For October’s Halloween season, I like to indulge my gothic side with some historical horror, and one of my favorite topics is Countess Elizabeth Báthory, much trumpeted as history’s first female serial killer. The best and probably most accurate movie about her is The Countess (2009), but there’s a shitton of schlocky ones, like The Blood Queen (2015), aka The Lady of Csejte. It doesn’t deserve an in-depth review, but it’s fun for some snarky screencaps, so let’s run down five random things about this freak fest!
1. A Mish-Mash of European Accents
The young girl and boy who are the main characters speak in posh British tones. Most everyone else has a smorgasbord of thick Eastern-European accents — Russian, Czech, Hungarian, Austrian, German, you name it.
Then there are the two “Hungarian nobles” that are kinda-sorta investigating the missing 600 some-odd girls, and their accents slip back and forth between English and fake-Hungarian.
The judge speaks Hungarian with an English accent. It’s such a mess.
2. Countess Bathory Is a Blonde
It’s a choice alright. For reference, here’s the one known image of Elizabeth Báthory c. 1585.
It’s a copy of a period portrait and has weak provenance, but I’m still not buying this flick’s Barbie Doll blonde.
3. Renaissance Costumes by Way of Fantasyland
The title card said this is 1610, and the Countess’ ladies-in-waiting wear vaguely renaissance-y gowns (though their accessory game is rather cray).
But the Countess wears fantasy banana-crackers dresses over Victorian corsets with wacky hair and silly standy-uppy wired ruffs.
4. So Much Tinkly Music
Seriously, this soundtrack has a music box fetish. Until it’s DRUMS.
5. HEAD NECKLACES
I saved the best for last. Four minutes in, first head necklace sighting! And they don’t stop.
The plot begs the question: Why does Countess Bathory go through all this trouble to get this one girl’s blood? If she went through this for all 600+ girls, it would have taken for-fucking-ever, and she’d have been discovered. Of course, we know that none of this shit happened, so plausibility is out the window already.
What’s your favorite Elizabeth Báthory on screen?