Jesus Franco, now a physically frail Octogenarian living in Spain, is regarded as one of the world’s best exploitation auteur directors and the Horror Channel is dedicating the month of June to showing four of the higher-budgeted Franco films made in 1969 and 1970, the period when British producer Harry Alan Towers was at the helm and Christopher Lee, who made five Franco films in all, was nearing the Vampiristic peak of his popularity.
The season is introduced by Stephen Thrower, author of Nightmare USA, founder of Eyeball Magazine and world-renowned authority on Euro-exploitation and horror. He has been associated with Jesus Franco and his films for over twenty-five years.
Kicking off the season on Fri 3 June, 10.55pm is THE BLOODY JUDGE, Franco’s spectacularly deviant version of the witch-hunting Judge George Jeffreys’ story. Christopher Lee gives one of his most unforgettable performances as the infamous 17th Century witchfinder whose unholy obsession with a luscious wench (Maria Rohm) fuels a jaw-dropping spree of torture, brutality and flesh-ripping perversion.
Next up on Fri 10 June, 10.55pm is VENUS IN FURS. a murder shocker starring Klaus Kinski, Franco regular Maria Rohm and Dennis Price. It also boasts cameo appearances by the director himself and Manfred Mann and is considered the best collaboration between Franco and Harry Alan Towers.
99 WOMEN is screened on Fri 17 June, 10.55pm. Franco’s campy women’s prison film is a worthwhile watch for genre devotees due to Mercedes McCambridge’s hilarious performance as sadistic lesbian warden Thelma Diaz. Herbert Lom also stars.
The season finishes with one of Franco’s most controversial films – EUGENIE: THE STORY OF HER JOURNEY INTO PERVERSION, which broadcasts on Fri 24 June, 10.55pm. Based on the writings of the Marquis de Sade, this is a trip into sexual discovery where the innocent Eugenie (Marie Liljedahl) undergoes her extreme initiation at the hands of Dolmance (Christopher Lee).
The Horror Channel is on Sky 319 / Virgin 149 / Freesat 138 For more info click Here