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Bathory (2008) ( Untitled Juraj Jakubisko Project )

3.5 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003OB3AFO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 255,648 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Mar. 2011
Format: DVD
Anyone who knows their vampire history will have heard of and know about Elizabeth Bathory (yes, I know that I have written her first name in English), after all she is supposedly the most prolific female serial killer of all time. This film is not however a horror movie. Bathory may have done some killing and may have tortured people, but since at least the 19th century until modern times there has always been a big question mark over what really went on.

Anna Friel brings home a great performance as Bathory and really brings this film to life. In a time of superstition and constant fighting with the Turks, Hungary has also to keep an eye open for Hapsburg intrigues. Spanning the late 16th and early 17th centuries, Bathory's husband is often away on wars, so Elizabeth has to manage the estates and bring up their children. When a mishap occurs her husband has to call in a woman that most consider a witch to save her, and thus the two women form a bond. As the 'witch' claims she can keep Bathory looking young, Elizabeth starts taking baths, but are these in blood, or something less innocuous?

Taking a few liberties with the facts this presents a thought provoking film, but I am not sure whether the surreal dreamlike imagery is really needed, or a couple of Catholic monks sent into the area to spy. These monks are like early James Bonds with gadgets that must have been made by an early Q.

If you like something a bit different that makes you question the folk tales that get handed down over the years, then you will probably enjoy this, but as I put above, there are a few things that this film would have been better without. Also included on this dvd are extras, a documentary feature, deleted scenes and a music video.
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A historical epic based on the life of Countess Bathory, who I’ve been fascinated by for a long time now. It’s not a horror film (despite how it’s advertised), though there are some violent, bloody scenes. It offers a different side to the legend, which is more sympathetic to the Countess, portraying her as a loving mother who mostly treated her servants well apart from occasional lapses in judgment or delusions caused by poisoning, and who was eventually betrayed by men who wanted a share of her wealth. I enjoyed this adaptation as it’s true that Elizabeth would have suffered hardships as a woman living in those times and her crimes were almost certainly exaggerated for political/financial gain. However, I think she is over-romanticised in this film as, given her status and the barbaric norms of the time, it's likely that she was still cruel to her servants even if she stopped short of mass murder. But I accept that her crimes and character are open to interpretation as we have very few unbiased accounts of what she was really like and what really happened. The film was slightly too long though and I think some of the battle scenes could have been cut out as Elizabeth herself wasn't involved in those; the parts about healing, herbs, witchcraft and anatomy were interesting, and I wish there had been more of that.
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I watched this film twice in a week because i thought i needed to fully absorb the details i missed on first viewing. Nobody really knows the truth behind Countess Elizabeth Bathory and so much of whats been written about her are largely folklore and conjecture but this movie goes some way into addressing all the angles and presenting a different picture of a much misunderstood figure in history.

You have to stay with it though as you will be mesmerised by the costumes, scenery and the sheer beauty of the women portrayed in this period. Anna Friel puts on a robust performance and is endearing as a countess and loving mother to her cherished daughters but things start going horribly wrong during her husband's long absences at war and the blood letting starts much later than i imagined.

There is a conspiracy against her and her Protestant stance against an increasing Catholic uprising who eventually plunder the Bathory wealth and have her banished in a castle until her death. So the legend of 'history's most prolific serial killer' may somewhat be influenced by this. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie as it portrays a noble countess in a slightly different light and leaves the viewer perplexed as to her abominations of which she was alleged to have carried out!
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Format: DVD
This is not a story about a vampire who stays young by bathing in the blood of virgins. This is an embellished version of historical events.

This is the story of Elizabeth Bathory (Anna Friel) who lived during a time of conflict between the east and west and Catholic and Protestant religions. She was able to survive one, but not the other. This tale depicts the countess as slightly mentally unstable suffering from a disease of the blood. There are scenes which blend reality with dreams in a surreal fashion. It worked rather well for me, but there wasn't a lot of it. Bathory was ruthless and beautiful. In an effort to gain her wealth, her enemies accused her of heinous crimes, at least some of which were true.

What you will first notice is the costumes. They went to great length and expense in this aspect reminding me of Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon." Some of the background is CG, such as the castle with its constant full moon and some of the fires. The monk and his assistant made inventions which made this account seem fictional. Indeed, both of them and the Italian artist appear to be Hollywood creations. Anna Darvulia is historical, but her exact influence is unknown. The film is long: 2 hours and 20 minutes. It moves at a slow and steady pace. You do feel the time. This movie is a not for everybody. It is artsy and based on a true story. It can get boring building background.

Parental Guide: Sex and Nudity.
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