The Bloody Judge ★★★★

The Bloody Judge is some prime Franco. It could be the best work but maybe not the best film from his soaring commercial career in the late 1960s. Its just as disturbing yet alternately beautiful. Its smart and not at all exploitative. It feels sincere to its historical influences and you can measure it favorably to Hollywood of the period or this current age. Its plot-themes are very pressing: a psychotic conservative authoritarian and probable secret society member who is persecuting the impoverished population he presides over. Scary stuff. This and the other Franco roles are Christopher Lee at his most effective as an actor and a scary "horror movie" presence. Highly recommended!