Loosely — very loosely — based on the life of Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (1560 – 1614), who, legend has it, bathed in the blood of virgins to maintain her youth.
Peter Sasdy (born 27 May 1935 in Budapest, Hungary) is a British film and TV director.
As well as numerous TV credits, notably the Nigel Kneale-scripted The Stone Tape (1972), he directed several horror films for Hammer, including Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969), Countess Dracula (1971) and Hands of the Ripper (1971). He directed Pia Zadora in the cult classic The Lonely Lady (1983), for which he earned a Razzie Award for Worst Director.
In 1977, he had directed Welcome to Blood City, the first film in the “virtual-reality” genre that would later produce The Matrix and The Truman Show.
From 1985 to 1987 he directed the Thames TV production of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾. —Wikipedia
"Countess Dracula" is far from bad but compared to "Vampire Circus," which came just a year later, this Hammer horror film feels like a positively restrained costume drama. It's far too modest for a movie about a woman who bathes in the blood of virgins to make herself appear young again. "Countess Dracula" could have benefited from more red stuff, more skin, more style, and less stuffiness.
All the essential elements of classic Hammer horror are here in this take on the Elizabeth Bathory legend. The gothic settings, the impish sexuality, the game performances all add to the charm of the picture. The film is anchored by a memorable and often ribald turn by Ingrid Pitt supported by Nigel Green who is well cast here. Love the old Hammer films and hope to eventually track them all down.