted to watch it. We do have much, much better ones. Želary spring to mind – admittedly that’s a very, very different period, but it’s clearly overall so much better.
    Big budget, in this case, only allowed a director who I believe is kind of infamously deranged in his films to go really crazy. There are actually Czech TV fairy-tales with better costumes. :P (I’m not saying perfect. But definitely better.)

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