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New inmate Marie arrives at an island prison in the women's sector and receives the number 99. The inmates are controlled by the sadistic lesbian warden Thelma Diaz and Governor Santos and ... See full summary »
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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 »
Jess Franco directs this tale of Judge Jeffries (Christopher Lee), a sadistic and evil judge who would constantly force women to be tortured and eventually burned at the stake for a variety of crimes but mostly stuff to do with Satan. After sending an innocent woman (Margaret Lee) to her death, her sister (Maria Rohm) joins forces with a man (Hans Hass, Jr.) and the two plan on bringing the judge down. THE BLOODY JUDGE has been shown in countless versions over the years and even when it was first released it seemed like every country got their own version. Some focused more on the story while others focused on either the sex or violence. The edition released by Blue Underground clocks in at 104-minutes and it's certainly the longest that's ever been released and includes a few torture sequences including one where Rohm is forced to lick the blood off of another woman. This film has several problems with it but overall it's a fairly good movie and one really could argue that it's one of the best films, technically speaking, that Franco has ever made. The budget was cut short before production but the director still manages to get some pretty good stuff including the cinematography, which makes the film seem like a bigger budgeted film. Another major plus are all the sets and costumes, which again, make the film look much more expensive than I'm sure it was. We also get a very good musical score by Bruno Nicolai. Franco's direction is able to build up a pretty good atmosphere as you really do feel as if you're back in the days where this sort of thing goes on. Of course, it doesn't hurt that you've got Lee delivering one of the best performances of his career as the sadistic judge. Lee might object to the violence, gore and nudity but when he's on the screen he's certainly giving it his all. You can just look into his eyes and it's as if the actor is possessed with the spirit of Jeffries because he's just so cruel and cold in the part. Rohm is as beautiful as ever and does a nice job in the role of an innocent woman who finds herself being tortured and raped. Hass is rather bland in his role but we do get Howard Vernon playing one of the torturers. The nudity level is quite high and if you're easily offended you should be warned that a lot of it comes from women being chained up and tortured. The violence is also fairly high but while it's more graphic than something like WITCHFINDER GENERAL it's still miles short of what we'd see in other films like this including MARK OF THE DEVIL. The one major flaw with the film is the fact that it runs too long and there are way too many slow spots where nothing much is happening. It also doesn't help that it's really hard to care for any of the characters. With that said, even those who spit on Franco should find enough here to enjoy.
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