Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Save up to 70%
Empire
Film Studies 101
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
Star Wars: Rogue One Details Revealed
Film will show Rebel mission to steal the Death Star plans
Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice Trailer Smashes In
'Do you bleed?'
New Jurassic World Posters Arrive
Dino might
Bill Pullman And Judd Hirsch Returning For Independence Day 2
Vivica A. Fox also joins the party
First Trailer For Star Wars Rebels Season 2
Vader gladiator
Lucas Till's Havok Returning For X-Men: Apocalypse
Hi, energy
Alan Rickman Finds The Limehouse Golem
He's aboard the murder mystery
Fast & Furious 7 Outpaces The US Box Office Again
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 segways into second
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


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The 15 Most Controversial Alternate Endings
How some of your favourite films could have finished...

80 Of The Best Movie Star Adverts
From Sly Stallone selling bread to Hugh Jackman dancing for Ice Tea

Showrunner Matthew Weiner Reveals 7 Mad Men Secrets
The truth about The Beatles and that lawnmower

New Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer Breakdown
Everything you need to know about the second teaser

Podcast #157: Alan Rickman
From A Little Chaos to Die Hard and back again

From Hell! 22 Stalker Psychodramas
From fatal attractions to single white females

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon On The Town That Dreaded Sundown
The American Horror Story director on his cult slasher remake

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Subscribe now and save up to 70%

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe now and save up to 70%
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)