Giannetto De Rossi – Rest in Peace

We have lost one of the premiere makeup artist from the movie world. Being one of thousands in the industry, to have your work literally change the face of a specific horror sub-genre, is something pretty damn amazing. Italian makeup and special effects man Giannetto De Rossi was one of them. This talent that showed us what putrefying flesh of the living dead should look like, passed away on Sunday, at the age of 78 years old.

Coming from a family in the industry, with both his father and grandfather working as makeup artist, it didn’t take long for Giannetto to realize that he was pretty good at it as well. He started working on films in his early 20s and never looked back. In 1974, working with Spanish director Jorge Grau, he created some unforgettable zombies, as well as some over-the-top gore effects in Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, which remain still impressive almost 50 years later. A few years later, he would create the look for the Italian zombie in Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (1979). Not only were there some incredible gore effects, but De Rossi made the zombies look scary as hell. With dirt packed faces, worms crawling on them, and plenty of the gooey red stuff, he made these creatures a walking nightmare, even before they clenched their teeth into your flesh.

But it didn’t stop there. Continuing to work with Fulci on The Beyond and House by the Cemetery, and many other now classic titles in the Italian horror genre, when you saw De Rossi’s name in the credits, you knew you were in for a treat. Even with a cheesy film like Killer Crocodile (1989), he amped up the entertainment value because of the red stuff. In 2003, he worked with French director Alexandre Aja on Haute Tension. No matter what you think of the ending, you can’t watch this and be in awe of the carnage on display during the running time, all thanks to De Rossi. The last film he is credited for is What Happened to Monday (2017) from Tommy Wirkola, who is best known for his Nazi zombie film Dead Snow (2009).

You may be gone, but the long and amazing work you gave us over your career will live on for generations to come, scaring new fans every year, and even still grossing them out! Gone, but never forgotten. Our thoughts to out to his friends and family during this difficult time.

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