Tubs of Terror: Hollywood's Blood Bath

Courtesy of Wikimedia

by Alan Knight


According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a bloodbath is a violent and cruel killing of many people. The earliest known use of the term “blood bath” had to do with Elizabeth Bathory, who was known as the Blood Countess. She was born in Transylvania, Hungary, in 1560. According to legend, she believed that human blood would help to preserve her youth and her own fading beauty.

It’s estimated that she may have killed as many as 600 people. That would make her the most prolific female serial killer in history. The immortality she sought didn’t work out for her. She was imprisoned for her crimes in 1611 and died three years later. Although there’s evidence that she was very cruel, there’s some debate about whether or not she actually bathed in blood. In any case, the legend of the Blood Countess has been presented in several movies and also on TV.

In 1974, four stories, including hers, were wrapped up into one package called Immoral Tales, which was made in France. In 2008, Bathory was featured in an episode of a TV series called Martina Cole's Lady Killers. There was a biography that same year called Bathory: Countess of Blood, which was filmed in Europe. Most recently, in 2014, a movie titled Elizabeth Bathory was released.

"Bathory poster" by
Jakubisko film Europe
The blood baths of Elizabeth Bathory are not the only ones that have shown up in the movies. There’ve actually been several movies titled either Blood Bath or Bloodbath. In 1966, a horror movie titled Blood Bath was released. The setting is Venice, CA. An artist kills beautiful women and dumps them into a vat of hot wax in his studio.

In 1976, another movie titled Blood Bath was released. In this film, the members of a cast of a horror film go out together one night and tell each other their scariest stories. In 1979, a Spanish horror film titled Bloodbath was released.  In 1999, yet another Bloodbath hit the screens, this one set in L.A. In 2008, a Blood Bath was filmed in Argentina. And, finally, according to the IMDB, a new movie titled Blood Bath is currently in development.

There’ve been numerous suicides in bathtubs in the movies. One of the most memorable was Frank Pantangeli in Godfather Part II. In that movie, the suicide was depicted in a montage of still pictures instead of moving pictures. One of the most artistic suicide bathtub scenes was in the unforgettable Rules of Attraction. While Harry Nilsson sang, “I can’t live, if living is without you,” a young woman got comfortable in the tub and proceeded to slit her wrists. Some viewers thought the scene was too nice and that it romanticized the act of suicide.

Electrocution is always a scary possibility in a tub full of water, as Mr. Morgan found out in The Ring. Dropping an electric device in the tub seems simple enough. However, not every movie character can pull that off. In Groundhog Day, Phil Connors, played by Bill Murray in one of his best roles, resolutely dropped a plugged in toaster in the bath he was taking. It didn’t work. Phil would have to die again another day.

Blood Baths don’t only show up in the movies. They’re in books as well. In addition to over a dozen currently available books simply titled Blood Bath or Bloodbath.  A few more imaginative titles are: Blood Bath in Rio, Blood Bath and Beyond, Blood Bath in Jasper County Mississippi, The Assam Blood Bath, Blood Bath of Bethlehem, The Bloodbath Ritual, Kansas Bloodbath, Kentucky Bloodbath, Preacher’s Bloodbath, Bloodbath in Tinseltown, and Beach Blanket Bloodbath. In addition to all the movies and all the books, there are numerous video games with Blood Bath in the title. There’s also a death metal band from Stockholm, Sweden, that calls itself Blood Bath.

One of the greatest things about taking a bath is the sheer relaxation of it. The second you step into the water, your body knows that it’s time to slow down and smell the roses or whatever else you have on hand for aromatherapy. It’s almost like entering into a different world where the job, the bills, and high blood pressure don’t exist.

That’s why bathtub scenes in horror movies are so frightening. A character gets into the tub and relaxes. Normally the character is completely alone and completely vulnerable. Even so, the character feels safe. Some say that taking a bath is like returning to the safety of the womb psychologically. As the character takes a few deep breaths, a shadow passes in the hallway or it seems like someone is jiggling the bathroom door handle. And then… No need to get graphic.

The nice thing about Tub King baths is that they’re some of the safest bathtubs known to man. In all the years we’ve been in business, we have yet to hear of one report of anyone taking a blood bath in any of the tubs we’ve sold and installed. We’ve never even heard of a single customer scratching himself or herself in a Tub King tub. That may be hard to believe, but it’s true.

Whether you choose a clawfoot tub, a pedestal tub, or a solid surface tub, they’re all very safe. Our walk-in tubs are the safest of all. They’re so easy to get in and out of that a caveman can do it without hurting himself at all. Also, you won’t have to open a vein to purchase a great tub, because our prices for high quality bathtubs simply cannot be beaten.

Perhaps the best part of buying a tub from Tub King is that it gives people something they really want to live for. When you can look forward to a nice relaxing bath in a beautiful tub at the end of the day, you know how good life can be. When you really think about it, there aren’t many problems at all that a nice soak in a warm bath won’t help.

In this article, I’ve written about the earliest use of the term “Blood Bath” which was associated with Countess Elizabeth Bathory of Transylvania in the sixteenth century. I’ve also mentioned movies and books with “Blood Bath” in the titles I’ve specifically noted that, to the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever taken a blood bath in a bathtub sold or installed by Tub King.

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Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.

Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville,  Florida
He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. In addition to providing superior products, Tub King has been honored with “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Awards” for four years running. If you would like to contact Alan Knight, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to alan@tubking.com.