5.9/10
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17 user 18 critic

The Legend of Blood Castle (1973)

Ceremonia sangrienta (original title)
R | | Horror | 5 June 1974 (USA)
The ageing Countess discovers that the blood of a maid can temporarily restore her youth and great beauty. She falls in love with a dashing young soldier but is compelled to kill again and ... See full summary »

Director:

Jorge Grau

Writers:

Jorge Grau (story), Jorge Grau (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lucia Bosé ... Erzebeth Bathory
Espartaco Santoni Espartaco Santoni ... Karl Ziemmer
Ewa Aulin ... Marina
Ana Farra Ana Farra ... Nodriza
Silvano Tranquilli ... Médico
Lola Gaos ... Carmilla
Enrique Vivó Enrique Vivó ... Alcalde
María Vico María Vico ... Maria Plojovitz
Ángel Menéndez Ángel Menéndez ... Magistrado
Adolfo Thous Adolfo Thous ... Juez
Ismael García Romen Ismael García Romen ... Capitán (as Ismael García-Romeu)
Raquel Ortuño Raquel Ortuño ... Irina
Loreta Tovar Loreta Tovar ... Sandra (as Dolores Tovar)
Franca Grey Franca Grey ... Nadja
Ghika Ghika ... Inge
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Storyline

The ageing Countess discovers that the blood of a maid can temporarily restore her youth and great beauty. She falls in love with a dashing young soldier but is compelled to kill again and again to maintain her attractiveness and prevent the secret getting out. Written by <P.M.Laws@education.leeds.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She Bathed In Virgin Blood To Stay Eternally Young! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Spain | Italy

Language:

Spanish | English

Release Date:

5 June 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Female Butcher See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

X Films, Luis Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 62852 delivered on 28-7-1973. See more »

Alternate Versions

R rated versions exist as well as trimmed PG versions. All VHS releases as LEGEND OF BLOOD CASTLE are the PG version. The Mya DVD ( unauthorized ) is the aforementioned 'covered' version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 6 (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Atmospheric tragedy
2 February 2018 | by crystallogicSee all my reviews

It's difficult not to imagine the story of Elizabeth Bathory not being highly sensationalised. I suppose a lot has been written about it over the years, and I admit that most of what I know about it comes from movies like this, and, well, a bunch of metal songs. Still, I'm not convinced that many of the literary accounts of the Blood Countess are any less lurid. Write me if you know of any interesting ones.

Now, this film turns out to be sort of different from how I imagined it would be. Despite what I said above, it's not really lurid at all, and even may be considered "tame" by certain standards. nevertheless, if taken for what it is: a kind of grim gothic melodrama, this is a rather effective piece, full of atmosphere and cathartic moments. What surprised me a bit here is how Bathory is not portrayed so much as a monster here, and even can be seen as a victim of desperate circumstances. The portrayal is, dare I say it, rather sympathetic.

True, the story plays out about as predictably as one might expect, and there are some silly touches (the vampire trial scenes). I enjoyed this for what it was, though, and I even have to say I preferred this to the much-more-campy Countess Dracula from Hammer. in the British film, Bathory comes off as something of an evil cow (no sleight intended against Ingrid Pitt here though of course), and it's hard to really feel like anything happens to her by the end that isn't well dserved. maybe that was the intention, but I must say Jorge Grau's different approach brings an attractive sort of ambivalence to the legend. Plus, the atmosphere here is really strong, and I really like the musical score. The American accents in the english dub feel a little strange, but that's mostly because we are all so accustomed to historical period pieces done with mannered English diction, no matter where these things are meant to take place. So, in the end, this is a pretty good film; maybe not the most memorable thing you'll ever see but an oddly pleasing way to wile away an hour and change sometime after midnight. Fans of gothic melodrama should particularly take notice. With this and the awesome Let Sleeping Corpses Lie under his belt, it's really a shame that Jorge Grau did not do more horror/macabre films.


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