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The Bloody Judge (1970)
"Il trono di fuoco" (original title)

PG  |   |  History, Horror  |  May 1972 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 697 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 30 critic

Christopher Lee plays the Lord Chief Justice of 17th century England who condemns women as witches to further his political and sexual needs.


(as J. Frank Manera)


(adaptation) (as E. Colombo) , (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Mother Rosa
Lord Wessex
Hans Hass Jr. ...
Harry Selton (as Hans Hass)
Mary Gray
Margaret Lee ...
Alicia Gray
Pietro Martellanza ...
Barnaby (as Peter Martell)
Howard Vernon ...
Jack Ketch
Milo Quesada ...


Christopher Lee plays the Lord Chief Justice of 17th century England who condemns women as witches to further his political and sexual needs.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Horror will hold you helpless!


History | Horror


PG | See all certifications »



Release Date:

May 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Night of the Blood Monster  »

Box Office


ESP 18,713,190 (Spain)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dennis Price was originally cast as Lord Wessex but withdrew at the last moment (he was replaced by Leo Genn). Some film posters and advertising material from the time credit Price as appearing in the movie. See more »


Satchel: Don't play hoity-toity with me, draggle-tail, or I'll knock the spit out of you.
See more »


Version of Le scomunicate di San Valentino (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

Let the business of the court commence!
20 August 2005 | by (Richmond, VA) – See all my reviews

O.K., it's no Witchfinder General (but then again, what is?), but Jess Franco's The Bloody Judge is a well-written, well-acted, well-made historical-horror hybrid in the tradition of it's obvious model, Rowland V. Lee's The Tower of London. Franco stalwart Howard Vernon delivers a delicious homage to Karloff's Mord the Executioner from that film, and Christopher Lee is excellent, if somewhat insecurely emphatic and earnest, as the cruel, narrow, and hypocritical Judge Jeffries. The score, by Bruno Nicolai, is majestic and memorable, and the film as a whole is vividly entertaining. Having seen this film over 25 years ago, on television, heavily edited, under the title Night of the Blood Monster, I was amazed at how much of it had lain dormant in my memory, ready to be jostled into consciousness. Whole scenes played out in my mind as I re-watched them on my wide screen TV.

There are a few people, including the otherwise estimable Glenn Erickson, of the hugely insightful and informative DVD Savant site, who have claimed, based on the evidence of this film, that Jess Franco could not have "directed" the legendary Battle of Shrewsbury in Orson Welles' Chimes at Midnight. First, lets get a few facts straight. It is well documented that Franco shot the second unit on Chimes at Midnight, which included much of the battle scene. This means that Franco shot a lot of coverage of the battle, working from a general outline given by Welles. Later, Welles took the miles of footage into the editing room and, many months later, emerged with the shattering sequence that appears in his picture. Franco, obviously, had nothing to do with this editing process, and, as far as I can tell, has never claimed otherwise. To compare the battle scene in The Bloody Judge with Welles' magnificent achievement is grotesquely unfair, as I am sure that Franco was allowed minutes rather than months to assemble The Bloody Judge for exhibition. Given the strictures under which he was working, Franco, his cast, and his collaborators should be commended for having produced a film with such a high level of professionalism. Welles, that most populist of auteurs, who once stated that he would rather watch paint dry than sit through an Antonioni film, and who responded to energy, verve, iconoclasm, and enthusiasm, had seen and appreciated those qualities an early Franco effort, which eventually led to the offer to work on Chimes. If Franco was good enough for Welles, he should be good enough for us. The two are closer than you think...

14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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