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Film / Daughters of Darkness

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These are the Daughters of Darkness... They are waiting for you - They thrive on BLOOD

Daughters of Darkness is a 1971 Belgian horror film directed by Harry Kümel.

Stefan and Valerie are a married couple who visit a seaside hotel. At the same time, alluring, mysterious French countess Elizabeth Báthory (Delphine Seyrig) and her sexy young assistant Ilona arrive. The couple bond with the countess, who tries to seduce Valerie while manipulating the both of them. Meanwhile, virgins in the nearby town are turning up dead, and Bathory is the culprit. What ensues is a tragedy of madness and sadism that can only end in doom.

It has been distributed in the US by Anchor Bay Entertainment and Blue Underground.


This film contains examples of:

  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Bathory turns Valerie into a vampire at the end.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: This film uses the standard "Elizabeth Báthory bathed in virgin blood and was a vampire" upgrade.
  • Big Bad: Countess Elizabeth Bathory herself is a Lesbian Vampire killing virgins to be eternally young and beautiful, and wants to make protagonist Valerie her next victim.
  • Cannot Cross Running Water: Ilona reacts with terror when Stefan pulls her into the shower with him, and shrieks in pain when the water touches her. Moments later she has fallen on a straight razor and died. It's unclear whether the water contributed to her death, or merely caused pain.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Subverted by Ilona, Bathory's servant. While she procures blood for her boss, whom she's in love with, and seduces Stefan for her, she's a slave and makes it clear that she despises doing this. Her actual sexuality is unclear due to the magical enslavement.
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  • Distant Finale: The last scene skips forward "a few months later" to find Valerie, now a vampire, at another seaside resort, seducing another young married couple.
  • Domestic Abuse: Stefan, in frustration over his parents, whips Valerie with a belt.
  • Downer Ending: Valerie manages to escape her abusive husband and the vampire countess, with both dying at the end. However, she's been turned into a vampire herself.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Naturally, the car that Valerie crashes bursts into flame. This facilitates a cool shot where Elizabeth, having been skewered on a tree branch, burns to a crisp.
  • Feet-First Introduction: The first sight of Elizabeth Bathory is her thigh-high shiny leather boots as she steps out of the car.
  • I Do Not Drink Wine: Elizabeth has a bright green cocktail (it resembles a Grasshopper) during the scene where she socializes with Stefan and Valerie. She fiddles with it a bit, but never takes a sip. Eventually, Ilona surreptitiously disposes of it.
  • Immortality Immorality: Bathory has spent the centuries killing virgins and drinking their blood for immortality.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: When Valerie crashes the car, Elizabeth flies right through the windshield, and lands on the branch of a dead tree where she's impaled. The tree branch comes out the back!
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: The concierge is shocked when Elizabeth calls him "Pierre" and thus confirms that she is the same woman who stayed there decades ago, but is still young.
  • Kubrick Stare: Stefan does this right before beating Valerie.
  • Lesbian Vampire: Bathory makes it a habit of seducing mortal women into mind control enslavement, using them both as procurers of blood and lovers.
  • Occult Detective: Bathory's murders are investigated by a retired policeman who had looked into her killing spree in the same town decades prior.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: Ends with a shot of Valerie walking away with her new victims.
  • Ominous Opera Cape: For one scene, Bathory dons what honestly appears to be a Halloween store vampire cape, complete with scalloped "bat wing" edges, just so she can spread it in silhouette against the night sky.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: These are vain people who drink blood to stay young and beautiful forever. They keep mortal thralls, whom they seduce into their control. They don't have fangs, and have to cut throats before drinking.
  • Repeat Cut: A repeat cut shows multiple shots of a fancy car as it rounds a bend approaching the hotel. It's Bathory's car.
  • Sadist: Bathory and Stefan are both this, with them discussing the former's historical crimes being a borderline sexual experience for both.
  • Slave Mooks: Bathory gets her blood via mortal thralls. They're conscious of what they're doing, but compelled to do it despite not wanting to and clearly protesting.
  • Weakened by the Light: A confusing example at the end. Elizabeth seems to be unable to go into the light, just like your average vampire—she says stuff like "Hurry, the day is coming," and "Don't let me be caught in the light." But Elizabeth and Valerie are too slow getting rid of Stefan's body, and sure enough, the sunlight peeking over the trees hits them as they're speeding down a country road. They both scream, Valerie flips the car...yet somehow Valerie survives and is still a vampire in the last scene. How did she get away?
  • The X of Y: Daughters of Darkness