Saturday 4 March 2017

"Bare Breasted Countess" (AKA "Female Vampire") - UK DVD review

Newly created Cult Eurosleaze label Maison Rouge release their first title this month in the form of Jess Franco’s erotic vampire tale "Bare Breasted Countess" (AKA "Female Vampire").

Franco regular Lina Romay stars as the titular countess, a kind-of Elizabeth Bathory figure, who goes around humping her sexual partners to death, rather than draining their blood and spends pretty much the entire film wearing very little (if anything at all).

Anyway, the recent spate of dead bodies attracts the attention of the police, who don’t really do anything, and there’s also a couple of forensic doctors who are investigating the deaths, who are next to useless and serve no real purpose other than help pad the story out.

Indeed, what little story there is seems to involve large amounts of time showing Lina Romay’s character writhing round naked on the bed with various partners, or rubbing herself up against the bedpost and even (in one scene) frolicking with a rolled up carpet????

Eurohorror regular Jack Taylor (Ghost Galleon/Horror of the Zombies) turns up as some author, who spends most of the film strutting about his mansion in an attempt to pad the plot out further, as his presence doesn’t seem to be relevant to the film, until his path crosses that of the countess near the end.

Now, there are several different versions of the film in existence, an erotic version with plenty of nudity and softcore sex scenes. A horror version, which cuts out the softcore antics and adds a few bloody shots to the death scenes. Then theres a hardcore version which had additional sexually explicit material added by the German distributors.

This release is of the “erotic” version, which gives you the option of watching with either English or French audio. However, the default setting appears to be the French language track with English subs, meaning you’ll have to manually select the English audio from the set-up menu prior to watching.

Also included as a bonus feature is the shorter “Horror” version, which is some 28mins shorter than the erotic version, clocking in at 68mins (English audio only).

Other bonus features include…

Destiny in Soft Focus (13mins) – Archive interview with Jess Franco discussing the film (Spanish with English subs).

Words for Lina (12mins) – Interview from 2012, with French actor Jean-Pierre Bouyxou, who played Dr Orloff in the film (though there’s no on screen title as to who this is, so unless you recognise him from the film you’d be left wondering who this random person was), discussing the (then) recent death of actress Lina Romay (in French with English subs)

Also included is the film’s theatrical trailer and trailers for other titles “Helga – She Wolf of Stilberg” and “Elsa : Fraulein SS”.

These appear to be the same features included on the previous US release from Redemption. Not a bad selection of extras, though the film looks like it was struck from a fairly worn print, judging by the lines and scratches in the opening titles, though the rest of the film appears to be in much better shape

Of course, whether you will like this will depend on your love of Jess Franco films. Personally, I have never been a fan and when asked to review any of his movies am frequently left wondering if this guy has ever made a decent film, and this one was no exception to that.

But if you’re a Franco aficionado, or sleazy eurohorror movies are your thing, then you may wish to check this out.

"Bare Breasted Countess" is released to UK DVD March 6th from Maison Rouge.

Buy the UK DVD from

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