The man that showed us the power of cinema, Ruggero Deodato, passed away yesterday at the age of 83. While he had directed 36 films, he worked in just about every genre out there. But it was his 1980 film Cannibal Holocaust that brought him international fame. While I am not a fan of it personally, no one could argue how powerful of a film it is. He would go on to direct other horror films such as Cut and Run (1984), Body Count (1986), and Phantom of Death (1987). In the last couple of decades, he was no stranger to the convention circuit, even here in the US, and always seemed to just love the attention. While his English wasn’t that great, he was extremely friendly and loved to meet his fans. You can tell that by the number of photos with fans that were posted on social media over the last few hours, with everybody saddened by the news.
But his fame and notoriety will continue to live on as long as people still talk Cannibal Holocaust, which they will for decades to come. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this difficult time. Rest in Peace.
John Steiner is another name that most might not know, but if you’re a fan of Italian cinema, then you will know his work. With a man close to 100 credits to his name in less than 25 years is pretty impressive. But also add the fact that he worked with many talented people and directors, including 4 iconic names in the Italian film industry. He worked with Lucio Fulci several times, in the early ’70s, such as in both of the White Fang films, Mario Bava in his last film, Shock (1977), Dario Argento’s Tenebrae (1982), and Ruggero Deodato’s Cut and Run (1984). Hell, he was even the main bad guy in Yor: Hunter from the Future (1983)!!! Needless to say, he is in a lot of our favorite films.
Unfortunately, it was reported that Steiner died in a car accident on Sunday, July 31st. As the years go by, the longer you have been a fan of cinema, we see more and more leave this part of their journey. But because we are fans, we know that because of their film legacy, they will live on and on, each time we bust out one of their titles. So now is the time to do just that. Break out Tenebrae or even Yor, sit back and enjoy Steiner’s work with a smile and remember.
Our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.
From the producers of the In Search of Darkness documentaries comes a new one that looks to be just amazing! Nightmare Industry is a new documentary coming out soon that is going to cover the Italian horror film industry. With Phillip Escott and Eugenio Ercolani as the co-directors and producers, I have a great feeling that this is going to be essential viewing. According to Escott, they want to “tell the ultimate story about Italian horror cinema.” He also states that their goal for this project is for fans to learn something, which has my support right there! Escott said “I want them to be entertained. I want them to have fun, because that’s what Italian horror cinema is all about. But I also want them to walk away enlightened. I want them to learn. A lot about what went into making these incredible movies.”
Darkening the Italian Screen
Published by McFarland, 2019. 334 pages
By Eugenio Ercolani
As fans of Italian genre films, we all know the names of Argento, Bava, Soavi, and (hopefully) Freda. But there were so many that worked in the industry in the ’60s through the ’80s, that so many get lost in the shuffle. Maybe we’ve heard of them, or maybe we know a movie or two they did, but that’s it. That is what I love about this book, that it brings light to more than a few people that had connections to some of the films we love, but maybe didn’t know as much about them.
Going through the list of names interviewed in this book, there were a few that I was familiar with, such as Umberto Lenzi, Ruggero Deodato, Enzo G. Castellari, and Sergio Martino. But even with these guys, there were plenty of interesting and sometimes downright amazing stories to be learned within these pages, especially when we learn about their beginnings in the industry. Other names like Alberto De Martino or Mario Caiano, I was somewhat familiar with, but not a lot. Then there were names that I wasn’t as familiar with at all, such as Giulio Petroni or Franco Rossetti. But the great thing about if you’ve been a fan of the Italian film genre for any length of time, you will have at least heard of the films they are talking about, if you haven’t seen them already. Continue reading