Today we lost a legend. A director, cinematographer, actor, producer, writer, musician and visionary force of euro cinema whose career has spanned seven decades. With too many films to mention in this small tribute, for me, Franco’s finest moments can be seen in Faceless, Women Behind Bars, Devil Hunter, Zombie Lake, Christina, Bloody Moon and then there was Les Demons. One of my favourite of his works was his unfinished Don Quixote (1955) which Orson Welles struggled with throughout his life, a project which fell into Franco’s hands as the only real candidate to complete the piece; it was a film which could have been a masterpiece.
Franco is renown as a pornographer a peddler of risqué skin films but his work stands out as much more than this. He captured character, life, emotion and heart though experimental film making away from the production houses, away from the constraints allowing full artistic control of the film to be held with the director. Working with great actors such a Klaus Kinski, Howard Vernon, Christopher Lee, and his beautiful muse Lina Romay in all genres of film, war, horror, crime, historical drama, nunsploitation, exorcism, you name it, Franco filmed it.
Franco had been working on what is now to become his final offering, Al Pereira vs the Alligator Women, a film i’ll be looking forward to watching, that said, the IMDB lists 199 titles to his name to keep me occupied.