17 user 14 critic

Ceremonia sangrienta (1973)

R | | Horror | 5 June 1974 (USA)
The ageing Countess discovers that the blood of a maid can temporarily restore her youth and great beauty. She falls in love with a dashing young soldier but is compelled to kill again and ... See full summary »


Jorge Grau


Jorge Grau (story), Jorge Grau (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lucia Bosé ... Erzebeth Bathory
Espartaco Santoni Espartaco Santoni ... Karl Ziemmer
Ewa Aulin ... Marina
Ana Farra Ana Farra ... Nodriza
Silvano Tranquilli ... Médico
Lola Gaos ... Carmilla
Enrique Vivó Enrique Vivó ... Alcalde
María Vico María Vico ... Maria Plojovitz
Ángel Menéndez Ángel Menéndez ... Magistrado
Adolfo Thous Adolfo Thous ... Juez
Ismael García Romen Ismael García Romen ... Capitán (as Ismael García-Romeu)
Raquel Ortuño Raquel Ortuño ... Irina
Loreta Tovar Loreta Tovar ... Sandra (as Dolores Tovar)
Franca Grey Franca Grey ... Nadja
Ghika Ghika ... Inge


The ageing Countess discovers that the blood of a maid can temporarily restore her youth and great beauty. She falls in love with a dashing young soldier but is compelled to kill again and again to maintain her attractiveness and prevent the secret getting out. Written by <P.M.Laws@education.leeds.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Schooled in Carnage and Blood She Butchered 610 Nubile Virgins! See more »




R | See all certifications »



Spain | Italy


Spanish | English

Release Date:

5 June 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Female Butcher See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

X Films,Luis Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa # 62852 delivered on 28-7-1973. See more »

Alternate Versions

R rated versions exist as well as trimmed PG versions. All VHS releases as LEGEND OF BLOOD CASTLE are the PG version. The Mya DVD ( unauthorized ) is the aforementioned 'covered' version. See more »


Referenced in Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Review for US version entitled Legend of Blood Castle.
11 October 2003 | by capkronosSee all my reviews

While by no means a classic, this slow-moving, but atmospheric Spanish/Italian co-production from director Jorge Grau (of LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE fame) is at least a well-made and mature attempt at gothic horror.

Lucia Bose (very good, considering the uneven English-language dubbing) stars as the legendary "Blood Countess" Erszebet Bathory, who killed "610 Nubile Virgins!" and bathed in their blood to stay eternally young... and to impress handsome nobleman Karl Zimmer (Espartaco Santoni), who seems more interested in bedding the innkeeper's daughter Marina (Ewa Aulin) than anything else. Zimmer eventually helps out the countess by seducing women, slitting their throats and letting the blood leak out through a hole to fill a bathtub downstairs. Of course, the townspeople eventually catch on, and the bad Countess finds herself in a Edgar Allan Poe-ish situation at the conclusion.

I'd be lying if I said the film didn't lose me from time to time (American pre-released cutting may be the culprit), but it is still fairly interesting, has an authentic period setting (good sets, costumes, great-looking castles, lots of fog, etc) and is a bit more restrained (the most graphic gore is a scene when falcons eat another bird, which was probably real and not faked) than I expected. Worth a look, but I would give the Hammer film COUNTESS DRACULA (1970) with Ingrid Pitt the slight upper hand as far as Liz Bathory movies go.

Score: 5 out of 10

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