This fine moment from Hammer has a solid cast list, some nice period costumes, several heaving bosoms and an angry pitchfork-wielding mob – who strangely all talk with West Country accents despite the story being set in Hungary.
In 17th century Hungary, the widowed Countess Elisabeth Nadasdy (Ingrid Pitt) runs her kingdom mercilessly, with her lover Captain Dobi (Hammer veteran Nigel Green) by her side.
One day, in a fit of anger, the countess strikes out at a chambermaid whose blood splashes against her skin, turning the area smooth.
The maid is subsequently slaughtered and the Countess bathes in her blood, emerging youthful-looking and using her newfound youthful looks to snare Lieutenant Toth (Sandor Elès), the young army officer son of her former husband’s best friend.
But the age-reversing effects are not permanent and she coerces Dobi to keep her supplied with young virgins so she can use their blood to maintain her youthful looks. The other downside is that each time she loses her youth, she becomes ever more ugly.
It’s an entertaining and occasionally shocking movie that doesn’t let historical accuracy get in the way of a good tale.
Ingrid Pitt was furious that her voice was dubbed throughout the film.
Countess Elisabeth Nadasdy
Lieutenant Imre Toth
Sergeant of Bailiffs