Lady Dimitrescu Inspirations – Who are Hasshaku and Elizabeth Bathory?
Art director Tomonori Takano talks about how they were inspired to create Lady Dimitrescu.
You don’t need me to introduce you to Lady Dimitrescu. We’ve been awash with Capcom’s “Tall Lady” for weeks now but even so, people’s thirst has still not been well and truly quenched. As we know, Ms. Dimitrescu is a very tall woman indeed, standing at a whopping 9’6” as her long white fitted Edwardian gown falls to the floor. If you have ever wondered where the inspiration to create such a magnificent vampire-like lady came from, luckily for you the developers have spoken about how they brought her to life.
In an interview with IGN, Resident Evil Village art director Tomonori Takano talks about how the idea was to initially create a “bewitching vampire” whose depiction wouldn’t be “constrained by how vampires have been portrayed in various forms of popular entertainment,” Takano also stated that visually, they got inspiration from prolific murderer Elizabeth Báthory from the 16th-century, the terrifying Japanese urban legend Hashaku-sama, and also Morticia Addams from The Addams Family.
Who are Hasshaku and Elizabeth Bathory?
Allow me to give you a little context around these three women: Notorious Hungarian countess, Elizabeth Báthory, tortured and murdered hundreds of young women in the 16th and 17th centuries, and due to her powerful status, she was able to get away with it for many years. Hasshaku-sama, a Japanese urban legend and internet ghost story, is delightfully described as a monster with a height of eight feet that takes on the female appearance to attack and kill young men. Of course, everyone knows who Morticia Addams so I’ll stop there. You can certainly see when all of those women are put together, how it became the product that is Lady Dimitrescu.
Takano also continued by saying that “The very first piece of concept art I drew was the scene in the trailer where Lady Dimitrescu ducks down to walk through the doorway. From that moment, I knew I had to do that scene.” Takano also discussed how they wanted to inject “elements of the Great Depression-era into the overall design.”
Of course, Takano also had to at least touch upon the craze Lady Dimitrescu caused across the entire internet “I don’t think anyone [on the team] could have predicted how wonderfully fans have reacted to Lady Dimitrescu,” continuing. “Personally, I was particularly struck by comments like, ‘I want to be chased by her.’”
The art director leaves us with a teaser to say that the trailer shown so far of Resident Evil Village is only the tip of the iceberg and stated that “We have prepared many other elements that created a much bigger experience than Resident Evil 7 Biohazard.”
Resident Evil Village will release for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC on May 7, 2021.