Search a film or person :
Jesús Franco Manera is a Actor, Director, Scriptwriter, Producer, Assistant Director, Director of Photography, Editor, Sound and Makeup Effects Espagnol born on 12 may 1930 at Madrid (Espagne)

Jesús Franco Manera

Jesús Franco Manera
If you like this person, let us know!
Birth name Jesús Franco Manera
Nationality Espagne
Birth 12 may 1930 at Madrid (Espagne)
Death 2 april 2013 (at 82 years) at Málaga (Espagne)
Awards Goya Awards

Jesús "Jess" Franco (born Jesús Franco Manera; 12 May 1930 – 2 April 2013) was a Spanish film director, writer, composer, cinematographer and actor.

Franco started out in 1954 as an assistant director in the Spanish film industry, performing many tasks including composing music for some of the films as well as co-writing a number of the screenplays. He assisted a number of well-known directors such as Joaquin Romero Marchent, Leon Klimovsky and Juan Antonio Bardem. After working on more than 20 films, he decided to get into directing films in 1959, making a few musicals and a crime drama called Red Lips.

In 1960, Franco took a producer friend to a cinema to see the newly released Hammer horror film The Brides of Dracula and the two decided to get into the horror film business. His career took off in 1961 with his cult classic The Awful Dr. Orloff (aka Gritos en la noche), which received wide distribution in the United States and the UK. Franco wrote and directed Orloff, and even supplied some of the music for the film. In the mid-1960s, he went on to direct two other horror films, then proceeded to turn out a number of James Bond-like spy thrillers and softcore sex films based on the works of the Marquis de Sade (which remained one of his major influences throughout his career). Though he had some American box office success with Necronomicon (1967), Ninety-Nine Women (1968) and two 1969 Christopher Lee films — The Bloody Judge and Count Dracula — he never achieved wide commercial success.

After discovering the beautiful Soledad Miranda (he first used her in his Count Dracula), Franco moved from Spain to France in 1969 so that he could make more violent and erotic films, and it was at this point that his career began to go downhill commercially, as he turned to low-budget filmmaking with an accent on more adult material. Soledad starred in a series of 6 sexy thrillers for Franco, all made within a one-year period (including his cult classic Vampyros Lesbos), after which she was killed in a tragic automobile accident in Portugal in 1970. A year or two later, a grieving Franco discovered a new leading lady in the person of Lina Romay, and the two went on to live and work together for the next 40 years, churning out literally dozens of often sleazy, very low-budget movies.

Although he produced a number of relatively successful horror films in the early 70's (Dracula vs. Frankenstein, The Bare-Breasted Countess, A Virgin Among the Living Dead), many people in the industry considered him a porn director due to the huge number of X-rated adult films he began turning out. Franco returned to low-budget horror in a brief comeback period from 1980-1983 (Bloody Moon, Oasis of the Zombies, Revenge in the House of Usher), but after 1983, his career took a second downturn as he returned to making mostly pornographic films.

In his later years, he did however get the opportunity to turn out two rather big-budget horror films — Faceless (1988) and Killer Barbys (1996) — both of which showed what great work he could still do when his projects were adequately funded. The entirety of his work after 1996 was direct-to-video films of very low quality, none of which were distributed theatrically. Sadly, Lina Romay died of cancer in 2012, after which Franco died in April 2013 of natural causes at the age of 82.


Franco sometimes worked under various pseudonyms, including David Khune and Frank Hollmann. A big fan of jazz music (and a musician himself), many of his pseudonyms were taken from famous jazz musicians, such as Clifford Brown and James P. Johnson.

Franco's themes often revolved around lesbian vampires, women in prison, surgical horror, sadomasochism, zombies and sexploitation (including several films based on the writings of the Marquis de Sade). He also worked in other exploitation film genres, such as cannibal films, spy films, giallo, crime films, science fiction, jungle adventure, Oriental menace, exorcist films, war movies, historical dramas and nunsploitation. His sex movies often contained long, uninterrupted shots of nude women writhing around on beds. Most of his hardcore films starred his lifelong companion Lina Romay, who admitted in interviews to being an exhibitionist.

Franco was famous for his use of hand-held camera and zoom shots, which he felt lent realism to his films. He also was not averse to filming several movies at the same time, knocking together a second feature on the unsuspecting producer's dime. Many of his actors only found out years after the fact that Franco had starred them in films for which they had never been paid.

His main claim to fame, however, is that he managed to write and direct around 160 motion pictures in his lifetime, encompassing a wide swath of different genres, with practically no financial backing available to him. (Note* - Some sources which list as many as 200 titles in Franco's filmography are relisting the same films several times under different variant titles; the filmography on this page is completely accurate.)

In many ways, Franco was the European Ed Wood, in that he churned out an endless array of mostly bad movies filmed on shoestring budgets (using all kinds of schemes to obtain financing) and attracted a circle of bizarre but loyal actors and technicians who moved with him over the years from project to project (while receiving very little money for their efforts). Many of his actors were over the hill performers in the twilight of their careers, his actresses shameless exhibitionists. He frequently worked with genre actors Howard Vernon, Antonio Mayans, Paul Müller, Christopher Lee, Jack Taylor, Ewa Stromberg, Luis Barboo, Alberto Dalbes, Soledad Miranda, Maria Rohm, Anne Libert, Monica Swinn, Britt Nichols, Olivier Mathot, Daniel J. White (who also scored most of his films), William Berger, Montserrat Prous, Dennis Price, Vicky Adams, Analia Ivars, Kali Hansa, Pamela Stanford, Amber Newman, Rachel Sheppard, Alice Arno and Klaus Kinski; all of whom are well-known figures to cult film collectors.

Franco lost many of his colleagues in rapid succession in the 1990s: Klaus Kinski & composer Bruno Nicolai died in 1991; William Berger in 1993; Howard Vernon, Nicole Guettard (Franco's first wife) & producer Karl Heinz Mannchen all in 1996; his composer Daniel J. White followed in 1997, and the producer Marius Lesoeur died in 2003.

Relationship with Lina Romay
In 1969-70, Franco made a half-dozen films starring the Spanish beauty Soledad Miranda, and when she was killed in a tragic automobile accident in 1970, he took a 17-year-old actress named Lina Romay under his wing and made her his new star. Franco and Romay were partners for decades, although they were only officially married on 25 April 2008. Until her death in 2012 (taken by cancer at age 57), Lina Romay was his most often utilized actress, as well as his life companion, soulmate and muse.

Franco was married once before to a Nicole Guettard (their marriage apparently running approximately from 1962 through 1975)....Ms. Guettard being gradually replaced in Franco's life by Lina Romay. (Nicole worked as a script consultant on some of Franco's films while they were married, and even acted in a few of his films. Her daughter from an earlier marriage, Caroline Riviere, also acted in a few Franco films.)

Oasis of the Zombies
Franco was supposed to direct a film for Eurocine Productions in 1980 called Lake of the Living Dead (a horror film about revived Nazi zombies) but after submitting the script, he had a falling out with the producers, Marius and Daniel Lesouer, who immediately hired French horror film director Jean Rollin to direct it (later retitling it Zombie Lake). Many fans regard this as a Franco film, although Franco only contributed to the script. Rollin later said in interviews he only did the film as a favor for the Lesoeurs, and that if he knew "how bad" the script was, he wouldn't have done it.

The Lesoeurs later had Rollin direct some newly filmed zombie footage in 1981 to be added to Franco's A Virgin Among the Living Dead (1973) for its 1981 re-release. Recently, Franco purists insisted that "Virgin" be released in its former unadulterated form on DVD, as the added Jean Rollin footage greatly slowed down the pace of the film and was really only filler material.

Franco later directed another film for Lesouer called Oasis of the Zombies (aka Bloodsucking Nazi Zombies on VHS) in 1981, which had a plot very similar to Zombie Lake (also involving revived Nazi zombies). Franco simultaneously shot a variant version of Oasis of the Zombies (on the producers' dime) starring Lina Romay and his "regulars" which was apparently released only in Spain, under the title La Tumba de los Muertos Vivientes.

Franco suffered a severe stroke on 27 March 2013, and was taken to a hospital in Malaga, Spain, where he died early on the morning of 2 April. He was 82 years old. Smoking probably contributed greatly to the stroke, as Franco smoked about 3 cartons of cigarettes a week. Fans think he may have died of a broken heart, since he died only a year after losing his wife Lina Romay to cancer. Franco had been working on Revenge of the Alligator Women at the time, which is to be released posthumously.

Usually with

Lina Romay
Lina Romay
(19 films)
Howard Vernon
Howard Vernon
(21 films)
Daniel White
Daniel White
(13 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Jesús Franco Manera (64 films)

Display filmography as list


Rossa Venezia
Directed by Andreas Bethmann
Genres Erotic, Horror, Pornographic
Themes Films about sexuality, Erotic films
Actors Jesús Franco Manera, Lina Romay
Roles Jess Franco
Rating33% 1.6822851.6822851.6822851.6822851.682285
La jeune et jolie Baldassari vient de purger une peine de 10 ans de prison pour les meurtres sauvages de son mari et de la maîtresse de ce dernier. Elle a développé tout au long de sa captivité une haine sans limites envers les femmes et n'attend plus que sa libération pour commencer à nettoyer Venise de toutes celles qui vivent dans le péché de chair. La tueuse sadique impose à ses victimes les pires humiliations sexuelles et les tortures les plus atroces avant de les massacrer sans la moindre pitié.
Mari-Cookie and the Killer Tarantula, 1h30
Directed by Jesús Franco Manera
Genres Comedy, Horror
Themes Films about sexuality, Erotic films, Comedy horror films
Actors Lina Romay, Linnea Quigley, Carsten Frank, Michelle Bauer, Jesús Franco Manera, Amber Newman
Rating41% 2.0555752.0555752.0555752.0555752.055575
Née d'une union entre un marin alcoolique et une araignée, Mari-Cookie est stripteaseuse la nuit, et se transforme aussi en arachnide. Elle sème la terreur dans une petite station balnéaire.
Bloody Moon, 1h25
Directed by Jesús Franco Manera
Origin German
Genres Thriller, Horror, Slasher
Themes Films about sexuality, Erotic films, Serial killer films
Actors Olivia Pascal, María Rubio, Jesús Franco Manera
Roles Doctor (uncredited)
Rating53% 2.653752.653752.653752.653752.65375
Miguel, a young man with a horribly disfigured face, attempts to trick a girl into sex by pretending to be someone else. When this fails he brutally hacks up the young woman with a pair of scissors. After the crimes, Miguel is institutionalized at a mental asylum for five years.
Sadomania (1981)
, 1h42
Directed by Jesús Franco Manera
Origin German
Genres Drama, Erotic, Action, Adventure, Horror
Themes Medical-themed films, Prison films, Psychologie, Films about sexuality, Erotic films, Sexploitation films, LGBT-related films, Films about prostitution, Films about psychiatry, Women in prison films, Erotic thriller films, LGBT-related film, Lesbian-related films
Actors Ursula Buchfellner, Jesús Franco Manera
Roles Lucas
Rating48% 2.4115552.4115552.4115552.4115552.411555
A couple of newlyweds, Olga and Michael, are traveling along the desert and accidentally trespass on the property of Magda Urtado (Ajita Wilson), who is the director of a boot camp of sorts, where the women are treated as slaves and are half naked at all times. Magda keeps Olga in captivity while Michael is free to go, but later on in the film he plans an escape for Olga. She goes to work with the other girls out in the hot desert, and the rest of the film is a series of subplots, including in which a few of the workers are sent out to be hookers, one where a worker participates in a deadly game of cat and mouse, and one where the impotent Governor (Antonio Mayans, billed as Robert Foster) buys a couple of the workers to help him perform. There is also a scene where the Governor is finally able to have sex with his wife, but only while watching one of the females being raped by a dog. Director Jess Franco also stars in the movie as an obviously gay man.
Mondo Cannibale, 1h30
Directed by Jesús Franco Manera, Franco (Francesco) Prosperi
Genres Drama, Horror
Actors Al Cliver, Shirley Knight, Lina Romay, Jesús Franco Manera, Olivier Mathot, Pamela Stanford
Roles Mr. Martin
Rating32% 1.6364251.6364251.6364251.6364251.636425
The film follows a fathers attempt to rescue his teenage daughter from a tribe of man eating primitives who have made her their queen.
Ilsa, the Wicked Warden, 1h30
Directed by Jesús Franco Manera
Origin Suisse
Genres Drama, Erotic, Thriller, Horror
Themes Prison films, Films about sexuality, Erotic films, Sexploitation films, LGBT-related films, Women in prison films, LGBT-related film, Lesbian-related films
Actors Lina Romay, Dyanne Thorne, Jesús Franco Manera, Tania Busselier
Roles Dr. Milton Arcos
Rating46% 2.30922.30922.30922.30922.3092
Ilsa (Dyanne Thorne) works as the warden in a psychiatric hospital for young women. Unbeknownst to her, patient Abby is actually the sister of Rosa, one of the hospital's other patients. Abby has lied in order to get herself admitted in order to find out what has become of her sister and to hopefully rescue her. However she is also unaware that Ilsa uses the hospital's inmates to create pornography, often against their will. Abby finds herself at the mercy of Juanna, Ilsa's lover and leader of several of the hospital's inmates. Juanna tries hard to make Abby respond to her advances, but soon begins to exploit Abby after she refuses to become Juanna's lover.
Frauengefängnis, 1h21
Directed by Jesús Franco Manera
Genres Drama, Thriller, Horror, Crime
Themes Prison films, Films about sexuality, Erotic films, Sexploitation films, Women in prison films
Actors Lina Romay, Monica Swinn, Paul Müller, Jesús Franco Manera
Roles Maria's Father (uncredited)
Rating47% 2.3612652.3612652.3612652.3612652.361265
Cult director Jesus Franco's Swiss-West German production is a women's prison tale, with Lina Romay as Maria who is jailed after killing her father, played by director Jesus Franco, who tries to rape her. Lesbian wardens, torture, nudity, sex, insanity, conspiracy and a downbeat twist ending round out the formula.
L'Éventreur de Notre-Dame, 1h35
Directed by Jesús Franco Manera
Origin Espagne
Genres Erotic, Horror
Themes Films about religion, Films about sexuality, Erotic films, LGBT-related film, Lesbian-related films
Actors Jesús Franco Manera, Lina Romay, Monica Swinn, Olivier Mathot
Roles Mathis Vogel, aka Laforgue (as Jess Frank)
Rating43% 2.1723352.1723352.1723352.1723352.172335
Mathis Vogel, un prêtre défroqué et psychopathe, se met en tête de tuer toutes les personnes qui sont selon lui corrompues par la luxure.
Les Possédées du diable, 1h30
Directed by Jesús Franco Manera
Origin France
Genres Drama, Science fiction, Erotic, Thriller, Fantastic, Fantasy, Horror
Themes Films about magic and magicians, Films about sexuality, Erotic films, LGBT-related films, Witches in film, LGBT-related film, Lesbian-related films
Actors Pamela Stanford, Guy Delorme, Howard Vernon, Jacqueline Laurent, Jacqueline Laurent, Jesús Franco Manera
Rating59% 2.9527452.9527452.9527452.9527452.952745
Patrick, un homme d'affaires, prend sa femme Marianne et sa fille Linda en vacances. Lorna, une amie de Patrick, se présente le jour du 18e anniversaire de Linda et prend possession diaboliquement de l'âme et sexuellement du corps de la jeune fille.
Female Vampire, 1h30
Directed by Jesús Franco Manera
Origin France
Genres Erotic, Horror
Themes Films about magic and magicians, Films about sexuality, Erotic films, Sexploitation films, LGBT-related films, Vampires in film, LGBT-related film, Lesbian-related films
Actors Lina Romay, Jack Taylor, Jean-Pierre Bouyxou, Alice Arno, Jesús Franco Manera, Monica Swinn
Roles Dr. Roberts
Rating49% 2.4526952.4526952.4526952.4526952.452695
The plot revolves around Countess Irina von Karlstein (played by Lina Romay), a mute woman who needs sex like a vampire needs blood in order to stay alive forever. When new victims are found fatally drained of potency, forensic scientist Dr. Roberts consults his colleague, Dr. Orloff, who confirms that a vampire is responsible. Meanwhile, Irina is confronted by a poet who believes he is destined to become her lover and join her among the immortals.
A Virgin Among the Living Dead, 1h18
Directed by Jesús Franco Manera, Jean Rollin
Genres Horror
Themes Medical-themed films, Films about sexuality, Erotic films, Zombie films, Films about viral outbreaks, Disaster films
Actors Howard Vernon, Carmen Yazalde, Anne Libert, Alice Arno, Jesús Franco Manera, Paul Müller
Roles Basilio (as Jesus Manera)
Rating47% 2.3564452.3564452.3564452.3564452.356445
A woman arrives from England to visit her estranged relatives in a small castle for the reading of her dead father's will, she eventually discovers that they are all undead and her decision to live with them turns into a nightmare. She learns that the Queen of the Night has claimed her father's eternal soul because he had committed suicide. Jess Franco himself played a co-starring role in this film as a mindless cretin named Basilio who walks the corridors talking in gibberish to a severed chicken's head.
Eugénie de Sade, 1h31
Directed by Jesús Franco Manera
Origin France
Genres Drama, Erotic, Thriller
Themes Films about sexuality, Erotic films, LGBT-related film, Lesbian-related films
Actors Soledad Miranda, Maria Rohm, Marie Liljedahl, Christopher Lee, Jesús Franco Manera, Jack Taylor
Roles Attila Tanner
Rating58% 2.945952.945952.945952.945952.94595
Eugénie, une belle mais très timide jeune fille, vit avec son beau-père, un écrivain célèbre spécialisé dans la littérature érotique. Un jour, en lisant un de ses livres, elle tombe amoureuse de lui...
Le Journal intime d'une nymphomane
Directed by Jesús Franco Manera
Genres Erotic
Themes Films about sexuality, Erotic films, Films about prostitution, Erotic thriller films
Actors Howard Vernon, Jacqueline Laurent, Anne Libert, Jesús Franco Manera
Roles le commissaire Hernández
Rating60% 3.0054653.0054653.0054653.0054653.005465
Ortiz est entraîné par une prostituée, Linda Vargas, qui après une nuit de sexe se suicide pendant le sommeil de son client. Accusé du meurtre, Ortiz est arrêté et emprisonné. L'enquête faite par Rosa Ortiz, son épouse, retrace la vie de Linda Vargas et l'histoire de sa déchéance. Au fil de cette enquête, les raisons de son suicide sont mises en évidence et maintiennent la thèse du désir d'accuser le suspect aux yeux de la justice.
La Fille de Dracula, 1h22
Directed by Jesús Franco Manera
Origin France
Genres Erotic, Horror
Themes Films about magic and magicians, Films about sexuality, Erotic films, LGBT-related films, Vampires in film, LGBT-related film, Lesbian-related films
Actors Carmen Yazalde, Howard Vernon, Jesús Franco Manera, Anne Libert, Daniel White, Lina Romay
Roles Cyril Jefferson
Rating50% 2.516022.516022.516022.516022.51602
Une jeune femme rend visite à sa grand-mère gravement malade à la propriété familiale. Sur son lit de mort, la vieille femme révèle à sa petite-fille la malédiction familiale: ils sont tous des vampires. La jeune femme décide d'aller voir dans la propriété de son oncle et de son cousin, elle se retrouve victime de la malédiction...