Ruggero Deodato director of “Cannibal Holocaust” and “The Lost House in the Park” has died

Roger Deodatusdirector of one of the most controversial films ever, the infamous Cannibal Holocaust, passed away at the age of 83. Legendary horror director who inspired/influenced filmmakers of the caliber of Oliver Stone, Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth, had been nicknamed “Monsieur Cannibal” thanks to films such as the aforementioned “Cannibal Holocaust”, the second chapter of a horror trilogy on cannibals that began with Last cannibal world (1977) and concluded with Hell live (1985).

Ruggero Deodato was born on May 7, 1939 in Potenza, Italy, and grew up near Rome. One of his close friends at the time was Renzo Rossellini, son of the famous director Roberto Rossellini, who persuaded him to work as a second unit director in some of his father’s productions. From 1958 to 1967 Deodato worked as second unit director for various cult directors such as Anthony M. Dawson (Antonio Margheriti), Riccardo Freda and Joseph Losey. Deodato’s directorial debut came in 1964 with the peplum Ursus the terror of the Kyrgyz to replace Margheriti who had abandoned the production. Deodato begins to make a name for himself thanks to the spaghetti western Django (1966) of which he directs the second unit, and two years later, we are in 1968, we find him at the helm of four genre films: the adventure film Gungala the naked panther and the policeman Fenomenal and the treasure of Tutankhamenboth signed with the pseudonym Roger Rockefeller and the musicarelli Women… beatings and bersaglieri and Holidays on the Costa Smeralda both starring Little Tony, on the set of the second film the director Ruggero Deodato meets the actress Silvia Dionisio with whom, shortly after, he will get married.

In 1969 Deodato directed Paolo Villaggio, Lino Toffolo, Enrico Montesano and Oreste Lionello in the western parody The four of the pater noster and returns to collaborate with the producer and actor Nicola Mauro Parenti, already protagonist in “Fenomenal and the treasure of Tutankamen”, for the adventure film Zenabel which turned out to be a huge box-office flop. From 1971 to 1975 Deodato worked in television, directing the series At the last minute (1971) and television commercials, including those for Esso Oil, Band-Aid and Fanta. Deodato then returns to the cinema with an erotic melodrama (Wave of pleasure, 1975) and a police thriller (Men are born policemen are killed, 1976). In 1977 Deodato directs the infamous Last cannibal world (1977) and later Cannibal Holocaust (1980) which will become a case for censorship; the same year it comes out The house lost in the park (1980), a low-budget thriller-horror filmed in New York in 19 days, conceived as part of the “rape & revenge” genre and inspired by the controversial The last house on the left (1972) by West Craven.

From 1983 to 1987 Deodato ranges in genres and realizes in order: The Raiders of Atlantis (1983) post-apocalyptic adventure with a nod to Indiana Jones; concludes the cannibals trilogy with Hell live (1985), where he replaces the original director Wes Craven and directs in a small supporting role Eriq La Salle, the future Dr. Peter Benton of ER – Doctors on the front line; accomplish Terror camping (1986), a thriller-horror that nods to the classic Friday the 13th and directs bodybuilding brothers Peter and David Paul in the action fantasy The Barbarians (1987) .

In 1988 Deodato made three films: he tried his hand at yellow with An uncommon crime (1988) starring Michael York, Edwige Fenech and Donald Pleasence; directs Frank Miles O’Keeffe of the films Tarzan, the ape man and Ator the invincible in the action adventure Lone Runner – The treasure chest of a thousand diamonds (1988) and returns to horror, this time with supernatural digression, directing Threat of love (1988) starring the English actress Charlotte Lewis, back from the success of the fantasy comedy The Golden Child in which he had partnered Eddie Murphy.

After a couple of works for the small screen, in 1992 Deodato returns to the cinema with drama Mom, I’ll take care of it which follows a little boy who tries to help his mother who is wrongly arrested for smuggling and searches for the real culprit by joining a group of street kids. In 1993 he directed some episodes of the popular TV series The Wall Boys and the same year his detective horror was released Deadly vortex following a police detective investigating the murder of a man found dismembered in a washing machine. In 1997 Deodato directs Bud Spencer and the Philip Michael Thomas of Miami Vice in the TV series We are not angels and in 2002 he collaborated again with Bud Spencer for the TV film Father Speranzato. In 2016 a fleeting return to horror with Ballad in Blood about three friends who wake up the day after Halloween in an apartment and find one of their roommates dead, the cast includes Rebecca Di Maio, Roger Garth and Ernesto Mahieux. Ruggero Deodato’s latest work dates back to 2019, the director directs “Casetta sperduta di campagna”, an episode of the horror anthology Deathcembera collection of 24 films that take a look at the dark side of the holiday season, between the directors of the American Lucky McKee (The Woman) and the Scottish Pollyanna McIntosh (Darlin’).

Ruggero Deodato director of “Cannibal Holocaust” and “The Lost House in the Park” has died