Jorge Grau – filmmaker

Jorge Grau – born Jorge Grau Solá, 27 October 1930 – 26 December 2018 – was a Spanish director, scriptwriter, playwright and painter. Like Vicente Arana (The Blood Spattered Bride), Grau was a protege of the Barcelona School and his early works were art films such as Noche de verano (Summer Nights), Una historia de amor (A Love Story) and Acteón, plus documentaries.

In July 1972, Grau co-wrote and directed Ceremonia sangrienta (aka Legend of Blood Castle and The Female Butcher), starring Lucia Bosé as the infamous Erzebeth Bàthory, whom it was alleged killed as many as 650 young women between 1585 and 1609.

Jorge Grau: “Someone told me the story of Countess Bàthory and it made a great impression on me. It seemed like a feminine version of Faust… I wanted to make a film of it, not necessarily a horror film but a human drama. But the producers saw it as a horror film and wouldn’t accept my justification that it was an intimate drama.” Shivers, July 2000

In April and May 1974, Grau travelled to Northern England and filmed the ecological zombie film Non profanar el sueño de los meurtos (aka Let Sleeping Corpses Lie; The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue and Don’t Open the Window).

“When I head the script, it seemed so well-written, so clean, so good, but what I did was to introduce my vision of things. The ecological theme seemed a good idea to Sandro [Continenza] and he altered the script a little; he didn’t need to do much to it. It’s something that we are seeing today – mad cows in England, contaminated chickens in Belgium. We are poisoned by a progress which doesn’t consider the consequences.” Shivers, July 2000

Jorge Grau carried on making films in a variety of genres such as comedy and drama until 1994 with Tiempos mejores. However, he will be best remembered for his aforementioned notable contributions to the horror genre.

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