Until very recently, I was unaware of how vast the Hammer Films library truly is. Aside from the classic Frankenstein and Dracula tales that most know Hammer for, there are a whole bunch of other great gothic horror movies that have been released throughout the decades from various studios, in hopes to revive the good old days of the British horror cinema. One said film, which is closely related to Dracula lore, but not entirely a vampire story, is Peter Sasdy’s Countess Dracula.
After the death of her husband, Countess Elisabeth Nádasdy (Ingrid Pitt) inadvertently finds out that with the help of virgin blood, she can be restored to her young and beautiful days. In hopes of deceiving the young Imre Toth (Sandor Elès), she continues to murder numerous women, maintaining her youthful form for short periods of time, forcing the young lieutenant into believing she is actually her daughter, Illona, and falling deeply in love with her.
Ingrid Pitt is gorgeous and I don’t just mean in a “hot for the 70’s” kind of way. Coupled with her beauty is an outstanding performance as not only the breathtaking Illona impersonator, but also as the decrepit and miserable Countess Elisabeth. The entire cast really does an amazing job, but Pitt is clearly the star of the show.
There isn’t much blood to be seen in this film, which could be seen as somewhat odd considering it is a tale of bathing in virgin blood, but all of the Hammer Films I’ve seen thus far are the same way. Minimal blood and gore with top-notch performances.
If you are a fan of the Hammer Films and their gothic style, this film is certainly one to check out. Synapse Films has done a wonderful job with their recent blu-ray restoration of the film, so be sure to pick up a copy of the combo pack today!
I rate this flick 2.5 turkish gypsies out of 5!