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. 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 is the acclaimed author of Beyond Terror: the Films of Lucio Fulci and the groundbreaking Nightmare USA: The Untold Story of the Exploitation Independents. He is widely regarded as one of the most authoritative historians of exploitation and underground cinema writing today. Julian Grainger has written for Shock Xpress and Sight and Sound, and is coauthor of Cannibal Holocaust and the Savage Cinema of Ruggero Deodato.