The Countess


The Countess is about the umpteenth film made about the infamous Hungarian countess Elizabeth Bathory, who was almost a precise contemporary of William Shakespeare and Miguel Cervantes. (Bathory 1560-1614; Shakespeare 1564-1616; Cervantes 1547-1616). According to legend, the countess became convinced that she could maintain her youth by bathing in the blood of virgins, and that legend is based on charges which her contemporaries levied against her. Her legend has grown through the centuries until she was become the female equivalent of Dracula in modern pop culture.

Some modern historians argue that the charges were fabricated for a variety of reasons, focusing on the fact that the countess was more powerful than the king. Irrespective of the validity of the charges against her, the fact remains that she was the most powerful Protestant in a Catholic country during the era of internecine strife between Christians, and that the Hungarian king was deeply in debt to her. Given those facts, many powerful people in Hungary, including the ruler, would have had much to gain by getting her out of the way.

Most of the films made about her in the past have been sensationalist efforts which have focused entirely on portraying her alleged sexual and violent misdeeds in graphic detail. In the past year, however, two mainstream films have added new spins to the Bathory oeuvre.

  • The first such film was 2008's Bathory, which starred Anna Friel. The premise of that movie was that the charges against the countess were fabricated by her enemies, furthered by misunderstanding, and perpetuated by the ignorance of the times. The screenwriter imagined an alternate scenario to explain the politics which might have precipitated those charges.
  • The premise of this film, which stars Julie Delpy as Bathory, is that the charges against her were true, even though many of her enemies exploited those charges opportunistically. The scriptwriter in this case (Julie Delpy again) therefore focused on the circumstances which might have turned a woman into such a monster.

Delpy was not only the author and star of this film, but she directed as well, and she was just awful in all three capacities. Her performance is stilted and artificial. I know that her English is normally quite good, but in this film she sounds like she is pronouncing syllables phonetically without understanding what they mean. I guess that was caused by her ill-advised attempt at a Hungarian accent. And she's one of the better performers in the film! The script is weighted down with voice-over narration and, more important, a failure to establish any point or to accomplish anything worthwhile. When the film ended, my first thought was, "Why did she want to make that film in the first place?" There is some kind of pseudo-feminist subtext, but it's truly bizarre. It basically consists of "If I had been a man I could have killed as many people as I pleased, with impunity, and I wouldn't have had to worry about not being pretty. Life isn't fairl" In other words, her merciless exsanguinations of young girls represented nothing worse than what every male aristocrat did back in the day, but those men were declared heroes while she was labeled a monster.

OK, I guess all those murders were OK then. And I used to think that kind of behavior was bizarre, rare, and unacceptable.

My bad.



Delpy, now 40, was topless in a bedroom scene.



  • * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.








Nightmare Sisters


Linnea Quigley film clip

samples below


Michelle Bauer film clip

samples below


Quigley, Bauer and Brinke Stevens film clips

samples below




A bit of cheek from Ashley Tisdale in a bikini

Claire Danes wears a see-through at the London premiere of Me and Orson Welles

Alycia Delmore in Humpday

Gabriella Hall in The Naked Thief

Holly Sampson in The Naked Thief

Susanna Hamilton in 1984 in HD

Janice Tetreault in Wishmaster 4




Film Clips