Wednesday, July 10, 2024


They say that one man's trash is another man's treasure. Using the statement as an analogy for horror film directors, for me Spanish composer, author and filmmaker Jess Franco immediately comes to mind. Franco (b. 12 May 1930, d. 2 April 2013) can be an acquired taste and personally I've shut off more than one of his films trying to get through it. Others I'm held spellbound until the end. 

Regardless of my opinion, Franco is held in high regard throughout the film and fan community for his unflinching view through the lens and screenplay treatments. Franco also discovered two of the most beautiful Spanish actresses to to his bidding, Soledad Miranda and Lina Romay. He married Romay and they remained together until his death.

Franco is known for immersing himself in various film genres during his career, including horror, giallo, exploitation and soft core pornography. He used a heavy dose of surrealism in many of his films (VAMPYROS LESBOS comes to mind) and was often heavy-handed with hand-held camera shots and vertigo-inducing zooms.

Here are a few of the more notable films of his nearly 200-films:
  • The Awful Dr. Orlof (1962)
  • The Diabolical Dr. Z (1966)
  • The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968)
  • 99 Women (1969)
  • Venus in Furs (1969)
  • Night of the Blood Monster (1970)
  • Count Dracula (1970)
  • Vampyros Lesbos (1971)
  • She Killed in Ecstasy (1971)
  • Daughter of Dracula (1972)
  • The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein (1973)
  • Lorna the Exorcist (1974)
  • Barbed Wire Dolls (1976)
  • Ilsa, The Wicked Warden (1977)
Kevin Collins conducted this four-hour long interview with Franco (his longest in English) that was published in October 1996 as a special issue of the fan magazine EUROPEAN TRASH CINEMA. One thing I do have to say is that he gives a good interview.

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