My Top 20 Jess Franco films…
I’ve decided to post my top 20 Jess Franco films in order of preference. #1 is NECRONOMICON aka SUCCUBUS, the 1967 slice of erotic horror drenched in psychedelic atmosphere, filled with surreal visions woven into a delirious plot involving a demon (Michel Lemoine) using an S&M performance artist (former model and then wife of Lemoine, Janine Reynaud) to collect the souls, after seducing and murdering their bodies, of fallen humans. This was Franco’s first film shot totally outside of Spain, in Lisbon and Germany and was produced by W. German actor-singer-producer-director Adrian Hoven (MARK OF THE DEVIL 2), who also appears in the film. I hope that the longer German language version gets a HD presentation with English subtitles sooner than later. This version played theatrically in New York City in 1969 when the English dub premièred.
I prefer this German language version because it has some footage not in any of the previous US video/DVD versions, which were all transferred from the awkwardly dubbed English language version, featuring annoying and distracting voice casting, pretentious added dialogue and a s lightly different score. For example, some of the dialogue of the mysterious character played by Michel Lemoine was added to the English version post production whereas he’s a mostly silent presence in the German edit. Most importantly, this version contains a long stretch of end music to serenade the audience as they leave this fever dream and perhhat the oneiric quality of the film will permeate the rest of the evening. Fritz Lang was an admirer of NECRONOMICON, which was Jess Franco’s breakaway from the Spanish censors who had plagued his career. It projected him into a more international career making higher budgeted films with more prominent stars for producer Harry Alan Towers.
(C) Robert Monell, 2015