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Jess Franco

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Initial post: 2 Nov 2009 20:01:44 GMT
Do you lot think he's underrated, a brilliant director or he shouldn't be making any films at all. I think his films are trashy but fun

What are your thoughts?

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Nov 2009 02:09:50 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Jan 2011 21:53:25 GMT
Y. Ran says:
The main problem with approaching Jess Franco is that he have an enormous body of work with lots of different qualitys. His early Awful Dr. Orlof is in the same league as Franju's Eyes Without a Face and other European horror clasics of the time. Succubus (AKA Necronomicon) is a sophisticated play on percepion of reality within the narrative and with the viewer, combined with retro kitch that would make it attractive to any Alain Robbe-Grillet fan.
I think his obsession with directing was agaist him, as he did direct some terrible stuff, and I would not recommend any one to watch The Blood of Fu Manchu or Jack the Ripper, but She Killed in Ecstasy is one of the most stylish film I've ever seen, and Voodoo Passion have the glossy look of both National Geographic and Penthouse Magazine, with a plot to match.....
So it is a hit and miss. I have sat through so many bad ones, but it worth finding the cool stylish ones.

Posted on 4 Nov 2009 00:06:09 GMT
I've only seen about 10 of Franco's films and have found something of interest in each one.I admire the obsessive need he has to make films be it for the money or art.There is something so out of whack in his work that makes him a director with the unique gift of being both genius and fool,sometimes within the space of one scene.

Posted on 5 Nov 2009 23:47:20 GMT
I've seen about the same as the Count and say Franco is very unpredictable, some of his stuff is amazing but some is quite dull, I've liked more than I've hated so far so I think he's generally a good director or at least capable of good films but I might just have been lucky in my choices so far.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2009 18:29:47 GMT
Doc Benway says:
Out of interest, could you guys post lists of the ones you've liked? I've not braved Franco yet.
Y.Ran's list looks pretty handy - are you all roughly in agreement with it?

Posted on 17 Nov 2009 20:04:34 GMT
The best of what I've seen so far includes "Succubus", "Exorcism", "Eugeine De Sade", "99 Women" and "Sadomania" if you're interested Doc, also I really liked his "Ilsa the Wicked Warden" but it doesn't match the other three Ilsa films in my opinion.

Posted on 17 Nov 2009 21:31:26 GMT
I liked "Jack the Ripper" and the Fu Manchu films."Demonics" and "Devil Hunter" do it for me and also the pubefest that is "Female Vampire"

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Nov 2009 21:44:39 GMT
Doc Benway says:
Thanks guys, I'll get round to checking some of these out. Vampiric pubefests eh?
Always imagined they'd shave...
I recall your review attesting to the psychotronic qualities of 'Devil Hunter' Count, that greatly entertained me, so the film must have something going for it.

Posted on 17 Nov 2009 22:29:02 GMT
Not a lot from an objective point of view.

Posted on 19 Nov 2009 21:31:21 GMT
Oh almost forgot "Bloody Moon" and Franco's "Count Dracula" with Christopher Lee, somehow I have the feeling there are even more I forgot but if so I'll return once more.

Posted on 8 Jan 2010 22:30:56 GMT
Stephen Thrower is presently writing a book on Franco.

Posted on 10 Jan 2010 12:36:14 GMT
M. Dowden says:
Stuart I agree with you, yes they are trashy but fun, and that is his appeal. Sometimes people get bogged down in more intellectual stuff, camera angles, depth of storyline etc., forgetting the main thing. If a film puts bums on seats and in the whole the audience feels that they have been entertained, then it is a success. Your average fictional film, like fictional novels are supposed to entertain, that is there whole raison d'etre, but some choose to ignore or forget this.

Posted on 20 Jan 2010 00:00:12 GMT
I have finally watched "Bloody Moon" and it's the best Franco film I have seen so far, brilliant. Awful acting and hilarious at times but found it entertaining from start to finish.

Posted on 3 Feb 2010 23:30:23 GMT
These sites may be of interest to Franco freaks:I'm in a Jess Franco State of Mind and Seven Doors Hotel (Stephen Thrower's Blog).

Posted on 21 Feb 2010 19:31:41 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Feb 2010 19:32:05 GMT
Doc Benway says:
Ok I had my first taste of Franco last night in the company of our good Count. We watched Vampyros Lesbos [1970] [DVD] and subjected it to the full J&B sipping vernacular-cinema treatment. Pretty good, in an odd way. By which I mean to say despite its numerous flaws (plot, acting, dialogue, narrative coherence) it had something. And that something might be as simple as Soledad Miranda in lingerie and stockings gyrating to the great psych soundtrack, but hey, so what?
Actually, I liked a few other things - Dennis Prices' portentous exposition, Morpho's sunglasses, the shots of scorpions and kites and I'm always a sucker for a ridiculous early 70's nightclub scene.
Thanks Count, I'm sure this won't be the last one I see.

Posted on 21 Feb 2010 19:39:49 GMT
Jess Franco is back!!! His latest feature "Paula Paula" is now out, being me I had to have it so bought it today on diabolikdvd, its limited to 500 copies so grab yours now Franco fans (of which there may not actually be 500).

Posted on 21 Feb 2010 20:53:51 GMT
Vampyros Lesbos [1970] [DVD]

Short on plot, logic or the conventional structure of a film, Franco embraces the gaps between reality to produce a film that is as dull as it is a shining star. Soledad Miranda walks and gyrates through the film with such luminous effect, her afterglow is contained in the retina of the viewer and projected onto every scene. Recommended.

Check out for all things Soledad including some samples from the two ep's she recorded.

Salute, Doc.

Posted on 21 Feb 2010 21:19:08 GMT
Doc Benway says:
So far, this thread represents everything that is good about this forum. Thanks to stuart for getting the ball rolling.

And salute to you too Count.

Posted on 21 Feb 2010 21:33:54 GMT
AW, just ordered it, cheers for the heads up.

Posted on 22 Feb 2010 22:03:34 GMT
She Killed In Ecstasy [DVD] [1970]

If you've never ventured into the World of Franco, this is a good place to start as it contains: a plot, some characterisation, logic, conventional film style (even though it is very much of it's time) and Soledad Miranda. Plot wise, Soledad goes on a revenge killing spree after her husband is hounded out of the medical profession for his Nazi like experiments on fetuses. Of course this being Franco, the whole thing involves Soledad, stripping down to her underwear or bare flesh to seduce and kill those who wronged her man. A great little film that uses it's locations to maximum effect and containing a couple of rather outstanding images of Soledad that will stay in your head for days. The soundtrack is pretty amazing too.

Posted on 23 Feb 2010 12:43:45 GMT
Y. Ran says:
Count Zaroff, you can find this soundtrack in the cool lounge cd Vampyros Lesbos: Sexadelic Dance Party.

Posted on 23 Feb 2010 19:14:29 GMT
Count, Doc since you two like Soledad so much (and I personally can't blame you) you shoud definitely check out Eugenie de Sade [DVD] [1970] [US Import] its got some fine flesh showing and the film itself is pretty good too.

Posted on 23 Feb 2010 21:29:25 GMT
Eugenie - The Story Of Her Journey Into Perversion is my favourite Franco movie along with Faceless, but then I've only seen about a dozen of his pictures.

Posted on 23 Feb 2010 22:40:17 GMT
Hi Y.Ran, I used to have that cd but gave it to an ex when we split up. I got the plants, how f**king dumb am I!

AW,it's on the list, though the Countess' eyes are starting to glaze over every time I mention Soledad.It properly doesn't help that I froth at the mouth every time I say Soledad, well that's how I'm explaining all the tissues I'm using up! I'm having a mini Franco frenzy at the moment, I can't get my head around how he can be so amazing and so dreadful from film to film or within the space of one film.

Posted on 6 Mar 2010 20:56:50 GMT
Last edited by the author on 6 Mar 2010 20:57:07 GMT

Franco's latest film is the logical conclusion to his career, a so called "audiovisual experience". Running at 66 minutes and almost devoid of plot and dialogue, the film exists as a stream of erotic images constructed around the jazz of Friedrich Gulda. This is art as opposed to art film. The limitations of budget show through as the whole film is shot in Franco's apartment, easily recognisable from the interviews with him on the recent Severin releases of his work. Special visual effects are of the early MTV pop video type. However, it all gels together in a hypnotic way that manages to expand and condense time all at once.

My only gripe with the release is the lack of subtitles on the film and interviews though the cover states they are present. Still, in my view subtitles would have distracted from the film itself and add a mystery to what little dialogue is present. Recommended.
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Discussion in:  horror discussion forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  44
Initial post:  2 Nov 2009
Latest post:  20 Oct 2013

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