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Film / Countess Dracula

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That's one hell of a sponge bath.
Countess Dracula is a 1971 Hammer Horror film. It is a fictionalised account of the legend surrounding Elizabeth Báthory - who was convicted for the imprisonment and murder of hundreds of young women. History remembers her as 'The Blood Countess' and she's thought to have inspired part of the Dracula story.

In medieval Europe, the middle aged Countess Elisabeth has just buried her husband and, in a fit of rage one day, strikes one of her ladies-in-waiting and draws blood. She notices that when she wipes the blood off, her skin looks younger. She then bathes in the girl's blood and is transformed into a youthful woman. She passes herself off as her own daughter Ilona returning from years abroad and begins a romance with Lt Toth, much to the jealousy of her former lover Captain Dobi. Unfortunately for Elisabeth, the effects of the blood are only temporary and she must kill again if she is to regain her youth.


Provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: The countess herself is one for Toth (her older self anyway) while Ilona has one in the man keeping her captive.
  • Anti-Villain: Elisabeth discovers the effect of the blood purely by accident and only wishes to enjoy her youth and have a romance with Toth. Julie also goes along with it because she wants Elisabeth to be happy.
  • "Awkward Silence" Entrance: Tavern patrons go silent as military officers Captain Dobi and Lieutenant Toth enter and take a table. Justified possibly due to them being soldiers.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: A village whore Dobi and Toth bring back to the castle.
  • Bitch Alert: Our first impression of Elisabeth is her ignoring a peasant's cries for help.
  • Blood Bath: As should be expected in a horror story featuring Bathory as a character, her legend being the popular Trope Maker and all. Bathory draws blood from younger women and bathes in it to rejuvenate her body into that of a younger woman.
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  • Brainless Beauty: Toth is a borderline example.
  • Costume Porn: As soon as Elisabeth becomes younger, she certainly shows off her elaborate wardrobe. Even her servants are dressed quite nicely. Toth is no slouch in the costume department either.
  • Damsel in Distress: Ilona, held captive in the forest so Elisabeth can impersonate her.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: The more Elisabeth kills, the uglier she gets once the youth effect vanishes.
  • Fan Disservice: Ingrid Pitt naked in the middle of a sponge bath? Try in the middle of a blood sponge bath.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Happens to Master Fabio. He discovers what Elisabeth and Dobi are up to and offers them advice. However, he is about to tell Toth on them but is killed by Dobi before he can.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: As soon as Julie discovers Ilona locked in the castle, she helps her escape.
  • Hot Gypsy Woman: One of them becomes Elisabeth's second victim.
  • I Just Want to Be Beautiful: Elisabeth merely wants to be young and pretty again.
  • Identical Grandson: Elisabeth passes her youthful self off as her own daughter. Some people do acknowledge that they remembered Ilona differently.
  • The Igor: Julie, who goes along with Elisabeth's plan.
  • Karma Houdini: Subverted. Despite Julie's Heel–Face Turn, she's still sentenced to death at the end.
  • Kick the Dog: When the mother of one of the servants asks Dobi if he's seen her, clearly distressed, he suggests she check the whore house.
  • Lady Macbeth: Gender Flipped with Dobi.
  • Punny Name: Coincidental, since it's the historical Elizabeth Bathroy's real name. She's a royal who bathes in blood.
  • Same Language Dub: Ingrid Pitt's voice is dubbed by Olive Gregg. Ironically her character is Eastern European (Hungarian to be precise) but dubbed to sound English. Ingrid was apparently furious at this and vowed never to speak to the director again.
  • Shown Their Work: The painting that appears behind the opening credits is one depicting the real Elisabeth enjoying the torture inflicted upon her prisoners.
  • Shrinking Violet: Bertha, a girl bought from a seller in the village specifically for Elisabeth's plan. She's naturally picked because only a virgin's blood will work.
  • Stuffed in the Fridge
  • Title Drop: As the very last line of the film.
  • Vain Sorceress: Elisabeth is a borderline example. She's not actually a sorceress but she fits the trope anyway.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: Only the blood of a virgin will work on Elisabeth.


Example of: