Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
New Foxcatcher Trailer Arrives
The true-life drama has a new promo
Rosewater Trailer Hits The Web
Gael Garcia Bernal runs into trouble in Iran
Exclusive New Poster For '71
There may be Troubles ahead
The Rewrite Trailer Arrives
Hugh Grant's going back to school. As a teacher...
First Poster For Kill Me Three Times
Simon Pegg has the killer instinct
Exclusive First Look At Marco Polo
Marco? Polo!
Scorsese Attached To Ramones Biopic?
Martin is a punk rocker
Exclusive New Pictures From Gone Girl
See David Fincher at work adapting the bestseller
New Images From Exodus: Gods & Kings
Wait, were tornadoes one of the original plagues?
Charlie Hunnam In Line To Be King Arthur
Guy Ritchie's offered him a seat at the Round Table
Cory Goodman Writing Underworld Reboot
Beyond Kate and co?
Podcast #126: Jon Hamm, Richard Ayoade
Pick your favourite villain's lair... if you dare
Anthony Russo Talks Captain America 3
The Winter Soldier will return...
New Poster For The Judge
Downey! Duvall! The Dock!
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
01 October 2013
New Trailer For The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
Find your courage
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
The Wicker Man - The Final Cut (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Aguirre Wrath Of God (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Hugo (2011)
Empire Star Rating
The Resident (2011)
Empire Star Rating
Season Of The Witch (2011)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Jesus Franco 1930-2013
Controversial director dies, aged 82

02 April 2013  |  Written by Owen Williams  

submit to reddit

Jesus Franco

Jesus "Jess" Franco, the Spanish maverick who wrote, photographed and directed more than 200 films in a career spanning 60 years, has died aged 82. Keeping active in his ninth decade, he was still directing, most recently shooting the typically gonzo Al Pereira Vs. The Alligator Women.

Franco worked tirelessly in the 1950s as a writer, assistant director, director, producer, and even composer - he was a passionate musician all his life - but arguably "arrived" in 1962 with The Awful Dr. Orloff. Concerned with the potential reaction of the Spanish censors, he prepared two versions of the flesh-grafting mad-scientist classic: one with nudity and one without. It was a policy he'd continue throughout his career, although "soft" and "hard" would take on different connotations later.

He's perhaps best known in the UK for his several collaborations with Christopher Lee: a curious Count Dracula (1969) that Lee starred in away from Hammer; The Bloody Judge (1969), where Lee plays the Restoration sadist Judge Jeffreys; and the final two of Lee's five films as Fu Manchu (The Blood Of Fu Manchu and The Castle Of Fu Manchu in 1968 and '69).

He also made the infamous Venus In Furs (1969) with the equally infamous Klaus Kinski, and the bonkers Vampyros Lesbos (1971), which had a resurgance in popularity in the Stereolab-loving 1990s, when its space-pop soundtrack suddenly hit the top ten of the UK alternative chart. Three of his films (Women Behind Bars, Devil Hunter and Bloody Moon) made the UK's list of banned "video nasties" in the 1980s. A vast number of his films, erotic and otherwise, were made with his muse Lina Romay, whom he first met in 1971 and married in 2008. She died early last year.

You'll notice that four of the aforementioned films were made in 1969 alone. That was how Franco rolled, and continued to roll even in the face of critical drubbing and audience indifference. His detractors often called him a pornographer, and it was difficult to argue when he turned to directing actual pornography. The closest he ever came to "reputable" was probably shooting second unit for Orson Welles on Chimes At Midnight (1966).

Neverthless, he enjoyed a cult following and something of a critical renaissance in recent years, and his vast body of work means his legacy is assured. "He ate, slept and breathed moviemaking [and] lived to point his lens at anything that caught his eye," said Fangoria editor and Franco scholar Chris Alexander. "He was too arty for the horror crowd, and too macabre and lowbrow for the art crowd. He existed in a world and a class of his own."


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

You're Next Trailer Online
Not such a perfect day...
Disney Re-Scales Pete's Dragon
UPDATE: David Lowery in talks to direct his script

Your Comments

RIP!
A great filmmaker who had a unique style. As for the inappropriate comments about a young up and coming actor, leave it out! More

Posted by dannyfletch at 23:55 on 02 April 2013 | Report This Post

bosscoes's an idiot
that is all More

Posted by ethanbethlehem at 22:43 on 02 April 2013 | Report This Post

Franco?
Got excited for a moment then. I thought James Franco had left the world prematurely, but I then read it correctly and realised someone with real talent had died. RIP. More

Posted by bosscoe at 20:12 on 02 April 2013 | Report This Post

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Rogues Gallery: Powers Boothe
Sin City's Roark talks us through his most memorable baddies

Richard Attenborough: In Celebration
Saluting a man who made a lasting impact on cinema and beyond…

Exclusive: Luc Besson Talks Lucy
'There is no bullshit with Scarlett Johansson'

Video: Daniel Radcliffe Talks What If...
On Gordon Ramsay, swearing and date movies

The 24 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes
An exhaustive chronology of George Lucas' post-release tinkering

Film Studies 101: A Film Buff's Guide To Movie Movements
Everything you need to know about cinema's key groups

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)