Countess Dracula on Blu-ray

Monday, 08 September 2014 23:00 Written by 

Countess Dracula - out now on Blu-rayIngrid Pitt is both stunningly sexy and unnervingly repulsive as an aged countess who discovers that she can not only halt aging, but also reverse it dramatically, albeit only for a day. The trigger is the blood of virgins, bathed in rather than sucked through fangs, for this murderous hag is no vampire. The more she uses this gift or curse, the worse the cost both in terms of her degrading appearance post-fix and the heightened danger of discovery.

Pitt ("The Wicker Man", "The House That Dripped Blood") is joined by Nigel Green ("Zulu", "The Ipcress File") as scheming Captain Dobi, steward of the Countess' castle, Maurice Denham ("The Day of the Jackal") as inquisitive historian, Master Fabio, and Patience Collier ("The French Lieutenant's Woman") as dependable nurse Julie. Sandor Elès plays Lt Imre Toth, the Countess' dashing love interest.

This medieval tale of death and debauchery, based on a real Countess' supposed life-story, bears all the hallmarks of a quality Hammer movie, steeped in gothic sets, dramatic music, dripping blood and eroticism. Pitt absolutely steals the show as both versions of Countess Elizabeth Nádasdy. She is helped by some good aging makeup, but manages to embody an increasingly mad and frustrated old woman as well as she does an alluring sexpot several decades younger.

To some degree the story resembles MacBeth, as Dobi is fully clued-up on what is going on and conspires to keep Elizabeth's supply of virgins coming despite the fact that he is being spurned by her in favour of Toth. It might have something to do with the fact that the Countess has just inherited a fortune.

Hammer always showed a keen eye for environmental detail, and at the hands of director Peter Sasdy ("Taste the Blood of Dracula") the sets are full of bustling extras going about their daily routine in a lively manner. Throw in the odd goat and goose and the picture is complete.

This Blu-ray revamp is definitely worth investing in, truly bringing out the detail in the sets and lavish costumes. There is very little noise to distract the viewer and regardless, Pitt's voluptuous beauty makes sure their attention never wavers!

Special features (Standard Definition unless otherwise specified) include:

  • Audio commentary with Ingrid Pitt and horror experts Kim Newman and Stephen Jones
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Archive interview with Ingrid Pitt
  • 50 Years of Hammer news feature
  • Extensive image galleries (high definition)7
  • Thriller episode
  • Conceptions of Murder episode
  • Commemorative booklet

The interview with Pitt is a bundle of laughs, discussing her sometimes harrowing life spent in a Nazi concentration camp and battling cancer, but it does prove what a heroine she was as well as a true horror icon.

“Countess Dracula” (1971) is out now on Blu-ray, courtesy of Network. The main feature has a running time of 93 minutes approx, carries an ‘18’ certificate and retails for £14.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

 

 

Last modified on Sunday, 14 September 2014 10:14

denizli escort denizli escort