Thursday, December 15, 2011

Remembering Joe D'Amato

Aristide Massaccesi was born on December 15, 1936 in Rome, Italy. He was a prolific Italian filmmaker who directed roughly 200 films, usually at the same time acting as producer and cinematographer, and sometimes providing the script as well. While D'Amato contributed to many different genres such as the spaghetti western, war films, swashbucklers, peplum, and fantasy films, the majority of his films were exploitation-themed pornography, both soft- and hardcore. He is perhaps most well-known for his horror film efforts, many of which went on to become cult movies such as “Beyond the Darkness” (1979) and “Anthropophagous”, and for his hastily-produced remakes of popular American films like the the Ator series, based upon the Conan the Barbarian films. The poor production value of many of his films, combined with his expressed lack of concern for the production quality of his films as long as they proved profitable, have led him to be labeled as "The Evil Ed Wood," despite Massaccessi’s apparently amiable nature. He used many pseudonyms during his career but we know him best as Joe D’Amato. Joe was involved in 29 Euro-westerns as cinematographer, director, screenwriter and actor. Joe died on January 23, 1999 in Rome of a heart attack. Today we remember Joe D’Amato on what would have been his 75th birthday.

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