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

 -  History | Horror  -  May 1972 (USA)
5.2
Your rating:
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 596 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 27 critic

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), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Cast

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 ...
Satchel
Edit

Storyline

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

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Horror will hold you helpless!

Genres:

History | Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Language:

Release Date:

May 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Night of the Blood Monster  »

Box Office

Gross:

ESP 18,713,190 (Spain)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(banned)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

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

Lord George Jeffreys: Sometimes I ask myself whether the right to life or death was ever given to mere men, or if God Almighty did not Himself deliver unto me the responsibilities for that which we are doing. Yet when I am confronted again with the unholiness, the rebellion, the crimes and the sacrilege, I am reassured that we were not unjust in dealing the most atrocious punishment to these criminals.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cuadecuc, vampir (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A well made historical horror film from Franco
24 April 2014 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

Along with Witchfinder General (1968), The Bloody Judge was part of a small subset of films from the late 60's / early 70's that can best be described as historical horror movies. In these we have a true historical subject which is played up in such a way that it crosses over into the territory of the horror film. Seeing as this was a point in time where there was a plethora of period set costume horror flicks anyway, I suppose it makes a lot of sense that these films were made too. Like a lot of continental offerings from the period, this one throws in a lot of sadistic torture, nudity and sleaze as well and so covers the erotic horror sub-genre too. This is hardly surprising when you take into account that its director was the legendary Jesus Franco who was something of an expert at this kind of thing.

The Bloody Judge came out at a point when Franco was enjoying the most high profile time of his career and so this one like a few others he made at the time is pretty high budgeted by his subsequent standards. It has good locations and a fine cast and benefits from professional editing and photography as well. It was also one of several collaborations Franco had with horror stalwart Christopher Lee too. Unlike their earlier Fu Manchu collaborations, the role of the infamous Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys – aka 'The Hanging Judge' – was much better suited to Lee. He is very good as this cold central character, although he seemingly was not best pleased at all when he saw the finished film, presumably as a result of the salacious content Franco is famed for. The cast is good beyond Lee too; we have the beautiful Maria Rohm, the fine character actor Leo Genn and last but not least Franco regular Howard Vernon in a great over the top turn as a torturer/executioner.

Like Witchfinder General before it and several others too, this one is set in witch hunting times. It's a period in history peculiarly well suited to horror movies. Most costume horrors tend to be set in the later Victorian period but when we go back further into the far scarier, unenlightened years of the 1600's we are squarely in a historical period where many very horrible things occurred and it is very well suited, therefore, to horror stories. Like most historical films, this one also takes considerable liberties with the actual history to be honest. But let's be fair, lots of critically acclaimed big budget historical movies do exactly the same – Braveheart for instance – and if they can then why bother complaining if these far smaller films do a similar thing.

For my money this is one of the better Franco films out there. I think the story and central character are good ones for the treatment and the production value is good enough to pull it off. The smattering of salacious content throughout didn't do it any harm and simply added to the entertainment factor to be perfectly honest. This maybe isn't of the level of the more personal delirious Franco efforts such as Vampyros Lesbos but it's definitely one of his most well made. I enjoyed it a fair bit.


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