Franco was a director, writer, cinematographer, and actor, with his films usually falling under the category of horror, with heavy themes usually revolving around lesbian vampires, sadomasochism, zombies, surgical horror, and sexploitation. He also made soft and hardcore sex films, many of them containing elements from his genre films. Franco wasn't strictly limited to the world of horror, as he also filmed spy movies, science fiction, action, and war dramas.
Franco worked with actors like Howard Vernon, Christopher Lee, Soledad Miranda, Paul Müller, and Klaus Kinski, who famously hated directors, but got along with Franco rather well (by all accounts). Lina Romay would start working with Franco at age 17, and would continue to do so for four more decades, becoming his partner and muse during that time. They would finally be married in 2008. She was his most utilized actress and his soulmate until her passing last year after a losing battle with cancer (she was only 57).
|Lina Romay and Jess Franco in 2009|
His films are both macabre and low brow, which probably speaks to why he never found anything even resembling mainstream success. His films can be interpreted as having a jazz-like rhythm (getting back to Franco's love and background with jazz), even if the plot doesn't makes sense, making it seem like you're supposed to feel his movies, not necessarily always understand them.
Other notable (and presumably better) films of his include The Awful Dr. Orloff (1961), Venus in Furs (1968), Justine (1968), Count Dracula (1969), Eugenie...the story of her Journey into Perversion (1969), Vampyros Lesbos (1970), A Virgin among the Living Dead (1971), Bloody Moon (1981), and Faceless (1988).
You were a cult legend, Mr. Franco. RIP.