About Elizabeth Bathory and the Films Inspired by her
There are certain figures throughout history whose legend has become so infamous that their role has shifted from historical figure to pop culture icon. Vlad the Impaler is one such individual, but even the with horrific tales surrounding him, they might be outmatched by Hungarian serial killer – Elizabeth Bathory.
Although history might dispute some of the more sensational details of her life, rumors that she bathed in blood to rejuvenate herself has been the inspiration behind many horror films.
1. The Countess (2009)
Because Elizabeth Bathory is surrounded by so much mythology and pop culture depictions – it’s refreshing to see something take a more historically realistic approach. This film tries to ground Elizabeth’s story in reality while also depicting her as the horrific serial killer she is. There are no supernatural elements, although the drama in the film is heightened to make it as suspenseful and psychologically unnerving as possible.
2. Hostel: Part 2 (2007)
Although Elizabeth Bathory wasn’t the main source for Hostel Part 2 or even a notable character in the film, there is someone who is obviously inspired by her. In a very dramatic sequence, a woman suspends a girl above a bath and slices her open, allowing the blood to drip down on herself. The motivation behind the murder is never fully revealed, but the homage is obvious.
3. Daughters of Darkness (1971)
Daughters of Darkness is a bizarre horror from from the ’70s that’s as erotic as it is horrific. This story has a version of Elizabeth Bathory in modern times that is supposedly a descendant of the original. Of course, she has certain vampiric tendencies such as drinking blood and not aging. It’s never outright stated that this version is actually the real Elizabeth Bathory, but that doesn’t mean each. It is heavily hinted at that she’s one and the same.
4. Countess Dracula (1971)
Countess Dracula is a British horror movie that tries to depict Elizabeth Bathory’s life as it happens. It takes a bit of a supernatural edge to the story as she really does become rejuvenated by using the blood of young women. It’s a strictly fictional account, but film does try to rectify the historical countess with what pop culture has made of her.
5. Thirst (1979)
Thirst is about a mysterious organization that drinks human blood in order to stay young and strong. They kidnap a woman whom they believe to be a descendant of Elizabeth Bathory and want her to join them. She resists, which causes them to try and break her will with drugs. It makes for a very bizarre film that ultimately results in the woman giving in and joining them in the end.
6. 30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010)
Most vampire fans know that 30 Days of Night is a movie about how the sun doesn’t rise in Alaska for a whole month. This leads to vampires going on a feeding frenzy. The sequel has a woman trying to reveal vampires existence to the world while the vampires try to stop her. The vampire’s leader is a woman named Lilith, a common vampire name fiction. However, she’s introduced in a terrifying scene that has her rise from a bathtub filled with blood, Elizabeth Bathory’s specialty.
7. Stay Alive (2006)
Stay Alive is a film about a video game where Elizabeth Bathory is actually the main villain. When players get into the game, though, Bathory can actually kill them in real life. This version of the Countess is fairly different than others as it knowingly uses the fictional pop culture depiction of her as fuel for a villain. This is in contrast to other stories that might try to depict her as historically skewed as possible.
8. Chastity Bites (2013)
It’s interesting that Chastity Bites takes the horrific character of Elizabeth Bathory, which most stories use as inspiration for a monster, and have her star in a horror comedy. Hundreds of years old, the Countess enters a high school as an abstinence counselor in order to kill virgins and stay young. The film is middle of the road as far as her comedies go, but it’s a very interesting take on the character.
9. Bathory (2008)
While Bathory is a historical film, it is only loosely based on Elizabeth Bathory’s actual life. Instead, it takes a largely fictional approach to the Countess’ crimes that involves witchcraft and other supernatural elements. There are large parts of the story that are inspired by the myths surrounding Bathory, but it depicts her life in name only as it is largely fictional.
10. The Brothers Grimm (2005)
Elizabeth Bathory is once again used as inspiration for this film’s villain. The story takes a fictitious look at the famous Brothers Grimm. It depicts them as con artist that trick villagers into believing they can kill monsters. However, they encounter a real monster in the form of a 500-year-old queen that uses young girls to keep herself beautiful. The film is fairly light in tone, though, which means the blood-bathing Elizabeth Bathory is known for is toned down considerably.
What do you think of these Elizabeth Bathory inspired films?
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