MILAN, ITALY - DECEMBER 14: Director Ruggero Deodato winner of Luca Svizzeretto 2016 prize poses with the award at the Noir In Festival on December 14, 2016 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images)
“Cannibal Holocaust” director Ruggero Deodato passes away at 83
Ruggero Deodato, the Italian filmmaker famous for his gruesome 1980 horror film Cannibal Holocaust, about a documentary team who are killed while shooting footage of indigenous people in the Amazon,has died at the age of 83.
Italian newspaper Il Messagero reported his death.
Deodato’s early credits included working as assistant director on two 1966 spaghetti westerns directed by Sergio Corbucci: Django and Navajo Joe. He went on to direct the 1976 thriller Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man and, a year later, his first movie about cannibals, Last Cannibal World. He returned to the genre with Cannibal Holocaust, which the director shot in Colombia.
“I found myself at home alone with my son and we would watch the news together, which was terrible at the time,” Deodato said in an episode of the Shudder series Cursed Films devoted to the film. “So, at dinner, you’d see all the conflicts that were going on. The victims of the Red Brigade. It was continuous carnage, and you would see it all. Everything. All the time. So I came up with the idea of journalists who set off to make a documentary on what happens along the Amazon River. Their aim was to film as many atrocities as possible, and when there was nothing they would invent them.”
Following Cannibal Holocaust, Deodato directed several more horror films including 1986’s Body Count and 1988’s Phantom of Death, which starred Michael York and Donald Pleasence. The filmmaker also made a cameo, playing a cannibal, in Eli Roth’s 2007 horror sequel Hostel: Part II.