Some very sad news today, horror fans: director Ruggero Deodato, whose Cannibal Holocaust (1980) still stands as one of the most controversial films ever made, has passed away at the age of 83.

The filmmaker, whose work influenced everyone from Quentin Tarantino to Eli Roth to Oliver Stone, helmed dozens of films over the course of his decades-spanning career, but Cannibal Holocaust – with its real depictions of animal cruelty – remains his most infamous effort.

Within days of the film premiering in Milan, Deodato was slapped with obscenity charges. These charges were soon expanded to include murder, following persistent rumors that some of the actors’ onscreen deaths were not faked. The film was later banned in the UK, one of the 72 “video nasties” targeted by the British Board of Film Censors.

Other Deodato films include 1980’s The House on the Edge of the Park (a loose retelling of The Last House on the Left), 1987’s The Barbarians (featuring Peter and David Paul, also known as the Barbarian Brothers), and 1988’s Phantom of Death (which found Michael York going on a killing spree after a genetic condition causes him to age rapidly). The filmmaker also turned up in Eli Roth’s Hostel II, playing a character named – what else? – “The Italian Cannibal.”

Deodato’s influence on filmmaking, and specifically the horror genre, really cannot be overstated. Rest in peace, sir.

Similar Posts