Yesterday (as of typing this obviously) the world of cinema lost another true hero, Jess Franco. I'm going to come right out and say it. I haven't even managed to watch a tiny fraction of Jess Franco's work and I wouldn't do my readers or Jess himself the injustice of claiming to have done so. If you want to read a much more informed and personal account of Mr. Franco I would suggest strongly you read Tim Lucas's touching and emotional posts here and here.
Love him or hate him, you can't deny that Jess Franco wasn't a hard worker. With literally hundreds of film credits under his belt all the way from directing, acting to being cinematographer and so many more jobs. The funny thing is, his IMDB Page is rather inaccurate as there are so many more projects out there that had some sort of Franco involvement! Not only was he one of the most hard working and ultra prolific figures in the world of film, Jess also was an accomplished jazz musician.
Sure, some of his films might be weak and might miss the mark but I implore you to say a bad word about a man who did what he wanted and never succumbed to major studio pressure. I implore you to say a bad word about a man who gave the world such beauties as Lina Romay. Yeah I thought as much.
I owe a very personal thanks to Jess because Mondo Squallido would just not exist without him or his work. 99 Women was the first film I reviewed for Mondo Squallido. I won't pimp that video out here but if you want to see it, it's on my Youtube page. It's figures like Jess that keep my film watching experience a exciting one. As I said, there are some stinkers in the filmography, there in MANY directors filmographies. You can have your "perfect" multimillion dollar budget blockbusters, that bores the Hell out of me! I want a film that was shot back to back with another film, I love corners being cut, I love the schlock and imperfections of the cinema from the likes of Jess.
Well, I'm going to close this little tribute. Like I said, my experience with Jess and his work is an ongoing one and thanks to the wonders of modern technology and independent DVD labels we are discovering, rediscovering and most importantly enjoying work from one of cinema's most hard working and well loved cult directors.
Thank you so much Jess for the joy you have given me with your films.