Directed by Pablo Larraín, ‘El Conde,’ Netflix’s Spanish dark comedy horror film, brings a satirical take on the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet by reimagining him as a centuries-old, bloodsucking vampire. With a start in France during Louis XVI’s reign, Augusto “Count” Pinochet developed a penchant for power and one against revolutions. Years later, after several horrible crimes as the dictator of Chile, Pinochet decided to retire and faked his own death. Now, the man, ragged by old age, lives in a desolate desert with his wife Lucía, and loyal butler, Fyodor, and awaits his inevitable death. The news brings his greedy pack of children to his door, alongside an accountant/nun with her own covert mission.
With a fascinating premise and compelling cinematography, the film depicts an outlandish but enthralling story full of political and social commentary. If you’re curious to see where a life of vampirism takes Augusto Pinochet as he’s on his deathbed, here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘El Conde.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!
El Conde Plot Synopsis
Left in a Parisian orphanage at birth, Pinochet begins his life as a soldier for Louis XVI. However, after his comrades discover him as a vampire, Pinochet abandons the army and soon witnesses his king guillotined by the masses alongside Queen Marie Antoinette. From then on, Pinochet resolves to use his powers to crush all revolutionaries. Still, eventually, he tires of life as a soldier and aspires to become a king, which brings him to 1935 Chile.
Marrying Lucía Hiriart, a woman equaling Pinochet in his perverseness, the latter stages a coup d’etat and becomes the dictator as the Captain General of the Republic of Chile. Nevertheless, his reign comes to an end after he’s cornered for crimes of corruption. Thus, the Count fakes his death again and flees to a remote deserted neighborhood in the middle of nowhere. Having lost his lust for life, Pinochet seeks death by abstaining from blood.
However, one dreaded night sees the death of numerous people after some caped figure kills them and eats their beating hearts. The news brings Pinochet’s full-grown kids rushing to his house in a flock. The kids have been waiting years for Pinochet, the only vampire in the family, to die so that they can inherit his fortune. During their visit, Pinochet confirms that he didn’t go hunting in the city and still wants to die.
Therefore, when Pinochet divulges information on his fortune as numerous accounts and bonds, the kids invite an accountant to the house to help them with the finances. The accountant who arrives, Carmen, is a nun with exceptional mathematical skills. Over her stay, Carmen’s beauty and wit beguiles Pinochet out of his death wish. Furthermore, the nun, hidden behind her charming smile, compels the kids to disclose every little family secret under the guise of tracking Pinochet’s massive wealth.
Meanwhile, Lucía, who has been having an affair with Fyodor for years, tries to get to the wealth first while constantly asking her husband to turn her into a vampire, but to no avail. Eventually, Pinochet decides to hunt again to return strength to his body. Simultaneously, Fyodor confesses to having gone hunting in the city disguised as Pinochet. Fyodor is the only person Pinochet has turned to a vampire as a gift for his violent loyalty. In turn, the butler wanted to help the Count die by giving Pinochet’s kids a reason to visit the house in an attempt to get them to kill the Count.
El Conde Ending: Who is Pinochet’s Mother?
Near the end, Pinochet and Carmen begin an affair that results in Pinochet turning the young woman into a vampire at her request. However, the turn becomes the final straw and draws the story’s narrator out of her voiceover and into the narrative itself. The movie begins with a narration by a distinctly British woman, who recounts Pinochet’s past and current predicament until the third act. From there, the narrator, aggravated by Pinochet’s decision to turn Carmen, flies all the way to the desert with her vampirical powers and confronts Pinochet.
The narrator, Margaret, reveals herself to be Pinochet’s first love, his mother. Years ago, Margaret was an English seasonal worker in the vineyards of Southern France. In Marseilles, a sailor named Strigoi raped her and left her with a child. However, during her assault, Strigoi also bit her neck and turned Margaret into a vampire. Afterward, Margaret found Strigoi again and ran a wooden stake through his heart.
After giving birth to her son on February 25, 1766, Margaret, unable to look after a baby, left Pinochet at an orphanage. Years later, Margaret travels to Britain and marries Denis Thatcher, becoming the infamous Margaret “Iron Lady” Thatcher. In her rule as the Prime Minister, Margaret once ran into Pinochet when she supported him during his political trial.
Although Margaret could tell Pinochet was her son, she kept quiet about it back then. However, now she has returned to start a life with her son, starting with the death of Carmen at Pinochet’s hands. Yet, when she orders her son to kill his newest paramour, Pinochet refuses.
Does Carmen Die?
Even though Pinochet is the only vampire in his family, his wife and kids present an equally bloodsucking picture. Throughout the story, Lucía and her kids vie for Pinochet’s treasure, with the latter especially awaiting their father’s death with bated breath. Therefore, when Carmen enters the narrative in virginal white with her holy prayers, she inevitably stands out.
The Church sends Carmen, an exorcist nun, to put an end to Pinochet’s monstrous life, believing him to be a pawn of Satan. Nevertheless, they also instruct her to bring back any fortune that may be of use to the Church. Carmen is excellent with numbers and can perform complicated operations in her head. Consequently, she’s an easy pick for the job.
However, once she arrives at Pinochet’s “mansion,” she reveals another side of her. In one particular instance, Carmen shares her desire to cross paths with Satan to be able to interact with him and show him God’s glory. In doing so, she reveals her own want for power and pleasure despite their unholiness. As such, after Carmen collects all the bonds and accounts needed to acquire Pinochet’s wealth, she goes to his room to frantically cleanse it with holy water and prayer.
Yet, once the Count returns, Carmen falls in bed with him. Later, she asks the vampire to turn her with his bite, and Pinochet obeys her request. Turned into a vampire, Carmen is able to taste freedom as she joyfully takes her first steps into a new life, soaring through the air with her new abilities.
Carmen’s joy only lasts so long, and Margaret Thatcher soon arrives, declaring herself as Pinochet’s mother and asking him to kill Carmen. After declining his mother’s orders, Pinochet takes Carmen to his boudoir room, where he tries to fulfill his fantasy by dressing her up as Marie Antoinette. Still, once he hands Carmen Antoinette’s preserved stolen head, the nun’s patience runs thin, and she reveals the wooden stake that she hopes to use on Pinochet.
Nonetheless, Carmen has to flee once Pinochet pulls out his own blade. As such, Carmen rushes to collect the bonds she had stolen from Pinochet’s cellar and tries to escape the desert with them for the Church. Before she can escape, Fyodor catches up to her and takes her to her death by the guillotine.
Does Pinochet Die?
Since Pinochet pines for death for the bulk of the film, the audience is left anticipating his death until the end. Although Fyodor and Lucía contemplate killing Pinochet alongside his apparent mother, Margaret, both die at Pinochet’s hands. Lucía’s death is straightforward, with a sword running through her chest, but Fyodor meets a fitting end, given his complex relationship with Pinochet. After the butler kills Carmen for trying to kill his master, Pinochet beheads Fyodor with a saw in retaliation.
Afterward, the kids burn Lucía’s body but are abandoned by their father, who leaves without a word. While Pinochet goes away with Margaret, the kids ransack his house, taking any and all expensive items with them. Meanwhile, Margaret and Fyodor relish in the real treasure Pinochet has amassed in his life. Throughout his long life, Pinochet has collected many limited edition books like Napoleon’s Letters to his brother, the first copy of Hitler’s book, and Chile’s Declaration of Independence.
Furthermore, Pinochet and Margaret enjoy glasses of blended hearts that belonged to Lucía and Fyodor. Since the latter had bitten Lucía before her death, the mother-son duo is able to enjoy pure vampire hearts. Vampire hearts have the ability to rejuvenate their body and return youth to their mortal flesh.
Pinochet and Margaret end the film having returned to their youth, with the former as a child and the latter as his young mother. They remain in Chile with a new chance at life. Considering the film’s satirical commentary on political matters, the ending likely represents the undying youth of evil, which repeatedly returns to the world in different forms.
Read More: Where Was Netflix’s El Conde Filmed?