Two days ago would have been Jess Franco’s 91st birthday. He would had to have lived another 109 + years to be as old as how many films he directed! There were some years he averaged more than one film a month! Love him or hate him, there is no denying the man loved to make films. In fact, there is below quote from him that I think not only explains him and his work, but also a work ethic that I think many of us share in.
“I don’t think I’ve done anything important or magnificent. I’m a worker and the thing I prefer in my life is cinema. When I’m working in cinema, I’m happy. And that’s all, you know?”
Yes, there are some of his work that makes you scratch your head and wonder how he ever got financing for his next film. But as we all know, a bad film isn’t entertaining and there are plenty of Franco’s titles that are damn entertaining. The first time I saw Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein (1972), under the VHS title The Screaming Dead, I thought I had lost my mind. But such craziness just enhanced the experience for me and I actually think it is one of my favorites of his work. Same with titles like The Female Vampire (1973) and Bloody Moon (1981), just so much damn fun.
Now for those out there that think all of Franco’s films are just inept made trash, you haven’t really looked. When I first got into Franco’s movies, I thought all of his films were cheap and cheesy, but then watched The Awful Dr. Orloff (1962) and was amazed how well it was made. Same with The Diabolical Dr. Z (1966). When he had the money, Franco could deliver a well crafted picture. But even when he didn’t have the movie, he could still deliver … something at least.
So to honor this talented man and his work, let’s spend this Friday Favorites on the interesting and intriguing works of Jess Franco! Lets hear it!