The Bloody Judge (1970)

The Bloody Judge (1970)

Released: 1970
Genre: Animation, Genre, Horror
Director: Jesús Franco
Starring: Leo Genn, Maria Schell, Christopher Lee, ,
Run time: 91 min
IMDb: 5.2/10
Country: Italy
Views: 165626

Synopsis

Storyline:
Unaware of the torture that takes place in the dungeons, Judge Jeffries condemns women as witches and rebels as traitors on a regular basis. A sister of one of the condemned prisoner approaches the judge for clemency but is rejected when she doesn’t give in to the lust of the judge. She joins the gang of the rebels to bring the judge to justice.
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User Reviews: Jess Franco’s "Il Trono di fuoco" aka. "The Bloody Judge" of 1970 is one of a bunch of early 70s exploitation flicks inspired by the success of Michael Reeves’ 1968 masterpiece "Witchfinder General" (starring the great Vincent Price). People familiar with Jess Franco’s cinema might expect an immensely sleazy and gruesome film that mainly takes place in torture chambers, but the film is actually tame for what one might expect. Even though there are a bunch of very brutal scenes, the level of sleaze and violence is quite low for a Jess Franco film, and the film is not even nearly as nasty as other popular ‘Hexploitation’ films of the time, such as the ultra-gruesome "Mark Of The Devil" from the same year. Equally surprising is the budget that was obviously quite high for Jess Franco standards, as realistic costumes and nice settings are provided.

Horror icon Christopher Lee, who worked with Jess Franco on several occasions, plays Lord George Jeffreys, the infamous and merciless judge and Lord Chancellor in England torn by strife between the reigning King James II and William of Orange. Convincend of doing what’s necessary, the cruel judge mercilessly persecutes ‘traitors’, who sympathize with the King’s opponent William of Orange, as well as ‘witches’, who are accused of being in league with the devil…

Christopher Lee is, as always, great in his role as the merciless judge (who is based on the infamous real-life ‘hanging-judge’ George 1st baron Jeffreys). Beautiful Maria Rohm, who starred in many Franco-highlights, most memorably in "Venus in Furs" and "Count Dracula", plays the female lead here, and she fits in her role very well. Jess Franco-fans will also recognize another regular in his films, Howard Vernon, who plays the executioner. Another great enrichment to the film is the great score by Bruno Nicolai. Jess Franco, one of the most prolific directors ever, has directed a bunch of absolutely awesome films, as well as total stinkers. "The Bloody Judge" is definitely one of his better films (even though, in my opinion, not one of his masterpieces), and a more than decent historical horror film. Highly recommended!

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