This Blu-ray edition has 1. The Spanish version with english subtitles,
2. The International version in english audio DTS-HD MA 1.0
and 3. The International version in spanish audio with english subtitles
DTS-HD MA 1.0 ..... and i watched alternative 3.
This Spanish horror movie was almost mythical and had
a strong cult movie reputation and not until US Mya Communication released
it in a (maybe grayzone) DVD edition in 2009 (or thereabout) it was
easily available for the Spaghetti Paella horror film lovers.
The Legend of the bloody Hungarian Countess Erszebet Bathory directed
by the great Spanish genre director Jorge
Grau who also
directed i.a. a beloved genre classic as the 1974 "No profanar
el sueño de los muertos (Let sleeping corpses lie)" and
the great but
obscure 1983 exploitation thriller "Coto de caza (Hunting Ground"
- read more about this film on my Horror Film Page 1.
The much awaited Mya Communication DVD
release however was only so-so with watered down colors and it presented
Spanish version almost completely without gore and nudity, and with
extra audio tracks without any english subs. I remember lamenting
that the film wasn't released by the then great company BCI Deimos instead
that released a whole lot of Iberian horrors on fine DVDs.
But now Mondo Macabro has finally released it on bluray.
US Mya Communication DVD edition
Jorge Gray presents us the Bathory legend in a pretty
serious and somewhat arty horror movie where the great
Lucía Bosé is very
impressive as the Countess Erszebet Bathory (R.I.P. Lucía Bosé
died in 2020 by covid-19).
The film takes place in the village of Cajlice somewhere in Central
Europe in 1807 where villagers are searching for the grave of a
vampire to stick a wooden pole through it's heart. The magistrate Helsing
is on his way to the village to investigate and on his way
he meets the Marquis Karl Ziemmer (Espartaco Santoni) the master of
Cajlice and who resides in a castle. His wife the Marquise
Erszebet (Lucía Bosé) has the Countess Bathory as an ancestor
and when she worries of getting old her old nurse (Ana Farra)
suggests that she could use "the old method" to stay young
and to yet again attract her husband. The unhappy and middle-aged
Marquise Erszebet starts bathing in blood of young women from the village
and only virgins will do.
There's a strange vampire trial scene where a dead man
is on trial lying in his coffin, there's a cursed medallion, Karl is
his cembalo and the Marquis is sleuthing around by himself to understand
what's going on with the vampire business.
Also, Warning, for a cruel scene where a Peregrine falcon is ripping
apart a live dove.
Ewa Aulin plays the small role of Marina who's working at her fathers
Inn and who has a relation with the Marquise Karl.
This gothic art horror is well made, slow and atmospherical and with
a great performance from Lucía Bosé.
Mondo Macabro presents the film in a 1.66:1 ratio (Mya Communication
went by 1.77:1) and with audio and version alternatives
as described above, region all and Extras:
Two audio commentaries: one by Troy Howarth and Nathaniel
Thompson and one by Robert Monell and Rod Barnett, Archive
interview with Catalan director Jorge Grau - Getting started (15 minutes
in spanish with english subs), Jorge Grau on "Blood
Ceremony" interview (26 minutes), a Press Book Gallery and Trailers
- R.I.P. Jorge Grau 1930-2018
The old Mya Communication DVD had as extras: deleted
scenes from the spanish version with italian audio and english subs
from probably an old VHS source, two short topless scenes with the village
girl Inga (that looked impressive indeed and was
played by a Ghika or Chika ?) in crappy quality and in italian, italian
opening credits, english opening and closening credits
and a picture gallery