MIG Films has picked up the rights to Bathory, the most expensive Eastern European film to date, for German-speaking territories. It will be released in January.

The film, from Slovak director Juraj Jakubisko, cost $15.6m (€10.5m) and took nearly three years to make. The Slovak-Czech-UK-Hungarian co-production clocked up 1.5 million admissions when it was released in Slovakia and the Czech Republic in July 2008.

The gothic film recounts the story of Erzsebet Bathory, the Hungarian countess accused of being the most murderous woman in history after slaughtering up to 2,000 people. Although Bathory focuses on the countess’ malevolence and strength as opposed to her obsession with youth, legend has it that she bathed in the blood of young women in order to preserve her youthfulness.

Bathory was screened at Fantasy Filmfest, and the Moscow and Brisbane film festivals earlier this year ahead of its international roll-out.

The film is the most expensive production for the Eastern European region, excluding Russia. Fyodor Bondarchuk’s Russian fantasy film Inhabited Island cost $36.6m (€24.5m). the film’s sequel is currently in post-production.