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 ... See full summary »
A young doctor kills himself after a medical committee terminates his research into human embryos, considering it too inhumane. His wife then seeks revenge on those who drove her husband to... See full summary »
Christopher Lee stars in the Amicus production of "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" where the names have been changed to Dr. Marlowe and Mr. Blake. Lee as Dr. Marlowe experiments with intravenous ... See full summary »
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 »
Don't play hoity-toity with me, draggle-tail, or I'll knock the spit out of you.
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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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