Her story has fuelled a number of films. These have included: Hammers supposedly true historical account Countess Dracula (1970) where she was played by Ingrid Pitt; in Daughters of Darkness (1971) where she turns up in a present-day Belgian hotel played by Delphine Seyrig; in various of Paul Naschys Waldemar Daninsky films with The Werewolf vs the Vampire Woman (1971), Return of the Werewolf (1973) and Night of the Werewolf (1981); the Spanish The Legend of Blood Castle/The Bloody Countess/The Female Butcher (1973) played by Lucia Bose; played by Paloma Picasso in an episode of the erotic anthology Immoral Tales (1974); played by Diane Witter in the obscure Bathory (2000); played by Caroline Néron in the present-day Canadian erotic thriller Eternal (2004); in the present-day played by Michelle Bauer in Fred Olen Rays Paul Naschy homage Tomb of the Werewolf (2004); in the cheap Night Fangs (2005); with modern-day girls travelling back in time in Demons Claw (2006); in the present-day Draculas Curse (2006); in the present-day in the animated Hellboy: Blood and Iron (2007); in the softcore Blood Countess (2008); mixed up with the Dracula story in Blood Scarab (2008); as a present-day abstinence campaigner (Louise Griffiths) in Chastity Bites (2013); as the female Jerry Dandridge (Jaime Murray) in Fright Night 2 (2013); even in the midst of a videogame in Stay Alive (2006) and as the host of a horror anthology in Countess Bathorias Graveyard Picture Show (2007), while Eli Roth homages her activities in Hostel Part II (2007). There were two attempts to set the historical record straight with Bathory (2008) starring Anna Friel, and The Countess (2009), directed by and starring Julie Delpy.
One was drawn to Metamorphosis on the grounds that it showed a good deal of promise. For one, it had a Hungarian director and was shot in Hungary. A Countess Bathory film that comes with the advantage of being made by a people who have the history and culture, as well as makes use of the countryside and locales where the events took place, offers something that any other Elizabeth Bathory film would be hard-pressed to beat. This immediately gives the production far more authenticity than any Hollywood attempt to recreate the historical period would.
Only Metamorphosis ends up being made by Jeno Hodi, a director who is elsewhere known for thriller and action movie video-fodder hackwork like Deadly Obsession (1989), American Kickboxer 2 (1993), Fatal Choice (1995), Triplecross (1995) and Black Sea Raid (1997). After an historical prologue, about the first thing that Hodi has done is to promptly move the story to the present-day and fill the central roles with alternately blandly pretty boy and crassly annoying American twentysomethings. In almost no time at all, Metamorphosis heads down into extremely bad movie territory. Jeno Hodis direction, put plainly, is terrible there is zero conviction to anything that happens throughout the film. Though Hodi has lived in the US for a number of years and has made an effort to bring in an American on script, the dialogue does not feel like anything that a native American-speaker would say.
The point that Metamorphosis goes from bad to abysmal is in the last fifth or so of the running time when Christopher Lambert is revealed to be the real bad guy. There are ghastly lines: What do you want? to which Lambert replies, Only to kill you and drink your blood. Is that too much to ask? Its a line that might have emerged okay with an actor who could present it with a modicum of threat, but instead Lamberts delivery is posturing camp. In the 1980s and early 90s, Lambert was an A-list name but since then has appeared in a great many bad B-action movies. However, Metamorphosis would have to be the single worst performance that Christopher Lambert has ever given. He is completely dreadful and his campy performance reduces a potentially interesting series of scenes where he addresses a number of vampire myths, at the same time as he is taunting victims, into something that resembles grand burlesque. His character has been written in for the express purpose of deconstructing vampire cliches. The part is written and played as a bored, world-weary vampire but then we laughably learn that Lambert has only been a vampire for two days. Here the script also blatantly cheats, letting us think in the early scenes that Lambert is simply a relative who is upset at the way the superstitious locals treat his brother.
One of the pluses of Metamorphosis is Irena A. Hoffman who brings an ethereal beauty that often transcends the awfulness of the dialogue. However, the film is weighed against her. Her lines verge on the campy: I never eat in restaurants or Sorry, I hate evil people. And then there are the completely absurd scenes where she suddenly turns into a martial artist to defeat opponents, not the least of which is how badly and unconvincingly these scenes are directed, Jeno Hodis reputation as an action movie director notwithstanding. The initial twist that Elizabeth is a vampire and that she is Elizabeth Bathorys daughter, not Elizabeth herself, can be seen coming a long way off (indeed, from about the point that she steps out of a graveyard and announces her name is Elizabeth).
(Winner in this sites Worst Films of 2007 list).