Supernatural (1977– )
7.5/10
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Countess Ilona 

The Countess Ilona has invited four gentlemen to her castle. Distracted by her beauty, they do not expect the punishment she ha planned for them.

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Episode complete credited cast:
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Countess Ilona
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Dr. Felix Kraus
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'He'
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Andras
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Magda
Molly Veness ...
Sylva
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Mr. Pettifer
Stefan Gates ...
Bela
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The Countess Ilona has invited four gentlemen to her castle. Distracted by her beauty, they do not expect the punishment she ha planned for them.

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Horror

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Release Date:

18 June 1977 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Hugo Hoffman: But... there is no such thing as a werewolf!
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SUPERNATURAL: COUNTESS ILONA {TV} (Simon Langton, 1977) ***

This was another vintage but obscure British horror TV series soon to be revived on DVD by the BFI; as with DEAD OF NIGHT (1972; TV), I came across two episodes on "You Tube" and opted to include them in the current Halloween Challenge. Here, we get the well-worn theme of lycanthropy, albeit played out in mystery terms – with the titular figure (Billie Whitelaw, who had just scored as the evil Mrs. Baylock in THE OMEN {1976}) even constituting something of an old world femme fatale. The plot, in fact, deals with Countess Ilona extending an invitation to four ex-lovers to spend the night at her country estate; the three who turn up all have different but distinguished professions and temperaments: these include perennially famished arms dealer Ian Hendry and handsome musical virtuoso John Fraser (from the successively-viewed A STUDY IN TERROR {1965}), one of which ultimately falls prey to the inevitable attack by the werewolf. For the record, the protagonist also has a son kept all the time in his room upstairs under the watchful eye of an old local woman; the whole, too, is bookended by a man (Sandor Eles) recounting the tale at some exclusive club. Here, we are basically treated to a Gothic fairy-tale, with the order of the day being mistrust, confession and retribution; the end result is undeniably engaging and reasonably stylish (given the limitations of the medium)…except that I then realized, to my obvious consternation, that this was actually only half a film – as events would segue into the next episode, namely "The Werewolf Reunion", and which I have been unable to track down at this juncture...but will, hopefully, remedy that once the DVD is released!


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