Bathroy. This historical epic is Juraj Jakubisko’s 15th feature film. The leading character is Erzsebet Bathory, known as “Bloody Countess”, who is said to murder and torture villains in her domains. She is also stated in the Guinness Book of Records as the greatest murderess of all times. The legend of her cruel acts appeared several years after her death. It has been developed over the centuries, and the acts have become more and more brutal.
The official documents proving her guilt have never been found. There are recorded statements of witnesses, but not the direct ones – and their credibility is disputable. Erzsebet was never brought to court; she died without trial, imprisoned in Cachtice castle.
Who was Erzsebet Bathory in reality? Was she really “a bloody countess” as some historians call her? Or was she an educated woman speaking several languages, with an enthusiasm for healing? A noblewoman of luminous beauty, who was also so wealthy that she continuously irritated many with her original tailored dresses made in Italy? A sadistic murderess or the victim of the then conditions full of dark intrigues netted by somebody powerful and longing for her fortune? A cruel, merciless countess or a vulnerable lonely widow, or possibly both?