Author(s): Stephen Thrower; Julian Grainger
Jesús "Jess" Franco is an iconic figure in world cinema. His sexually charged, fearlessly personal style of filmmaking has never been in vogue with mainstream critics, but for lovers of the strange and sado-erotic he is a magician, spinning his unique and disturbing dream worlds from the cheapest of budgets. In the world of Jess Franco freedom was the key, and he pushed at the boundaries of taste and censorship repeatedly, throughout an astonishingly varied career spanning sixty years. The director of more than 180 films, at his most prolific he worked in a supercharged frenzy that yielded as many as twelve titles per year, making him one of the most generative auteurs of all time. Franco's taste for the sexy and horrific, his lifelong obsession with the Marquis De Sade, and his roving hand-held camera style launched a whole new strain of erotic cinema. Disturbing, exciting, and defiantly avant-garde, films such as Necronomicon, Vampyros Lesbos, Virgin Among the Living Dead, and Venus in Furs are among the jewels of European horror, while a plethora of multiple versions, re-edits and echoes of earlier works turn the Franco experience into a dizzying hall of mirrors, further entrancing the viewer who dares enter Franco's domain. Stephen Thrower has devoted five years to examining each and every Franco film. This book -- the second in a two-volume set -- delves into the latter half of Franco's career, covering titles including Shining Sex, Barbed Wire Dolls, Swedish Nympho Slaves, and Lilian the Perverted Virgin. Assisted by the esteemed critic and researcher Julian Grainger, Thrower shines a light into the darkest corners of the Franco filmography and uncovers previously unknown and unsuspected facts about their casts, crews, and production histories. Unparalleled in scope and ambition, Flowers of Perversion brings Franco's career into focus with a landmark study that aims to provide the definitive assessment of Jess Franco's labyrinthine film universe.