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  • Eric J. Cullen

Ruggero Deodato Director Of 'Cannibal Holocaust' Has Passed Away

Updated: Jan 12

Famed and controversial director, Ruggero Deodato, passed away yesterday in Rome, after complications with pneumonia. The director, most known for his unsettling cult classic of a film, Cannibal Holocaust, was 83 at the time of his passing.



Born in Potenza, a community in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata, in May of 1939, Ruggero Deodato would become a musician in his childhood, later finding a love of film in his later teens and early adulthood.


After learning how to direct from Roberto Rossellini and Sergio Corbucci, Ruggero Deodato would create films in all kinds of genres such as comedy, musicals, and thrillers, before taking a hiatus to do television commercials. In the late 1970s, Ruggero Deodato would start down a path of film making that would cement his name in the horror genre.



In 1977 came the release of Deodato's Last Cannibal World. The film would reboot the cannibal film genre that had started with Umberto Lenzi's Man From Deep River. In 1979, Deodato would begin work on the film he would most be known for, Cannibal Holocaust. Released the next year in February of 1980, Cannibal Holocaust would go on to be one of the most controversial films of all time, with Ruggero Deodato having to appear in Italian court, along with the film's actors, to prove that the film was in fact not a snuff film.


Throughout the 1980s and the 1990s, Ruggero Deodato would continue to push the boundaries with his films. Often described as "video nasties", Deodato's films would never shy away from extreme violence, gore, or nudity.


Still considered a controversial director, even to this day, Ruggero Deodato will go down in horror history as the man that inspired some of the greatest horror we have come to love today, films like Hostel and the Saw franchise come to mind, and would probably still be some years off if not for the films created by Ruggero Deodato; may he rest in peace.

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