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April 02, 2013

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The Siren

That top screencap is gorgeous.

Ed Hulse

Ah, Jess, we hardly knew ye.

I just found out about his death from Maria, who posted an obit link -- but nothing else -- on her Facebook page. I suspect she'll have more to say, though.

Oliver_C

The Takashi Miike of 60s/70s Europe, might we say? I confess I've barely seen enough of either director to judge.

'Countess Perverse' is the sole Franco I own -- kudos to Mondo Macabro, whose magnificently-mastered DVD renders its depravities most palatable.

george

"The Bloody Judge" (1970), with Lee, is the best Franco film I've seen, and the only one I own on DVD. For once he had a decent budget, and he made the most of it. Looks great in widescreen, and makes a fun double bill with Michael Reeves' "Witchfinder General."

Only real flaw: the sex scenes shot without Lee's participation, although we're supposed to believe a pair of hands in certain shots belong to Lee. They obviously don't. Lee claimed he had no knowledge of these scenes until he saw the film.

Jeff McMahon

I've seen maybe a dozen Franco films and none of them have done it for me - can someone suggest the titles that best make the case for him as an artist?

Tim Lucas

Thank you for the mention, Glenn.

I recently came into possession of the German alternate cut of SUCCUBUS, with English subtitles, and it's an appreciably richer experience than the American version: a combination art film, art film spoof and a portfolio of his influences in film and music. With this version, one can better understand why Fritz Lang would have said it was the first erotic film he'd seen that was also a beautiful piece of cinema when he saw it at a Berlin screening. The frame grab you chose really captures the spirit of the film, which at the time Franco was hoping would usher in a new era of dark adult fantasy in cinema. Then Wes Craven peed in the pool by associating adult horror with heightened realism in THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and changed the gameplan entirely. Franco wasn't allergic to sadism, but he prefered Sade.

Franco's filmography is less about individual titles than about the continuum produced by the whole, the way the films inform and interact the others. But VENUS IN FURS and FEMALE VAMPIRE were the ones that unlocked the door for me (admittedly, I was running a high fever at the time). My favorites, though, are probably THE DIABOLICAL DR Z, EUGENIE DE SADE, LORNA THE EXORCIST and a very hard to see one called BAHIA BLANCA -- unlike anything else he ever made, a revenge story but like a samba set to film, with a lot of wamrth and heart. My friends at Redemption have looked into releasing it but it's tied up at the moment in some legal nightmare.

Not David Bordwell

I've been trying to place where I'd seen Dennis Price recently, and then, holy crap! It was TWINS OF EVIL on BluRay!

Quite a career for that guy.

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