From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Ruggero Deodato (born May 7 1939 in Potenza) is a controversial Italian film director, actor and screen writer, best known for directing horror films. Deodato is infamous for his 1980 film Cannibal Holocaust and its upcoming follow up Cannibals in 2009. In the late 80s he was also reported to direct Spider-man, but lost out when the company closed down, never making the Hollywood A-list of directors.
Deodato grew up in the neighborhood where Rome's film studios are located. It was there that he learned how to direct under Roberto Rossellini and Sergio Corbucci; he helped out on Corbucci's The Son of Spartacus and Django as an assistant director. Later on in the '60s, he directed around ten comedy, musical, and thriller films, before leaving cinema to do TV commercials. In 1976 he returned to the big screen with his ultra-violent police flick Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man.
In 1977 he directed what many consider (along with Cannibal Holocaust) to be his masterpiece; a jungle adventure called Ultimo Mondo Cannibale or Last Cannibal World (aka Jungle Holocaust) starring famed British actress Me Me Lai with which he 'rebooted' the cannibal film / mondo genre.
Late in 1979 he returned to the cannibal subgenre with his Cannibal Holocaust. Deodato caused massive controversy in Italy and the United Kingdom following the release of Cannibal Holocaust, which was wrongly claimed by some to be a genuine snuff film. Deodato was forced to reveal the secrets behind the film's special effects and to parade the lead actors before an Italian court in order to prove that they were still alive. Deodato also received controversy for the use of real animal torture in his films. Deodato's film license was then revoked and he would not get it back until three years later, which then allowed him to release his long forgotten 1978 thriller La casa sperduta nel parco / "House on the Edge of the Park", which was the most censored of the 'video nasties' in the United Kingdom for its graphic violence. His "Cut And Run" is a jungle adventure thriller, containing extreme violence and the appearance of Michael Berryman as a crazed, machete-wielding jungle man.
In the '80s he made some action films and also made some slasher/horror films, including "Phantom of Death", "Dial Help" and "Body Count". Not long after, he signed a deal with Cannon film to direct a big budget Spider-man movie adaption but he lost out when Cannon films closed down its operations. In the '90s he made TV movies and dramas to great success. Recently, he has made a cameo appearance in Hostel: Part II as a cannibal feasting on his victim’s leg.
Ruggero has made about two dozen films, as well as various TV series, his films covering many different genres, he has made many action films, a western, a barbarian film and even a family film called Mom, I can do it. He is one of the more well known directors in Italy today.
- Waves of Lust (1975)
- Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man (1976)
- Ultimo Mondo Cannibale (Last Cannibal World aka "Jungle Holocaust") (1977)
- The Concorde Affaire '79 (1979)
- The House on the Edge of the Park (1980)
- Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
- Raiders of Atlantis (1983)
- Cut And Run (Inferno in Diretta) (1985)
- Camping del Terrore (aka "Body Count") (1987)
- The Barbarians and Company (1987)
- The Phantom of Death (1988)
- Dial Help (1988)
- The Washing Machine (1993)
- Cannibals (2009)
- Hostel: Part II (2007) as a client