Jess Franco

Dedicated fans adore the impetuous, punkish spontaneity of his work, but sceptics, for the same reason, find him hard to take seriously. Franco shot his films in a whirlwind of impulse, like a cartoon Tasmanian Devil with a movie camera, and the results veer from controlled chaos to devil-may-care randomness. Many of his most astonishing films bear hallmarks that would appal the sober-minded student of classical film style. But while perfect craft may have fallen by the wayside, Franco’s breakneck speed unleashes a blizzard of extraordinary sensations and images. There’s something truly otherworldly about his films: they give us precious glimpses of a stranger, more delirious reality. Jess Franco was, if you like, the anti-Kubrick — impulsive, impatient, always in a hurry — but he shared with the master procrastinator one special quality; a cinematic vision as distinct and unique as a retinal photograph.

Stephen Thrower, Murderous Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesús Franco, Volume One (Strange Attractor Press, 2015)

His unique mastery of the brilliant and the banal, often within the same scene, is the reason why Franco occupies his special place in the pantheon of alternative film.

Richard Kuipers, Eaten Alive!: Italian Cannibal and Zombie Movies (Plexus, 2006)

Selected filmography for Jess Franco

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Title Year IMDb Rating
* We Are 18 Years Old 1959 We Are 18 Years Old (1959) on IMDb
* Labios rojos 1960 Labios rojos (1960) on IMDb
* Queen of the Tabarin Club 1960 Queen of the Tabarin Club (1960) on IMDb
*** The Awful Dr. Orlof 1962 The Awful Dr. Orlof (1962) on IMDb
*** The Sadistic Baron Von Klaus 1962 The Sadistic Baron Von Klaus (1962) on IMDb
* Vampiresas 1930 1962 Vampiresas 1930 (1962) on IMDb
* El llanero 1963 El llanero (1963) on IMDb
* Rififí en la ciudad 1963 Rififí en la ciudad (1963) on IMDb
*** Dr. Orloff’s Monster 1964 Dr. Orloff’s Monster (1964) on IMDb
* La muerte silba un blues 1964 La muerte silba un blues (1964) on IMDb
*** Attack of the Robots 1966 Attack of the Robots (1966) on IMDb
*** The Diabolical Dr. Z 1966 The Diabolical Dr. Z (1966) on IMDb
** Lucky, the Inscrutable 1966 Lucky, the Inscrutable (1966) on IMDb
* Residence for Spies 1966 Residence for Spies (1966) on IMDb
*** The Blood of Fu Manchu 1968 The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968) on IMDb
** Succubus 1968 Succubus (1968) on IMDb
*** The Castle of Fu Manchu 1969 The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969) on IMDb
*** The Girl from Rio 1969 The Girl from Rio (1969) on IMDb
** Kiss Me Monster 1969 Kiss Me Monster (1969) on IMDb
*** Marquis de Sade’s Justine 1969 Marquis de Sade’s Justine (1969) on IMDb
*** 99 Women 1969 99 Women (1969) on IMDb
** Two Undercover Angels 1969 Two Undercover Angels (1969) on IMDb
** Venus in Furs 1969 Venus in Furs (1969) on IMDb
*** The Bloody Judge 1970 The Bloody Judge (1970) on IMDb
*** Count Dracula 1970 Count Dracula (1970) on IMDb
*** Eugenie 1970 Eugenie (1970) on IMDb
* Juliette 1970 Juliette (1970) on IMDb
** The Devil Came from Akasava 1971 The Devil Came from Akasava (1971) on IMDb
*** She Killed in Ecstasy 1971 She Killed in Ecstasy (1971) on IMDb
*** Vampyros Lesbos 1971 Vampyros Lesbos (1971) on IMDb
** X312 - Flight to Hell 1971 X312 - Flight to Hell (1971) on IMDb
* The Avenger 1972 The Avenger (1972) on IMDb
*** Daughter of Dracula 1972 Daughter of Dracula (1972) on IMDb
*** Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein 1972 Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein (1972) on IMDb
* Les ebranlées 1972 Les ebranlées (1972) on IMDb
*** Nightmares Come at Night 1972 Nightmares Come at Night (1972) on IMDb
* Sex Charade 1972 Sex Charade (1972) on IMDb
** The Sexy Darlings 1972 The Sexy Darlings (1972) on IMDb
* The Vengeance of Doctor Mabuse 1972 The Vengeance of Doctor Mabuse (1972) on IMDb
** Virgin Report 1972 Virgin Report (1972) on IMDb
* Al otro lado del espejo 1973 Al otro lado del espejo (1973) on IMDb
*** The Demons 1973 The Demons (1973) on IMDb
* El misterio del castillo rojo 1973 El misterio del castillo rojo (1973) on IMDb
*** The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein 1973 The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein (1973) on IMDb
** Eugenie de Sade 1973 Eugenie de Sade (1973) on IMDb
* Relax Baby 1973 Relax Baby (1973) on IMDb
*** The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff 1973 The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff (1973) on IMDb
** Sinner: The Secret Diary of a Nymphomaniac 1973 Sinner: The Secret Diary of a Nymphomaniac (1973) on IMDb
** Tender and Perverse Emanuelle 1973 Tender and Perverse Emanuelle (1973) on IMDb
*** A Virgin Among the Living Dead 1973 A Virgin Among the Living Dead (1973) on IMDb
* Celestine, Maid at Your Service 1974 Celestine, Maid at Your Service (1974) on IMDb
*** Countess Perverse 1974 Countess Perverse (1974) on IMDb
** Devil’s Island Lovers 1974 Devil’s Island Lovers (1974) on IMDb
* Fifteen Year Old Captain 1974 Fifteen Year Old Captain (1974) on IMDb
*** How to Seduce a Virgin 1974 How to Seduce a Virgin (1974) on IMDb
** Lorna the Exorcist 1974 Lorna the Exorcist (1974) on IMDb
* The Lustful Amazons 1974 The Lustful Amazons (1974) on IMDb
** Night of the Skull 1974 Night of the Skull (1974) on IMDb
* Les chatouilleuses 1975 Les chatouilleuses (1975) on IMDb
*** Exorcism 1975 Exorcism (1975) on IMDb
*** Female Vampire 1975 Female Vampire (1975) on IMDb
* Les gloutonnes 1975 Les gloutonnes (1975) on IMDb
*** The Hot Nights of Linda 1975 The Hot Nights of Linda (1975) on IMDb
* Le jouisseur 1975 Le jouisseur (1975) on IMDb
*** Barbed Wire Dolls 1976 Barbed Wire Dolls (1976) on IMDb
* Les emmerdeuses 1976 Les emmerdeuses (1976) on IMDb
*** Jack the Ripper 1976 Jack the Ripper (1976) on IMDb
* Marquise de Sade 1976 Marquise de Sade (1976) on IMDb
*** The Silence of the Tomb 1976 The Silence of the Tomb (1976) on IMDb
*** Blue Rita 1977 Blue Rita (1977) on IMDb
*** Ilsa, the Wicked Warden 1977 Ilsa, the Wicked Warden (1977) on IMDb
* Kiss Me Killer 1977 Kiss Me Killer (1977) on IMDb
* Love Camp 1977 Love Camp (1977) on IMDb
* Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun 1977 Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun (1977) on IMDb
* Sexy Sisters 1977 Sexy Sisters (1977) on IMDb
*** Shining Sex 1977 Shining Sex (1977) on IMDb
* Slaves 1977 Slaves (1977) on IMDb
* Voodoo Passion 1977 Voodoo Passion (1977) on IMDb
* Women in Cellblock 9 1978 Women in Cellblock 9 (1978) on IMDb
*** The Sadist of Notre Dame 1979 The Sadist of Notre Dame (1979) on IMDb
** Cannibals 1980 Cannibals (1980) on IMDb
*** Devil Hunter 1980 Devil Hunter (1980) on IMDb
*** Sinfonía erótica 1980 Sinfonía erótica (1980) on IMDb
*** Two Female Spies with Flowered Panties 1980 Two Female Spies with Flowered Panties (1980) on IMDb
*** Bloody Moon 1981 Bloody Moon (1981) on IMDb
** The Inconfessable Orgies of Emmanuelle 1982 The Inconfessable Orgies of Emmanuelle (1982) on IMDb
** Mansion of the Living Dead 1982 Mansion of the Living Dead (1982) on IMDb
*** Oasis of the Zombies 1982 Oasis of the Zombies (1982) on IMDb
*** Cecilia 1983 Cecilia (1983) on IMDb
*** Cries of Pleasure 1983 Cries of Pleasure (1983) on IMDb
*** Diamonds of Kilimandjaro 1983 Diamonds of Kilimandjaro (1983) on IMDb
** Macumba Sexual 1983 Macumba Sexual (1983) on IMDb
*** Night of Open Sex 1983 Night of Open Sex (1983) on IMDb
*** Revenge in the House of Usher 1983 Revenge in the House of Usher (1983) on IMDb
*** Bahía blanca 1984 Bahía blanca (1984) on IMDb
* Camino solitario 1984 Camino solitario (1984) on IMDb
*** Night Has a Thousand Desires 1984 Night Has a Thousand Desires (1984) on IMDb
** The Sexual Story of O 1984 The Sexual Story of O (1984) on IMDb
* La chica de los labios rojos 1986 La chica de los labios rojos (1986) on IMDb
*** Golden Temple Amazons 1986 Golden Temple Amazons (1986) on IMDb
*** Killer Barbys 1996 Killer Barbys (1996) on IMDb
** Incubus 2002 Incubus (2002) on IMDb
102 titles

Book recommendations

  • 100 European Horror Films

    Steven Jay Schneider
    Purchase on Amazon
  • Christopher Lee: The Authorised Screen History

    Jonathan Rigby
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  • Eaten Alive!: Italian Cannibal and Zombie Movies

    Jay Slater
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  • The Eurospy Guide

    Matt Blake, David Deal
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  • Flowers of Perversion: The Delirious Cinema of Jesús Franco, Volume Two

    Stephen Thrower
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  • Golden Age of Spanish Horror

    Mirek Lipinski
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  • Immoral Tales: European Sex and Horror Movies, 1956-1984

    Cathal Tohill, Pete Tombs
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  • Murderous Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesús Franco, Volume One

    Stephen Thrower, Julian Grainger
    Purchase on Amazon
  • The Overlook Film Encyclopedia: Horror

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  • The Overlook Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction

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Music recommendations

  • 3 Films By Jess Franco (Original Motion Picture Soundtracks)

    Manfred Hübler, Siegfried Schwab
    Purchase on Amazon
  • 99 donne (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

    Bruno Nicolai
    Purchase on Amazon
  • Agente Speciale LK (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

    Bruno Nicolai
    Purchase on Amazon
  • Bloody Moon (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

    Gerhard Heinz
    Purchase on Amazon
  • Les cauchemars naissent la nuit (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

    Bruno Nicolai
    Purchase on Amazon
  • La Comtesse Noire / Des Frissons Sur La Peau (Original Motion Picture Soundtracks)

    Daniel J. White
    Purchase on Amazon
  • The Erotic & Painful Obsessions of Jess Franco

    Gerhard Heinz
    Purchase on Amazon
  • Eugenie De Sade ’70 (Complete Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

    Bruno Nicolai
    Purchase on Amazon
  • Il Conte Dracula (Original Soundtrack)

    Bruno Nicolai
    Purchase on Amazon
  • Il trono di fuoco (Complete Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

    Bruno Nicolai
    Purchase on Amazon
  • Jess Franco’s “Les démons” (Original Soundtrack Album)

    Jean-Bernard Raiteux
    Purchase on Amazon
  • Justine

    Bruno Nicolai
    Purchase on Amazon
  • Una vergine tra i morti viventi (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

    Bruno Nicolai
    Purchase on Amazon
  • Vampiros Lesbos: Sexadelic Dance Party

    Manfred Hübler, Siegfried Schwab
    Purchase on Amazon