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.
"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.
Superior Hammer effort is a B-movie gothic melodrama of the highest order, thanks to a tight script and spirited performances from a cast of great character actors, including horror icon Ingrid Pitt and a scenery-chewing Nigel Green. Director Peter Sasdy effectively keeps the action moving, keeping it from descending into another stodgy costume piece. A must for fans of Hammer horror.