April 2, 2013

Jesus "Jess" Franco (dir. Oasis of the Zombies): 1930-2013

The world of exploitation film has lost one of its most prolific figures today.  News is now circulating that Spanish filmmaker Jess Franco died this morning of heart complications. He was 82.

Under the name Jess Franco, and countless other pseudonyms, Franco has over 200 films to his credit in the erotic-horror B-movie genre. Although he was director of the infamously horrible Nazi zombie film Oasis of the Zombies, don't look to Oasis as a testament to Franco's skills. Certainly, many of his films were workman-like and uninspired, but then again films like The Awful Dr. Orloff, Vampyros Lesbos, and A Virgin Among the Living Dead are widely held as testaments to his gift at creeping people out and turning them on. Fanco was indisputably one of the most crucial figures in the 60s-70s horror boom in Spain.