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The Bloody Judge (1970)

Il trono di fuoco (original title)
PG | | Biography, Horror | May 1972 (USA)
Christopher Lee plays the Lord Chief Justice of 17th century England who condemns women as witches to further his political and sexual needs.

Director:

(as J. Frank Manera)

Writers:

(adaptation) (as E. Colombo), (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Hans Hass Jr. ...
Harry Selton (as Hans Hass)
...
Mary Gray
...
Alicia Gray
Pietro Martellanza ...
Barnaby (as Peter Martell)
Howard Vernon ...
Jack Ketch
Milo Quesada ...
Satchel
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Horror will hold you helpless!

Genres:

Biography | Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

Release Date:

May 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Night of the Blood Monster  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(banned)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

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

 
One of Jess Franco's best efforts
4 December 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is actually one of Jess Franco's better films; a relatively high budget goes a long way in creating some authentic locations and costumes in this historical drama. The film is also refreshingly free (well, not totally) of the pointless zoom shots of which Franco was so proud. The original title was NIGHT OF THE BLOOD MONSTER, but as there are no monsters involved, it seems to bear little relation to the film and THE BLOODY JUDGE is indeed far more apt. Christopher Lee plays the cruel judge who has blood on his hands as he finds all suspected witches guilty and sends them to be burnt alive.

The film is very similar storyline to WITCHFINDER GENERAL, an obvious influence, as well as MARK OF THE DEVIL. The film has a lot going in its favour, but ultimately it fails to be a masterpiece due to the confusing editing and disjointed feel to the whole thing. While the threadbare plot is nothing new, it gives ample opportunity for Franco to delight in what he likes best: naked women, and plenty of torture scenes, including a woman being whipped and (the most wince-inducing) a bloodied woman stretched on the rack.

Christopher Lee gives a tour-de-force performance in the title role and he's perfectly cast as the cruel, tyrannical lawman. His portrayal of the corrupt and seemingly powerful leader who is plagued by inner demons is an insightful one. Lee is surrounded by some top Euro crumpet, indeed Franco fills out the cast with lots of beautiful women who get variously tortured and murdered. Franco favourite Howard Vernon enjoys himself as an executioner.

Those who enjoyed the aforementioned classic with Vincent Price will be sure to delight in this very similar film. Attention to detail is surprisingly thorough, and the costumes and sets are brilliant. Without the grisly torture sequences the film would be an interesting, engaging historical story of a barbaric time in Britain, but with them, it becomes an accurate portrayal of the violent and perverse state that the country was in. Worth seeing for Lee's memorable performance alone, this may not be a very good film, but it's definitely better than you might have come to expect from exploitation king Franco.


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