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Jesús Franco

Jesús Franco

Known For: Writing · Birthday: 1930-05-12

182 Movies · 1 TV Series

Biography

Of Cuban and Mexican parentage, Franco was born in Madrid and studied at the city's Instituto de Investigaciones y Experiencias Cinematográficas and the Institut des hautes études cinématographiques in Paris. He began his career in 1954 (aged 24) as an assistant director in the Spanish film industry, performing many tasks including composing music for some of the films as well as co-writing a number of the screenplays. He assisted a number of directors such as Joaquín Luis Romero Marchent, León Klimovsky and Juan Antonio Bardem. After working on more than 20 films, he decided to get into directing films in 1959, making a few musicals and a crime drama called Red Lips. In 1960, Franco took Marius Lesoeur and Sergio Newman, two producer friends, to a cinema to see the newly released Hammer horror film The Brides of Dracula and the three men decided to get into the horror film business. His career took off in 1961 with The Awful Dr. Orloff (a.k.a. Gritos en la noche), which received wide distribution in the United States and the UK. Franco wrote and directed Orloff, and even supplied some of the music for the film. In the mid-1960s, he went on to direct two other horror films, then proceeded to turn out a number of James Bond-like spy thrillers and softcore sex films based on the works of the Marquis de Sade (which remained one of his major influences throughout his career). Although he had some American box office success with Succubus (1968), 99 Women (1969) and two 1970 Christopher Lee films – The Bloody Judge and Count Dracula – he never achieved wide commercial success. Many of his films were only distributed in Europe, and most of them were never dubbed into English. After discovering Soledad Miranda (he first used her in his Count Dracula), Franco moved from Spain to France in 1969 so that he could make more violent and erotic films free of the strict censorship in Spain, and it was at this point that his career began to go downhill commercially as he turned to low-budget filmmaking with an accent on adult material. Soledad Miranda starred in a series of six erotic thrillers for Franco, all made within a one-year period (including Vampyros Lesbos), after which she was killed in a tragic automobile accident in Portugal in 1970, just as her career was taking off. A year or two after Soledad Miranda died, a grieving Franco discovered a new leading lady in actress Lina Romay. At the time, the teenage Romay was married to a young actor/photographer named Ramon Ardid, but as she and Franco became more involved in their film projects together over the years, her marriage to Ramon ended in divorce around 1975. Franco was married at the time to Nicole Guettard (their marriage running approximately from 1962 through 1980), Ms. Guettard being gradually replaced in Franco's life by Lina Romay (Nicole worked as a script consultant on many of Franco's films while they were married, and even acted in a few of them. Her daughter from an earlier marriage, Caroline Riviere, also appeared in a few Franco films in the early 1970s (including the risque Exorcisme and The Perverse Countess)). Franco and Lina Romay worked together for 40 years, and lived together from 1980 onward, although they were only officially married on 25 April 2008. Until her death in 2012 (from cancer at age 57), Romay was his most regular actress, as well as his life companion and muse. Although Romay was listed in the credits of several films as a co-director, actor Antonio Mayans stated in a recent interview that Franco used to credit her in that manner for business reasons, although she never actually co-directed any of their films together. Although he produced a number of relatively successful horror films in the early 1970s (Dracula vs. Frankenstein, The Bare-Breasted Countess, A Virgin Among the Living Dead), many people in the industry considered him a porn director due to the huge number of X-rated adult films he began turning out (even his 1970s horror films featured abundant nudity). Franco returned to low-budget horror in a brief comeback period from 1980–1983 (Mondo Cannibale, Bloody Moon, Oasis of the Zombies, Revenge in the House of Usher), but after 1983, his career took a second downturn as he returned to making mostly pornographic films, most of which left nothing to the imagination. In his later years, he did, however, get the opportunity to turn out two rather big-budget horror films – Faceless (1988) and Killer Barbys (1996) – both of which showed what great work he could still do when his projects were adequately funded. The entirety of his work after 1996 was direct-to-video films of very low quality, none of which were distributed theatrically. Romay died of cancer in 2012 at age 57, after which Franco died in April, 2013 from natural causes, at age 82.Franco sometimes worked under various pseudonyms, including David Khune and Frank Hollmann. A fan of jazz music (and a musician himself), many of his pseudonyms were taken from jazz musicians such as Clifford Brown and James P. Johnson. Franco's themes often revolved around lesbian vampires, women in prison, surgical horror, sadomasochism, zombies and sexploitation (including several films based on the writings of the Marquis de Sade). He worked in other exploitation film genres, such as cannibal films, spy films, giallo, crime films, science fiction, jungle adventure, Oriental menace, exorcist films, war movies, historical dramas and nunsploitation. His sex movies often contained long, uninterrupted shots of nude women writhing around on beds. Most of his hardcore films starred his lifelong companion Lina Romay, who admitted in interviews to being an exhibitionist. Franco was known for his use of a hand-held camera and zoom shots, which he felt lent realism to his films. He also was not averse to filming several movies at the same time, knocking together a second feature on the unsuspecting producer's dime. Many of his actors only found out years after the fact that Franco had actually starred them in films for which they had never even been paid. His main claim to fame, however, is that he managed to write and direct around 160 motion pictures in his lifetime, encompassing a wide swath of different genres, with practically no financial backing available to him. (Note* - Some sources which list as many as 200 titles in Franco's filmography are relisting the same films several times under different variant titles). Franco attracted a circle of bizarre but loyal actors and technicians who moved with him over the years from project to project (while receiving very little, if any, money for their efforts). Many of his actors were over-the-hill performers in the twilight of their careers, many of his actresses shameless exhibitionists. He frequently worked with genre actors Howard Vernon, Paul Müller, Christopher Lee, Jack Taylor, Ewa Strömberg, Soledad Miranda, Maria Rohm, Monica Swinn, William Berger, Dennis Price, Alice Arno, Montserrat Prous, Alberto Dalbes, Antonio Mayans, Britt Nichols, Pamela Stanford, Kali Hansa and Klaus Kinski, all of whom are well known to cult film collectors. Zombie Lake vs. Oasis of the Zombies. Franco was supposed to write and direct a film for Eurocine Productions in 1980 called Lake of the Living Dead (a horror film about revived Nazi zombies) but after submitting the basic plot summary, he had a falling out with the producers, Marius and Daniel Lesoeur, over the ridiculously low budget he was allotted, and the producers immediately hired French horror film director Jean Rollin to direct it (later re-titling it Zombie Lake). Rollin later said in interviews he only did the film as a favor for the Lesoeurs, and that if he had known "how bad" the script was, he would not have done it. He later deleted it from his filmography (the film did very well financially, however).The Lesoeurs later had Rollin shoot new zombie footage in 1981 to be added to Franco's A Virgin Among the Living Dead (1973) for its 1981 re-release.Franco later directed another film for the Lesouers called Oasis of the Zombies (a.k.a. Bloodsucking Nazi Zombies on VHS) in 1981, which had a plot very similar to Zombie Lake (also involving revived Nazi zombies). Franco simultaneously shot a variant version of Oasis of the Zombies (on the producers' dime) starring Lina Romay and his "regulars" which was apparently released only in Spain, under the title La Tumba de los Muertos Vivientes (which now appears to be lost). Death. Franco suffered a severe stroke on 27 March 2013, and was taken to a hospital in Málaga, Spain, where he died six days later, on the morning of 2 April. He was 82 years old.

Movies & TV Series

1983.

12 Movies
Diamonds of Kilimandjaro

Diamonds of Kilimandjaro

1983
A group of adventurers head to a primitive tribe in Africa to find a treasure of diamonds and a beautiful white girl who was lost years ago and was made the tribe's goddess.
Macumba Sexual

Macumba Sexual

1983
Princess Obongo, the Goddess of Unspeakable Lust, uses dark powers to ensnare a hapless couple of yuppies, so that she can imbue them with evil and conquer the world.
Confesiones íntimas de una exhibicionista

Confesiones íntimas de una exhibicionista

1983
An erotic movie directed by Jess Franco and Lina Romay
En busca del dragón dorado

En busca del dragón dorado

1983
An action movie directed by Jess Franco based on Edgar Allan Poe's story "The Gold-Bug".
The Hotel of Love Affairs

The Hotel of Love Affairs

1983
A comedy directed by Jess Franco.
Black Boots, Whip of Leather

Black Boots, Whip of Leather

1983
Al Pereira is hired by Lina, the wife of a wealthy man, to recover some compromising photos. She has sex with him by way of a retainer. In the course of his investigation, Al is obliged to commit a co...
The House of Lost Women

The House of Lost Women

1983
A drama directed by Jess Franco.
Cecilia

Cecilia

1983
After repeatedly flaunting her peerless body to her servants, snobbish aristocrat Cecila (Muriel Montrossé) becomes the victim of rape. But the experience triggers a carnal awakening, full of socialit...
Cries of Pleasure

Cries of Pleasure

1983
A man invites a woman to his house to live with him, just before the arrival of his wife who is coming back from the insane asylum.
The Night Of Open Sex

The Night Of Open Sex

1983
Moira – a beautiful and erotic cabaret dancer – is hired to impersonate another woman who turns out to be a secret agent who must receive an important message that contains the hidden whereabouts of a...
Blood on My Shoes

Blood on My Shoes

1983
Agents across the globe take turns spying on and double-crossing one another in an attempt to locate a valuable formula encrypted in the music code.
Los blues de la calle Pop (Aventuras de Felipe Malboro, volumen 8)

Los blues de la calle Pop (Aventuras de Felipe Malboro, volumen 8)

1983
Felipe Malboro, a private eye, is contracted by a girl to find her boyfriend who has disappeared.

1981.

8 Movies
Sadomania

Sadomania

5
1981
Soon after newlyweds Olga and Michel set foot on the grounds of a notorious women's prison, they're arrested by topless guards and ushered behind bars where the warden quickly dismisses Michel but de...
Sexual Perversions of a Married Woman

Sexual Perversions of a Married Woman

1981
Pick-Up Girls

Pick-Up Girls

1981
Private eye Al Crosby is paid by millionaire Harry Feldman to take his place at a meeting with Emilio, a gangster. He is drugged and photographed in compromising positions by two hookers, Suzy and Bij...
Zombie Lake

Zombie Lake

1981
In a small village, somewhere in France, German soldiers, killed and thrown into the lake by the Resistance during WW II, come back.
The Sex Is Crazy

The Sex Is Crazy

1981
Adult film actresses get abducted and impregnated by aliens after appearing in a sci-fi porno in this outrageous sex comedy from Jess Franco. Knocked up with high-powered extraterrestrial sperm that a...
Bloody Moon

Bloody Moon

1981
Miguel, a horribly disfigured young man, goes on a rampage at a masquerade party and rapes and then mutilates a girl. Institutionalized at a mental asylum, he is released five years later, into the ca...
The Girls Of The Copacabana

The Girls Of The Copacabana

1981
Three students Juanita, Jean and Hans bored with their life in Paris go to Brazil in search of sexual adventures. Las Chicas de Copacabana is a sexual coming age film from maverick filmmaker Jess Fra...
The Story of Linda

The Story of Linda

1981
Betsy Norman is a happy assistant at a luxurious Spanish hotel. Shiela, the hotel owner, caters for all wishes of her clientele with another lucrative business, the brothel "Rio Amore" where clients f...

1977.

9 Movies
Around the World in 80 Beds

Around the World in 80 Beds

1977
This German “mondo” movie has a TV host (Esther Moser) narrating and introducing various sexual acts from around the world. This includes S&M acts, a class teaching masturbation, a man who likes to pr...
Swedish Nympho Slaves

Swedish Nympho Slaves

1977
A brothel owner is questioned in the disappearance of the daughter of a wealthy man after she is still not returned, or told of her possible whereabouts, after the $5,000,000 ransom was paid.
Ilsa, the Mad Butcher

Ilsa, the Mad Butcher

6
1977
Ilsa, now a vicious warden, runs a mental-hospital for young women. A girl deliberately "checks" in to the hospital to find out what has happened to her sister who stayed there. Meanwhile Ilsa and one...
Kiss Me Killer

Kiss Me Killer

1977
A deadly look into the savage world of gangsters. The aftermath of a holdup turns into a game of deceit and doublecross. A vengeful woman brings about the destruction of the entire gang of ruthless ki...
Call of the Blonde Goddess

Call of the Blonde Goddess

1977
Susan arrives in Haiti to live with her husband Jack, who lives with a lesbian housekeeper and Olga, a nymphomaniac platinum blonde, introduced to her as Jack's sister. Susan begins to have nightmares...
Blue Rita

Blue Rita

1977
Blue Rita runs a nightclub and gases and kidnaps men there for her pleasure and torture.
Sexy Sisters

Sexy Sisters

1977
Edna keeps her younger sister Millie drugged and chained to her bed. The drugs have made Millie a nymphomaniac who's endless supply of men that Edna providers her cannot satisfy her and seeing her sis...
Love Camp

Love Camp

6
1977
A group of women are kidnapped by guerrillas and brought to a jungle brothel where they are forced to work as prostitutes for the soldiers. Those who refuse to cooperate are decapitated by the cruel, ...
Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun

Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun

1977
16-year-old Maria is forced into Serra D'Aires convent, secretly run by Satanists. Her confessor is in collusion with the Mother Superior. Maria is tortured, forced into sex with men, women, and the h...

1975.

7 Movies
The Greedy

The Greedy

1975
According to legend, a group of women escaped from Atlantis just before the destruction of the continent. They took refuge on a mysterious island, and founded a kingdom. Men who dared approach the isl...
Women Behind Bars

Women Behind Bars

1975
A small-time hood brings the attention of the law with an insurance scam and diamond theft, but things become even more interesting when his moll murders him and is slammed behind bars where she faces...
Exorcism

Exorcism

1975
A disturbed priest, who witness an occult ritual, thinks the people are possessed and start a private inquisition to exorcise the demons by torturing them to death.
The Hot Nights of Linda

The Hot Nights of Linda

1975
A young woman is hired to care for an elderly man who lives on an island off the Greek coast. When she arrives there the man warns her that his daughters are evil and dangerous. The woman discovers th...
Downtown

Downtown

1975
A private eye who's over his head in debt takes on a job snapping photos of his client's rich husband in bed with another woman. But when the husband winds up with three bullet holes that seem to have...
Les chatouilleuses

Les chatouilleuses

1975
Central America in 1915. It is the age of revolutions.tyranny, captains and colonels in a small provincial town. often invaded by some revolutionary group or other, there is a brothel of which the Mad...
Sexy Erotic Job

Sexy Erotic Job

1975
A wealthy ex-playboy, Count Roland tires of married life to the sex guide magnate Barbara and decides to return to his old ways. He poses as a butler and becomes a servant to rich and beautiful women,...

1974.

8 Movies
How to Seduce a Virgin

How to Seduce a Virgin

1974
Martine Bressac is released from a psychiatric clinic after a year's treatment and is driven home by her chauffeur, Mathias. She is welcomed by the demented hunchbacked gardener Malou and the mute ser...
The Perverse Countess

The Perverse Countess

1974
Two wealthy aristocrats lure a virginal girl to a Spanish island for a night of sex, death and cannibalism in this Jess Franco's softcore version of "The most dangerous game".
Lorna, the Exorcist

Lorna, the Exorcist

6
1974
Twenty years after seducing a businessman, a demonic temptress lays claim to the man's daughter.
Celestine

Celestine

1974
The story opens with Celestine eluding arrest with a friend as the police raid a brothel. While hiding out in the hayloft of the Count de la Braquette's estate, she meets the hayseed handyman Sébastie...
Night of the Skull

Night of the Skull

1974
Horror mystery about the residents of a Louisiana castle who are being murdered by a masked killer. When the family arrives for the reading of Marion's will, his wife is strapped to the face of a clif...
The House of the Lost Dolls

The House of the Lost Dolls

1974
A luxurious house stands in a deserted region, contrasting with its surroundings. It is a house of prostitution and its inmates are brought there against their will. One of them, Yvette, is helped to ...
Fifteen Year Old Captain

Fifteen Year Old Captain

1974
Dick Sand travels aboard the "Pilgrim" when, following dramatic events, the ship becomes without a captain. Fate has it so that, to keep all sailors in peace, he shall command the ship. All accept thi...
The Lustful Amazons

The Lustful Amazons

1974
In medieval France, traveler Pygar tells he-man Karzan (Maciste in the French version) of his recent journey to a place called Antigua, and of its entire community of Amazons promising undreamed of se...

1973.

11 Movies
The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein

The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein

1973
Dr. Frankenstein is left for dead in the woods. His daughter, Dr. Vera Frankenstein, hunts for his attacker: Dr. Cagliostro, a mad scientist who’s created a race of human-animal hybrids.
The Obscene Mirror

The Obscene Mirror

1973
A nightclub singer is haunted by the ghost of her late father. The dead man summons her through a mirror, forcing her to commit a series of violent crimes.
The Demons

The Demons

1973
A group of nuns become possessed by demons and are then tortured in a dungeon of horrors during the inquisition.
Sinner: The Secret Diary of a Nymphomaniac

Sinner: The Secret Diary of a Nymphomaniac

1973
Linda comes to the big city in search of fun and excitement. What she finds is exploitation and abuse at the hands of a succession of sleazy guys. Searching for love, she enters into a lesbian relat...
Tender and Perverse Emmanuelle

Tender and Perverse Emmanuelle

1973
After his wife, a concert pianist, is found murdered a wealthy man is suspected of her murder. But as more suspects begin to pile up this mystery might take it's toll on more than one participant.
Female Vampire

Female Vampire

1973
Countess Irina of Karlstein resides quietly in a hotel on the island of Madeira, where she sustains her immortality by feeding on the life essence of men and women. When new victims are found fatally ...
A Virgin Among the Living Dead

A Virgin Among the Living Dead

1973
A girl arrives from London to visit her estranged relatives in a remote castle for the reading of her father's will. After a while she discovers that they are all in fact dead and her decision to live...
Eugenie de Sade

Eugenie de Sade

1973
Eugenie, a beautiful but shy young girl, lives with her stepfather, a famous writer specializing in stories of erotica. One day she happens to read one of his "erotic" books and its power so affects h...
Lovers of Devil's Island

Lovers of Devil's Island

1973
A lawyer finds out that a young couple convicted of murder was in fact framed for the crime and goes to the prison with the hope of freeing them and learns the events that happened to the two from a f...
The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff

The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff

1973
Amid the craggy, dusty hills of southern France (or is it northern Spain?), a woman screams in the night. Gorgeous Melissa Comfort (Mona Proust), a wealthy heiress confined to a wheelchair since birth...
Dolls for Sale

Dolls for Sale

1973
A crime movie directed by Jess Franco.
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