Murderous Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesús Franco by Stephen Thrower with Julian Grainger
Hardcover – Strange Attractor Press – Jan 2020 – 512 pages
Jesús Franco was a fascinating, icon of world cinema. A passionate believer in artistic and sexual freedom, he constantly tested the boundaries of taste and censorship during an extraordinary career spanning sixty years and more than 170 films.
His delirious spontaneity turned the raw basics of popular cinema – sex and violence – into an avant-garde whirl of sensations. Franco’s taste for the kinky and horrific, his idiosyncratic visual style, and his lifelong obsession with the Marquis de Sade, birthed a whole new strain of erotica.
Films like Succubus, Vampyros Lesbos, A Virgin Among the Living Dead and The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein throw out the rulebook and reinvent genre cinema, while even his weakest efforts exude something strange and wild amid the chaos. Meanwhile, multiple international variants turn the Franco filmography into a dizzying hall of mirrors, entrancing for the aficionado but confusing for beginners – until now.
Originally published in 2015, Murderous Passions delves into Franco’s career from 1953 to 1974 (a second volume, Flowers of Perversion, covers 1975 to 2013). Assisted by esteemed critic and researcher Julian Grainger, Thrower shines a light into the darkest corners of the Franco filmography, uncovering a wealth of new information. Unparalleled in scope and ambition, this revised and updated edition of Murderous Passions contains eighty more pages of images, many in colour, and a thorough index.