Friday, July 22, 2011

The Bloody Judge (1970)

Horror will hold you helpless!

The Bloody Judge
Here come de judge!  For a Jess Franco movie, The Bloody Judge is surprisingly highbrow.  Sure, it still showcases an ample amount of torture and titties but it's nothing like his usual sleazy sexploitation films.  It's like a historical drama with more than a little exploitation added to spice things up.

Undoubtedly, this movie will draw comparisons to Michael Reeves's Witchfinder General which came out a couple of years before this one and if you're forced to choose between the two, I'd recommend the Vincent Price film.  But The Bloody Judge is still a pretty damn entertaining movie, in my opinion.

It should also be noted that I watched the 103 minute uncut version of this film, parts of which are in German with English subtitles (the naughty parts, that is).  There is a heavily cut American version known as Night of the Blood Monster which should be avoided if possible.

During the reign of King James II, Lord Chancellor Jeffries (Christopher Lee) has a wicked reputation as defender of the Crown and Church.   Without remorse, he sends anyone to be tortured and executed if they are accused of treason or witchcraft.

Alicia Grey is brought before Jeffries on charges of witchcraft.  He finds her guilty and has her burned alive.  It later comes to his attention that the son of Lord Wessex is having an affair with this dead "witch's" sister Mary (Maria Rohm), who is not only associated with witches but also of conspirators against the king.

Lord Wessex's son Harry is warned to leave this wench alone but he is in love and refuses.  He and Mary fight for the army of William of Orange but are captured and along with 500 of their fellow rebels are sentenced to death by Jeffries.   Will they escape? Will the rebels overthrow King James and his sadistic but loyal henchman, Lord Jeffries?  Yes, yes they will.

You can make a drinking game out of this movie by partaking of your beverage every time someone uses the word "wench," "slut," or... "taint."  There's not a lot of chivalry in The Bloody Judge.

Violence Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Booby Rating: 3.5 out of 5

"You simply must give me the name of your haberdashery"