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The Bloody Judge (1970) More at IMDbPro »Il trono di fuoco (original title)

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


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Down 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Jesús Franco (adaptation)
Enrico Colombo (adaptation)
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Release Date:
May 1972 (USA) See more »
Horror will hold you helpless!
Christopher Lee plays the Lord Chief Justice of 17th century England who condemns women as witches to further his political and sexual needs. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Bloodthirstier than Dracula! See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Christopher Lee ... Judge Jeffries

Maria Schell ... Mother Rosa

Leo Genn ... Lord Wessex
Hans Hass Jr. ... Harry Selton (as Hans Hass)

Maria Rohm ... Mary Gray
Margaret Lee ... Alicia Gray
Pietro Martellanza ... Barnaby (as Peter Martell)
Howard Vernon ... Jack Ketch
Milo Quesada ... Satchel
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Werner Abrolat ... Inquisitor Matt (uncredited)
Giuliana Garavaglia ... (uncredited)
Diana Lorys ... Sally Gaunt (uncredited)
José Martínez Blanco ... Steven Truro (uncredited)
José María Prada ... Palafox (uncredited)
Vicente Roca ... Chief Prosecutor (uncredited)
John Thompson ... Jonathan Dickens (uncredited)
Serena Vergano ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Jesús Franco  (as J. Frank Manera)
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Enrico Colombo  adaptation (as E. Colombo)
Jesús Franco  adaptation
Michael Haller 
Harry Alan Towers  story (as Peter Welbeck)
Anthony Scott Veitch 

Produced by
Arturo Marcos .... producer
Harry Alan Towers .... producer
Original Music by
Bruno Nicolai 
Cinematography by
Manuel Merino 
Film Editing by
Derek Parsons 
Gertrud Petermann (German version)
Art Direction by
Jack Taylor  (as George O. Brown)
Set Decoration by
Jack Taylor  (as George O'Brown)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Alberto Chiarolla .... assistant director (as Alberto Chianella)
John Thompson .... assistant director
Sound Department
Joyce Oxley .... dubbing editor
Editorial Department
Rick Greenhead .... telecine colorist

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Il trono di fuoco" - Liechtenstein (original title)
"Night of the Blood Monster" - USA
"Throne of the Blood Monster" - USA
"Trial of the Witches" - USA
"Witch Killer of Broadmoor" - USA
"Witches' Trial" - USA
See more »
Argentina:97 min | Spain:96 min | Sweden:94 min (banned version) | West Germany:82 min | USA:84 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:16 | Australia:MA | Australia:R (DVD rating) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | France:12 | New Zealand:R18 | Sweden:15 (Banned) | UK:18 (video rating) | USA:PG | West Germany:18 (nf) (cut)

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 »
Movie Connections:


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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Bloodthirstier than Dracula!, 12 October 2007
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls

"The Bloody Judge" is unquestionably one of Jess Franco's finest accomplishments, and there are several elements that contributed to this. First of all, Christopher Lee depicts another unforgettably mean-spirited and frightening horror protagonist. This doesn't always guarantee a great movie, mind you, as Franco and Lee previously collaborated to make a couple of sequels in the Fu Manchu series, and they were dreadfully boring films. The character of medieval witch hunter Judge Jeffries clearly suits Lee a whole lot better than the oddly mustached oriental master-criminal and his performance confirms this. Secondly, for one of the few times during his entire career, Jess Franco could actually rely on a decent budget! There was enough money for fancy costumes and atmospheric scenery, and even the editing and cinematography were clearly handled professionally. Finally, you can hardly go wrong with the subject matter of medieval witch-hunting, political corruptness, vile torture footage and robust executions. Although clearly inspired by the popularity of "Witchfinder General" (starring Vincent Price), "The Bloody Judge" contains more than enough own ideas and ingenuity to be considered as a success in its own right. The film opens with the extended and compelling trial of a young girl accused of witchcraft, leading to her relentless execution burning at the stake. The long opening adequately introduces the character of Judge Jeffries, but the actual plot only unfolds after this. The executed girl's sister flees up the country and falls in love with the son of an eminent politician, who also happens to rebel against the corrupt English crown. The obsessive Judge Jeffries orders his followers to capture all the rebels and submit them to torture, but the army of William of Orange is slowly approaching England to conquer the crown. The amounts of graphic violence and – especially – gratuitous sleaze are admirably kept rather low, and this in favor of character development and tension building. Naturally, there are a handful of brutal sequences on display (notably the "interrogation" of poor Alicia) but "The Bloody Judge" is mainly story & atmosphere-driven. Franco regular Howard Vernon (Dr. Orloff!) has a small but terrific role as the sneering executioner Ketch. Like another reviewer already stated, Vernon here strangely resembles Marty Feldman when he played Igor in "Young Frankenstein". Maria Rohm is enticing and beautiful as ever playing Mary or "that wench" as people insist on referring to her. "The Bloody Judge" is a good film that easily deserves a spot in my Jess Franco top five, alongside "The Diabolical Dr. Z", "The Awful Dr. Orloff", "Faceless" and "Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun".

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