31 Days of Halloween-Day Three: Countess Dracula (1971)

It’s Hammer time! Since the Universal Horror Monsters Collection won’t be arriving from the UK until Oct. 17, most of the Hammer movies I’ll be watching will be in the first half of the month. I’ll be watching the second half of the Frankenstein films, the three most recent Hammer films and some random non-Christopher Lee vampire flicks. Tonight, we’re going with Countess Dracula. Filmed in 1971 and starring the ever-lovely Ingrid Pitt as Countess Elisabeth Nodosheen, the main story deals with the countess using her man-servants to find young virgins. You see, bathing in the blood of a virgin keeps her youthful appearance. Originally, Diana Rigg, best remembered as Mrs. Emma Peel from TV’s The Avengers or as Mrs. James Bond from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, was offered the lead role that Ingrid eventually took. Sadly, her voice was dubbed (a common practice with actresses in Hammer movies). Countess Nodosheen is more closely linked to Vladmir Tepes than Dracula and it’s not really a true vampire movie. It is slow to get started but still a visual feast as all Hammer films are and Ingrid Pitt is…well Ingrid Pitt. ‘Nuff said there! Put this on your list of Hammer films to watch but only after you’ve seen all the Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee films. Not the best of Hammer but it’s still Hammer!

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