Stephen Thrower

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.

  • Murderous Passions, Revised And Expanded Edition, Volume 1

    Murderous Passions, Revised And Expanded Edition, Volume 1

    The Delirious Cinema of Jesús Franco

    Stephen Thrower and Julian Grainger

    Extensive coverage of film guru Jesús Franco's kinky horror films and career from 1953 to 1974.

    Jesús Franco was a fascinating, iconic guru in world cinema. A passionate believer in artistic and sexual freedom, he constantly tested the boundaries of taste and censorship during an extraordinary career spanning sixty years and more than 170 films. His delirious spontaneity turned the raw basics of popular cinema—sex and violence—into an avant-garde whirl of sensations.

    Franco's taste for the kinky and horrific, his idiosyncratic visual style, and his lifelong obsession with the Marquis de Sade, birthed a whole new strain of erotica. Films like Succubus, Vampyros Lesbos, A Virgin Among the Living Dead, and The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein throw out the rulebook and reinvent genre cinema, while even his weakest efforts exude something strange and wild amid the chaos. Meanwhile, multiple international variants turn the Franco filmography into a dizzying hall of mirrors, entrancing for the aficionado but confusing for beginners—until now.

    Originally published in 2015, Murderous Passions delves into Franco's career from 1953 to 1974 (a second volume, Flowers of Perversion, covers 1975 to 2013). Assisted by esteemed critic and researcher Julian Grainger, Stephen Thrower shines a light into the darkest corners of the Franco filmography, uncovering a wealth of new information. Unparalleled in scope and ambition, this revised and updated edition of Murderous Passions contains eighty more pages of images, many in colour, and a thorough index.

    • Hardcover $55.00
  • Flowers of Perversion, Volume 2

    Flowers of Perversion, Volume 2

    The Delirious Cinema of Jesús Franco

    Stephen Thrower

    The disturbing, exciting, and defiantly avant-garde films of Jesús “Jess” Franco, director of such films as Vampyros Lesbos and Lilian the Perverted Virgin.

    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.

    • Hardcover $55.00
  • Murderous Passions, Volume 1

    Murderous Passions, Volume 1

    The Delirious Cinema of Jesús Franco

    Stephen Thrower and Julian Grainger

    This book – the first in a two-volume set – delves into the first half of Franco's career and 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.

    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 over and over again, throughout an astonishingly varied career spanning sixty years. The director of more than 180 films, at his most prolific he reached a supercharged frenzy that yielded as many as twelve films per year, making him one of the most prolific filmmakers of all time.

    Franco was the winner of a Lifetime Achievement prize at the 2009 Spanish Goya Film Awards, but his appeal does not depend upon mainstream respect; instead fans around the world have embraced his cinema, first on video and then more and more frequently on DVD and Blu-Ray. Where once he was castigated for slapdash haste, many fans today not only accept but even revel in the rough edges of his work. His delirious improvisations and raw, punkish spontaneity turn the basics of popular cinema, sex and violence, into a whirl of sensations, a seductive and bewitching spectacle that could only be the work of one man.

    Franco's taste for the sexy and horrific, his lifelong obsession with the Marquis De Sade and his roving hand-held camera style birthed 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 first in a two-volume set – delves into the first half of Franco's career: from his avant-garde comedy Tenemos 18 años in 1959, through the groundbreaking surgical horror story The Awful Dr. Orlof and the art-horror masterpiece Necronomicon, to his grisly psycho-killer opus Exorcism in 1974. Ably 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, Murderous Passions brings Franco's career into focus in a landmark study that aims to provide the definitive assessment of Jess Franco's labyrinthine film universe.

    • Hardcover $55.00