Jean Rollin

Born:  November 3, 1938, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris

Jean RollinFrance’s sole horror author Rollin Prefers the label ‘fantastic’ to describe His erotic, rhyming, manifestly personal work. Typified by wistful lesbian vampires and a narcotic narrative drive, use His movies gothic paraphernalia to ponder the mysteries of death and paired desires. They are aussi Thoroughly Gallic, blending the melancholy romance of the poetic realists play with the generic of the  new wave. Meagre Budgets accentuate surreal sensibility, with fetishtically attired sighted players amid derelict locations.

His freeform monochrome RAPE OF VAMPIRE beginning fluke Attracted Attention by opening in Paris at the height of  things to do. Originally Intended as a short, it boasts a second half oneirically That has cast resurrects killed at the end of the first.

– David Prothero from BFI Companion to Horror edt. Kim Newman, 1996.

“The fantastic is the opposite of the supernatural” – Jean Rollin.

What he wants is to Introduce the fantastic Elements into the everyday world, to push it up to the normal Becomes the super-normal.
The key to this is the establishment of an atmosphere in qui anything could happen – and frequently does. His movies are based around pictures and sequences of images, not around the logical point-by-point-of-exposure screenplay. The genesis of Many de son is a movie instead That Particular attention has catches his or specific image. Other pictures Then follow, and the screenplay is Often an exercise in linking the pictures come That Formed almost ready to His Mind.

“A grandfather clock is of no interest – a vampire woman getting out of this clock at midnight, that’s me!” – Jean Rollin. Which is not to say que la Stories In His movies are unimportant. They are essential in helping to Elements create a mood, giving strength to the introduction of addition Elements That Move the plot is next to icts course. Without the narrative, the pictures Would Lack focus. In THE THRILL OF THE VAMPIRES, for example, There Is a szene Where the vampire, Dominique, at midnight Emerges from inside a grandfather clock. The szene HAS narrative and dramatic sense, and is a startling picture in Itself; goal if the movie consisted of nothing HAD goal Such moments the emotional impact of Them Would Be Lost. It’s the poetry inherent in thesis scenes That Rollin wants to cultivate, not the shock value of em. His ideal is to find pictures That are strong enough in Themselves to need no rational explanation final. To _him_, the need to explain takes away the power of the images.


2010 – The Mask of Medusa 
2007 –  Night clocks
2002 –  Bride of Dracula
1997 –  The two orphan vampires
1994 –  The scent of Mathilde  (uncredited)
1993 –  Killing Car
1991 –  In pursuit of Barbara  (uncredited)
1990 –  The Claw of Horus  (TV movie)
1989 –  Lost in New York
1988 –  Emmanuelle 6  (uncredited)
1985 –  Do not take chickens for pigeons  (as Michel Gentil)
1984 –  The sidewalks of Bangkok
1983 –  anal Folies  (as Robert Xavier)
1983 –  Sodomanie  (as Robert Xavier)
1982 –  The Living Dead
1982 –  Gender Dreams  (as Robert Xavier)
1981 –  The lake of the Living Dead  (as JA Laser)
1981 –  The early morning clueless
1980 –  The Night of the hunted
1979 –  Penetrations vicious  (as Michel Gentil)
1979 –  lascivious and pornographic Bouches  (as Robert Xavier)
1979 –  Gamines heat  (as Robert Xavier)
1979 – I Fascination
1978 –  Discosex  (as Robert Xavier)
1978 –  The Grapes of Death
1978 –  Hyperpénétrations  (as Robert Xavier)
1978 –  parted lips  (as Michel Gentil)
1978 –  Small immodest residents  (as Michel Gentil)
1978 –  Fill me … the 3 holes  (as Robert Xavier)
1977 –  Phantasmes
1977 –  Danish Positions  (as Michel Gentil)
1977 –  Sexual Vibrations  (as Michel Gentil)
1977 –  Hard Penetration  (as Michel Gentil)
1977 –  Jumps over me  (as Michel Gentil)
1976 –  The Countess Ixe  (as Michel Gentil)
1976 –  Sweet penetrations  (as Michel Gentil)
1975 –  Suck my vampire  (as Michel Ghent)
1974 –  Demonic
1974 –  Everyone he has two  (as Michel Gentil)
1974 –  Lips of Blood
1973 –  Christina, erotica Princess  (dream sequence)
1973 –  Virgins and Vampires
1973 –  Young girls shameless  (as Michel Gentil)
1973 –  The Iron Rose
1971 –  The thrill of vampires
1970 –  The naked vampire
1968 –  Rape of the Vampire
1965 –  Countries far  (short)
1964 –  Living in Spain  (documentary short)
1963 –  The marine route
1961 –  Copper Sky  (short)
1958 –  Yellow love  (short)
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Mario Bava

Born: July 31, 1914, San Remo, Italy

Mario BavaItalian director and cinematographer, he learned his craft by assisting his father Eugenio Bava, a former cameraman who headed the Instituto Luce’s optical effects department. Bava became a director of photography in 1939 and shot films by Roberto Rossellini, G.W. Pabst and Raoul Walsh.

Bava collaborated with Riccardo Freda on I, VAMPIRI (1957), the first Italian horror film of the sound era, initially as cameraman and optical effects designer, then directing half the film in only two days when Freda abandoned the film. In 1959, Freda intentionally tricked Bava into finishing Caltiki, the Immortal Monster. This led to his screen directorial debut, LA MASCHERA DEL DEMONIO (Black Sunday – 1960) based on the Nikolai Gogol story “Vij” (1835) and is a perfect conglomeration of nightmare and fairytale, parlaying the haunted forest ambience of Universal and the graphic violence of Hammer into something uniquely Italian.

The following three films showed Bava at the height of his creative powers. LA FRUSTA E IL CORPO (The Whip and the Body – 1963) cast Dahlia Lavi and Christopher Lee in a vertiginously romantic period film about a masochist haunted by the ghost of her whip-wielding lover. I TRE VOLTI DELLA PAURA (Black Sabbath – 1963), a three-part anthology which gave Karloff his last great horror role was often cited by Bava as his own personal favourite, and SEI DONNE PER L’ASSASSINO (Blood and Black Lace – 1964) is the first great giallo, a deleriously colourful, nakedly sadistic whodunit about fashion models being murdered by a maniac in search of an incriminating diary.

With TERRORE NELLO SPAZIO (Planet of the Vampires – 1965), in which members of an exploratory space mission are physically invaded by the disembodied spirits of an alien race, Bava achieved a successful fusion of SF and Horror and was a major influence on the 1979 film, Alien. After the disastrous LE SPIE VENGONO DAL SEMIFREDDO (Dr Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs – 1966), he rebounded with OPERAZIONE PAURA (Kill Baby Kill – 1966) a low-budget, gothic masterpiece about villagers haunted by the ball bouncing ghost of a little girl, whose apparition compels them to commit suicide. Oedipal and unsettling, with unexpected sequences of Escher-like dislocations of time and space, the film was an influence on later films by Fellini, Scorsese and Lynch.

In 1968 Bava was approached by Dino De Laurentiis to film DANGER: DIABOLIK, the biggest assignment of his career. Budgeted at $3,000,000, DIABOLIK was completed for only $400,000. In 1969 Bava directed the darkly comic UN’ACCETTA PER LA LUNA DI MIELE (Hatchet for the Honeymoon) in Barcelona, followed by CINQUE BAMBOLE E LA LUNA D’AGOSTO (Five Dolls for an August Moon – 1970). He then impishly extended, even obliterated, the frontiers of the sub-genre with L’ECOLOGIE DEL DELITTO (Twitch of the Death Nerve – 1971), a diabolical black comedy which boasts 13 characters and 13 outrageously splashy murders. Reviled at the time of its release, it proved prophetic when the imitative Friday the 13th (1980) launched a new generation of “body count’ movies.

GLI ORRORI DEL CASTELLO DI NORIMBERGA (Baron Blood – 1972) was followed by the extraordinary IL DIAVOLO E IL MORTO (Lisa nd the Devil – 1973). Based on memories of growing up among his fathers sculptures, dialogue borrowed from Dostoevsky and an unrealised project about necrophile Viktor Ardisson, IL DIAVOLO E IL MORTO unfolds like a waking dream, following disorinted heroine Elke Sommer through a time-suspended labyrinth of love, sex and violent death. When the film proved unsaleable at the 1973 Cannes Festival, Bava re-made the film as LA CASA DELL’ESORCISMO (The house of Exorcism – 1975), a bewildering Exorcist rip-off. This served its purpose, easing the original out of the red, and has been forgoten, while LISA E IL DIAVOLO has resurfaced on video and DVD to an overdue audience of admirers.

He found it harder and harder to find directorial assignments after turning 60, and several green-lighted projects also turned unlucky. Troubled by his fathers inactivity, son Lamberto Bava (his assistant since 1966) scripted what proved to be his final feature, SHOCK (1977), the harrowing story of a woman’s mental collapse after returning to the house she once lived with her late, drug-addicted husband. Bava died of a heart attack at age 66.


1979 – La Venere d’Ille (TV movie)

1977 – Schock

1974 – Cani arrabbiati

1974 – Lisa e il diavolo (also as Mickey Lion)

1972 – Quante volte… quella notte

1972 – Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga

1971 – Reazione a catena

1970 – Roy Colt e Winchester Jack

1970 – Il rosso segno della follia

1970 – 5 bambole per la luna d’agosto

1968 – L’odissea (TV mini-series) (episode “Polifemo”)

1968 – Diabolik

1966 – Le spie vengono dal semifreddo

1966 – Operazione paura

1966 – I coltelli del vendicatore

1966 – Ringo del Nebraska (uncredited)

1965 – Terrore nello spazio

1964 – La strada per Forte Alamo (as John M. Old)

1964 – Sei donne per l’assassino

1963 – La frusta e il corpo (as John M. Old)

1963 – I tre volti della paura

1963 – La ragazza che sapeva troppo

1961 – Gli invasori

1961 – Ercole al centro della terra

1961 – Le meraviglie di Aladino

1961 – L’ultimo dei Vikinghi (uncredited)

1960 – Esther and the King (Italian version)

1960 – La maschera del demonio

1959 – La battaglia di Maratona ( – uncredited / completed film)

1959 – Caltiki – il mostro immortale ( – uncredited / completed film)

1956 – I vampiri ( – uncredited / completed film)

1954 – Ulisse (uncredited)

1949 – Variazioni sinfoniche (documentary)

1947 – Anfiteatro Flavio (short)

1947 – Legenda Sinfonica (documentary short)

1947 – Santa notte (documentary)

1946 – L’orecchio (documentary)
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Clive Barker

Born: October 5, 1952, Liverpool, England.

barker_cliveBritish writer, producer, director. Annointed “the future name in horror fiction” by Stephen King, Barker is a best seller whose high-flown novels continue to contribute to the genre. HELLRAISER and CANDYMAN excepted, the films he has generated are less inspirational, perhaps bespeaking the limited possibilities of Hollywood horror.

Barker’s goal has been to produce horror films that take themselves seriously, as opposed to the campy, tongue-in-cheek fare that has dominated the genre in recent years. He made his directorial debut with HELLRAISER, adapted by Barker from his novella The Hellbound Heart. Described by the London periodical Time Out as “a serious, intelligent and disturbing horror film,” this exceptional project was produced on a shoestring budget of $1.5 million and grossed more than $30 million. HELLRAISER introduced the sharp-featured “prince of pain” character who has been given the affectionate nickname “Pinhead” by an enthusiastic and bloodthirsty audience.

Pinhead also appeared in HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II and HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH, both of which were executive-produced by Barker but directed by others. He has no control over the extensive marketing of his creation (whom he describes as “the Noel Coward of the lower depths”) because he sold those rights for $1 million in the deal that allowed him to direct the first installment. Barker’s second outing as a writer-director was NIGHTBREED, adapted from his novel Cabal, in which fellow horror auteur David Cronenberg had a role as a sinister psychiatrist. 


2011 – Tortured Souls: Animae Damnatae (announced)
1995 – Lord of Illusions
1990 – Nightbreed
1987 – Hellraiser
1978 – The Forbidden (short)
1973 – Salome (short)
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Michele Soavi

Born: July 3, 1957, Milan, Italy

michele-soaviSoavi left school at 18 with dreams of entering the Italian Film Industry. The dream became reality when he started acting in various low-grade B-movies including ALIEN TERROR, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD, ANTHROPOPHAGOUS, A BLADE IN THE DARK and CALIGULA, THE UNTOLD STORY. During this time he dabbled in screenwriting and worked with both Lucio Fulci and Aristide Massaccesi (aka Joe D’Amato).

He first met Dario Argento after INFERNO, and they became friends. This led to a second assistant position on TENEBRAE, and a first assistant on PHENOMENA, as well as appearing in the film and directing the rock promo for Bill Wyman. Subsequently he assisted Lamberto Bava on DEMONS and directed the documentary DARIO ARGENTO’S WORLD OF HORROR.

It was only a matter of time before Soavi made his feature debut as director. That happened with STAGEFRIGHT in 1987, written by actor George Eastman, and budgeted at $500,000 by producer Joe D’Amato. Soavi remarked “The story was simple but I dressed it up with unconventional concepts like the owl mask and the whole idea with the key.” Retitled BLOODY BIRD in France, DELIRIA in Italy, STAGEFRIGHT won the ‘Fear’ Award at the prestigious Avoriaz Film Festival.

After resurfacing as Argento’s first assistant on OPERA, complete with cameo, Soavi shot the second unit footage for Terrry Gilliam’s THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN before embarking on THE CHURCH in 1989 (produced by Dario Argento). Soavi explained “I wanted to forge my own style and identity with THE CHURCH. Every frame was well-thought-out, I didn’t include anything just for the sake of effect. I turned out what was originally conceived as junk cinema into a strong essay on Karma and the ambiguous inner conflicts we all face sometime in our lives.”

After THE CHURCH, Soavi went on to work on a second Argento production, THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER, which was initially intended to be directed by Luca Verdone. The title was changed to THE SECT, but the project never got off the ground. However Argento liked the title, so Argento, Soavi and Gianni Romoli created a new story around it. THE SECT stengthened Soavi’s reputation as Italy’s new maestro of the macabre, yet he felt insecure and wanted to try something different. It took several years, and several false starts before he completed his next film, the ground breaking, DELAMORTE DELLAMORE aka CEMETARY MAN.

The film is an apocalyptic journey into the soul of what might be described as a special representative of Generation X, young cemetary guard Francesco Dellamorte, and his kingdom of life and death, the little graveyard in his hometown of Guardea. There, Dellamorte and his assistant are facing a strange phenomenon: the dead are coming back to life seven days after their deaths, and only the destruction of their brains can send them to rest in peace. The story is based on Tiziano Sclavi’s best selling cult novel Dellamorte Dellamore. This Italian/French/German co-production is one of the most unusual and important Italian genre films ever, offering not only stunning visuals but also a truly European approach to its story.


2010 – Caccia al re – La narcotici (TV series)
2008 – Il sangue dei vinti
2007 – Nassiryia – Per non dimenticare (TV movie)
2006 – Attacco allo stato (TV movie)
2006 – Arrivederci amore, ciao
2004 – Ultimo 3 – L’infiltrato (TV movie)
2003 – Ultima pallottola (TV movie)
2002 – Francesco (TV movie)
2001 – Uno bianca (TV movie)
2001 – Il testimone (TV movie)
1999 – Ultimo 2 – La sfida (TV movie)
1994 – Dellamorte Dellamore
1991 – La setta
1989 – La chiesa
1987 – Deliria (as Michael Soavi)
1985 – The Valley (video short)
1985 – Il mondo dell’orrore di Dario Argento (documentary)
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Lucio Fulci

Born: June 17, 1927, Rome, Italy

Lucio FulciA journeyman whose pedigree includied comedies, Westerns and musicals, Fulci directed ZOMBIE, an unauthorised sequel to George Romero’s DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978). With its flamboyant imagery (including a stunningly choreographed eye-gouging) and stirring score, ZOMBIE brought sudden acclaim and new career to Fulci as a major director of horror films. It was not his first in the field: he had made the animal themed gialli A LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN and DON’T TORTURE THE DUCKLING, the parodic DRACULA IN THE PROVINCES and the Edgar Allan Poe inspired THE PSYCHIC

ZOMBIE was followed by three other zombie films that compose a loose tetralogy: the gaudily violent CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD; THE BEYOND, his finest achievement in horror cinema; and THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETARY, a revision of Kubrick’s THE SHINING (1980). He explored other themes in another Poe project, THE BLACK CAT, and MANHATTAN BABY and pushed his penchant for violence into the sordid sex of THE NEW YORK RIPPER. After the stylish sword-and-sorcery adventure CONQUEST and a generic futuristic actioner, I GUERRIERI DELL’ANNO 2072, Fulci turned away from the zombies and violence that had reitalised his career with the FLASHDANCE inspired GIALLO MURDEROCK UCCIDE A PASSO DI DANZA, the psychological thriller THE DEVIL’S HONEY and AENIGMA.

With his health failing, his planned return to his beloved zombies in ZOMBIE 3 was compromised, as bruno Mattei replaced him during production. In the post-modern self-critique NIGHTMARE CONCERT, Fulci plays himself, wondering whether his obsession with horror is a mental illness that has led him to murder. His final films, sparsely budgeted and distributed, are a testament to his continued devotion to the cinema of fear. In 1995 Fulci began work on WAX MASK, a substantially budgeted movie produced by Dario Argento; he died just days before principal photography was to begin on March 13, 1996; the project was continued by Sergio Stivaletti.


1001 – Le porte del silenzio (as H. Simon Kittay)
1991 – Voci dal profondo
1990 – Demonia
1990 – Un gatto nel cervello
1990 – Hansel e Gretel (uncredited)
1989 – La casa nel tempo (TV movie)
1989 – La dolce casa degli orrori (TV movie)
1988 – Zombi 3
1988 – Il fantasma di Sodoma
1988 – Quando Alice ruppe lo specchio
1987 – Aenigma
1986 – Il miele del diavolo
1984 – Murderock – uccide a passo di danza
1984 – I guerrieri dell’anno 2072
1983 – Conquest
1982 – Manhattan Baby
1982 – Lo squartatore di New York
1981 – Quella villa accanto al cimitero
1981 – E tu vivrai nel terrore – L’aldilà
1981 – Black Cat (Gatto nero)
1980 – Paura nella città dei morti viventi
1980 – Luca il contrabbandiere
1980 – Un uomo da ridere (TV mini-series)
1979 – Zombi 2
1978 – Sella d’argento
1977 – Sette note in nero
1976 – La pretora
1975 – Il cav. Costante Nicosia demoniaco, ovvero: Dracula in Brianza
1975 – I quattro dell’apocalisse
1974 – Il ritorno di Zanna Bianca
1973 – Zanna Bianca
1972 – Non si sevizia un paperino
1972 – All’onorevole piacciono le donne (Nonostante le apparenze… e purché la nazione non lo sappia)
1971 – Una lucertola con la pelle di donna
1969 – Beatrice Cenci
1969 – Una sull’altra
1967 – Operazione San Pietro
1967 – Il lungo, il corto, il gatto
1967 – Come rubammo la bomba atomica
1966 – Tempo di massacro
1966 – Come svaligiammo la banca d’Italia
1965 – I due parà
1965 – 002 operazione Luna
1965 – Come inguaiammo l’esercito
1964 – I due pericoli pubblici
1964 – 002 agenti segretissimi
1964 – I due evasi di Sing Sing
1964 – I maniaci
1963 – Gli imbroglioni
1963 – Uno strano tipo
1962 – Le massaggiatrici
1962 – I due della legione straniera
1962 – Colpo gobbo all’italiana
1960 – Urlatori alla sbarra
1959 – Ragazzi del Juke-Box
1959 – I ladri
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Dario Argento

Born: September 7, 1940, Rome, Italy

Dario ArgentoPurveyor of stylish horror films who began writing and directing at the age of 24. His distinctive directorial flair and fascination with voyeurism certainly owe a nod to the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, but story development often takes second place to his cinematic flamboyance. After writing screenplays for other Italian directors, including a collaboration with Bernardo Bertolucci for Sergio Leone’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, Argento made an impressive directorial debut with THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE, for which he also wrote the screenplay. About an American writer who witnesses a murder and becomes caught up in the investigation, the film is now considered a precursor to the slasher genre of the 1980s. In CAT O’NINE TAILS, FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET and DEEP RED, Argento once again used a murder mystery format to experiment with the limits of the horror genre, employing special effects and music to heighten tension.

While the first two installments of a proposed trilogy, SUSPIRIA and INFERNO, had confusing plot devices, Argento’s visual sense nonetheless managed to make the films compelling, even as the story lines became increasingly inconsequential. Once again employing a routine murder mystery plotting device in TENEBRAE, he used the narrative structure as a departure point for a series of visually arresting murder sequences.

Argento’s first English-language feature was a European box office success under the title PHENOMENA, which New Line Cinema retitled CREEPERS and edited for US release. The story of a teenager with telepathic abilities who becomes involved in the hunt for a psychotic killer, its sometimes confusing plot was supplanted by an engaging visual style which included eccentric camera angles, slow motion sequences, arresting lighting and energetic editing.

Argento joined forces with cult director George Romero on DAWN OF THE DEAD in several technical capacities, and then directed “The Black Cat” segment in the episodic TWO EVIL EYES. One of Argento’s most baroque films came from this period as well, the Italian-made TERROR AT THE OPERA/OPERA. Here he explicitly drew upon Alfred Hitchcock in a technical tour de force which revamped THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925).  Argento made a rare acting appearance in John Landis’ INNOCENT BLOOD before directing his first American feature, TRAUMA, a campy orgy of bloodletting which featured a hooded killer who sawed off the heads of his victims. His daughter Asia played the female lead.



2012 – Dracula 3D (filming)

 2009 – Giallo
 2007 – La terza madre
 2005 – Masters of Horror (TV series)
– Pelts (2006) (uncredited)
– Jenifer (2005)

2005 – Ti piace Hitchcock? (TV movie)

 2004 – Il cartaio
 2001 – Non ho sonno
 1998 – Il fantasma dell’opera
 1996 – La sindrome di Stendhal
 1993 – Trauma
 1990 – Due occhi diabolici (segment “The Black Cat”)
 1987 – Opera
 1985 – Phenomena
 1982 – Tenebre
 1980 – Inferno
 1977 – Suspiria
 1975 – Profondo rosso
 1973 – Le cinque giornate
 1973 – La porta sul buio (TV series)
– Il tram (1973) (as Sirio Bernadotte)
– Testimone oculare (1973) (uncredited)
1971 – 4 mosche di velluto grigio
 1971 – Il gatto a nove code
1970 – L’uccello dalle piume di cristallo
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Alejandro Amenabar

Born: 1972, Santiago de Chile, Chile

Alejandro AmenabarBorn in Santiago de Chile in 1972, Amenabar was barely a year old when Pinochet’s military takeover forced his Chilean father and Spanish mother to flee to Madrid, where his family has lived ever since. “We got out just 2 weeks before the coup,” Amenabar recalls.

Like most of today’s movie directors, Amenabar started his career when he got hold of a video camera. His first video short was THE HEAD (1992) – a thriller with an over the top, gory ending where the protagionist rips a guys head off and the head bounces around the floor.

A couple of years later, while he was studying information sciences at Madrid University, one of his short movies came to the attention of Spanish film director/producer Jose Luis Cuerda, who asked Amenabar to write a feature film script for him. The result was the first draft of THESIS, which Cuerda read and immediately decided to put into production. Amenabar suddenly found himself, at only 23, with $1 million and five and a half weeks with which to make a succesful commercial movie. The end result is a genuinely scary and suspenseful thriller in the Hitchcock tradition, one that also addresses censorship and how modern media uses images of extreme violence as just another weapon in the ratings war.

THESIS tells the story of university student Angela, who is researching her thesis on violence in the media. One of her tutors, who has promised to find suitable audiovisual material from the campus archive, accidently discovers a network of disused storerooms in the basement. He finds an unmarked videocassette and puts it into a VCR, but is murdered before he gets a chance to divulge the tape’s content. Angela finds the cassette and decides to watch it, seeking a clue to the murderers identity, and in doing so discovers that snuff movies are being made in the universit’s basements. Inevitably, she’s soon cast as the next victim, and so begins a nail-biting game of cat and mouse between Angela and the chief suspect.

THESIS was a huge box-office success in Spain, and won seven Goya awards (the Spanish Oscar equivalent) as well as picking up prizes at a number of international festivals. Shooting a successful follow-up to such an impressive debut was a tall order, but Amenabar pulled it off in style with the nightmarish OPEN YOUR EYES, which debuted to even greater critical acclaim and surpassed the grosses of Thesis.

The film opens in a state prison psychiatric cell, where a hunched figure wearing a grotesque flesh textured mask is being interviewed by a psychoanalyst. This is the starting point of the labyrinthe plot, involving a twentysomething playboy, his bestfriends girl and a mysterious, disturbed woman infatuated with him. A car crash leaves him disfigured, and unable to restore his good looks he slowly descends into madness.

Although OPEN YOUR EYES sounds like an old fashioned psycho-thriller, the power of Amenabars vision lies in the story’s complexity and deftness with which he weaves apparently disparate, incomprehensible threads into a compelling and surprising tapestry of suspense, weird passions, horror and . . . more. Amenabar uses his camera to evoke dreams that are reality and realities that turn out to be hallucinations, to conjur upsensations of deja vu, to visualise dreams within flashbacks and flashbacks within dreams.”


2009 – Agora

2004 – Mar adentro

2001 – The Others

1997 – Abre los ojos

1996 – Tesis

1995 – Luna (short)

1992 – Himenóptero (short)
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Stuart Gordon

Born: August 11, 1947, Chicago, Illinois, USA

>Stuart GordonAmerican director, writer, producer Gordon burst on to the horror scene with RE-ANIMATOR, a farcially gory adaptation of Lovecraft’s ‘Herbert West – Re-Animator’ (1922). He has an extensive and controversial background in theatre dating back to obscenity charges levelled against a university Peter Pan in which Tinker Bell was gay, Peter Pan a flower child and the voyage to Never-Never Land an LSD trip. Gordon was co-founder and longtime artistic director of Chicago’s famous Organic Theatre, where his directing credits included the world premier of David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago (1974). Gordon makes mostly low budget horror and s-f movies, mostly in association with producers Charles Band and/or Brian Yuzna: none quite match his debut, though all have demented performances or the odd idea to recommend them.

In high school Gordon majored in commercial art and apprenticed with a company for 6 months illustrating coke bottles! Realising this was not his career of choice he left and enrolled at the University of Wisconsin where he took some theatre and acting classes. Finding theatre more realistic than first thought, he formed the Organic Thetare, an ensemble that performed original works, many based on science fiction and horror concepts. The directors film career fell into place when he was introduced to Brian Yuzna by a mutual friend. Brian Yuzna wanted to become an independent producer and Gordon was developing a horror movie script – RE-ANIMATOR was the outcome. Amazingly RE-ANIMATOR was shot on a 20 day schedule witha first time director and camerman Robert Ebinger.


2008 – Fear Itself (TV series)

– Eater (2008)
2007 – Stuck

2005 – Masters of Horror (TV series)

– The Black Cat (2007)
– Dreams in the Witch-House (2005)
2005 – Edmond

2003 – King of the Ants

2001 – Dagon

1998 – Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show (TV series)

– Honey, Let’s Trick-or-Treat (1998)
1998 – The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit

1996 – Space Truckers

1995 – Castle Freak

1992 – Fortress

1991 – The Pit and the Pendulum

1990 – Robot Jox

1990 – Daughter of Darkness (TV movie)

1988 – Kid Safe: The Video (video documentary)

1987 – Dolls

1986 – From Beyond

1985 – Re-Animator

1979 – Bleacher Bums (TV movie)
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Sam Raimi

Born: October 23, 1959, Franklin, Michigan, USA

Sam RaimiLike such other “ferociously original” filmmakers as Romero, Cronenberg and Hooper, Raimi learned his craft without the benefit of film school training. He learned film by starting young, by making films and more films (30 by his own count); from experience and from his co-workers.

One of his co-workers who shared in Raimi’s education was Bruce Campbell, a ringleader of a filmmaking gang that Raimi joined in high school. Another early Raimi ally was Robert Tapert, whom Raimi met in a Shakespeare course at college. Together, Raimi and Tapert formed the Michigan State University Society of Creative Filmmaking, which became a commercial outlet for several films they made together, and for several of Raimi’s high school films. A later addition to MSUSCF was Tom Sullivan, a young effects whiz. Sullivan’s artistic talent was immediately put to use designing the ads for the film group’s showings, but it was his hands-on experience in makeup effects and stop motion that made him invaluable when the EVIL DEAD project began.

The script of EVIL DEAD, which was completed in first draft during his college years, owes some of its thematic structure to Raimi’s borrowings from English Lit. “I don’t want to get too artistic, but I think the picture was strengthened by the notion of time, as in Shakespeare’s ‘The Winters Tale’. There, time moves in an orderly, progressive fashion, and then, at a certain point, time stops. Then, when evil is in control, time moves backwards; that’s what I used in the EVIL DEAD. There’s a clock in the film that serves as a focal point; a gauge to the evil”

Five college students venture into the wooded mountains of Tennessee to spend a weekend of fun in an isolated country cabin. There they discover a demonic relic, the ancient Book of the Dead. The Book, bound in human flesh and written in blood, contains the resurrection formulas that will cause the spirits of the evil dead to rise and take control, one by one, of the students. As the survivors see their friends and lovers turn into hideous, murdering demons, they learn that the only way to kill the possessed is to dismember them.

With much of the same cast and crew that would later tackle the feature, Raimi shot WITHIN THE WOODS, a 30-minute adaptation of the same story in super 8 format. “That was our main tool for financing” says Raimi. As the financing came together, the next steps were casting and the selection of locations. The Tennessee location schedule was planned for seven weeks, which grew to 11 in the course of filming.

– Bob Martin in Fangoria #23, Nov 1982

Initially titled BOOK OF THE DEAD, it was screened in Detroit for investors, friends and family on 15 October, 1981. On Irving Shapiro’s suggestion the title was changed to the EVIL DEAD and shown at film festivals in Europe. It was at Cannes in 1982 that Stephen King first saw the film and what he had to say about it turned out to be as influential as the deals Irvin Shapiro was making to distribute the film. “I saw it by chance at the Cannes Film Festival, and it blew me away. Totally. Blew me right throught the back doors, through the lobby and into the street, figuratively speaking.” King came back and wrote a review of it for the Nov 1982 issue of the ‘Twilight Zone’ magazine. “That Sam Raimi is a genius is yet unproven; that he has made the most ferociously original horror film of 1982 seems to me beyond doubt . . . . the camera has the kind of nightmarish fluidity that we associate with the early John Carpenter, it dips and slides and then zooms in so fast you want to plaster your hands over your eyes. The film begins and ends with crazy exhilarating shots that make you want to leap up, cheering.”

– Bill Warren from The Evil Dead Companion, 2000.


2013 – Oz: The Great and Powerful (pre-production)
2009 – Drag Me to Hell
2007 – Spider-Man 3
2004 – Spider-Man 2
2002 – Spider-Man
2000 – The Gift
1999 – For Love of the Game
1998 – A Simple Plan
1995 – The Quick and the Dead
1992 – Army of Darkness
1990 – Darkman
1987 – Evil Dead II
1985 – Crimewave
1981 – The Evil Dead
1978 – Clockwork (short)
1978 – Within the Woods (short)
1977 – It’s Murder! (short)
???? – Sam Raimi Early Shorts (video)
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George Romero

Born: February, 1940, New York, New York, USA

George RomeroAmerican writer, director. Perhaps because he is best known for movies about flesh-eating zombies, Romero is one of the most underrated film-makers currently working in America. His debut feature, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, changed the course of cinema history, standing alongside The Wild Bunch and Easy Rider as a sign that the era of peace and love was giving way to a pessimism more in tune with a generation sceptical of authority and opposed to continued American involvement in Vietnam.

Made in black and white, with an inexperienced cast, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD swept away horror movie conventions.When the dead come back to life and try to eat the living. there are no comic interludes and no let-up from the very first scene. It is a masterly, all too credible portrait of human beings being torn apart (sometimes literally) under intolerable circumstances, and years ahead of its time in its examination of the questionable role played by the media in times of crisis.

In subsequent films, Romero continued to turn convention upside-down and invest what might otherwise be stock horror situations with acute insight into the darker side of human nature. THE CRAZIES is not just about the military’s attempts to contain a deadly virus, but also the collapse of social order; MARTIN is not just an updating of the vampire myth but also a study of a dysfunctional young outsider in a recessed steel town.

Romero returned to zombies in DAWN OF THE DEAD, which continues to document the breakdown of society overrun by the ever-increasing undead hordes. More action-oriented than NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, it became a huge international hit, despite a high splatter content which led to release in the US without a rating (normally a kiss of commercial death).

Romero next collaborated with Stephen King on CREEPSHOW, an anthology homage to EC Comics, though all five segments are disappointingly lightweight. Romero concluded the living dead “trilogy” with DAY OF THE DEAD: originally envisaged with battalions of zombies trained for combat – it was reduced to a single zombie put through obedience training by a mad scientist. MONKEY SHINES is an effective version of the Jekyll and Hyde story in which a quadraplegic’s monkey begins to act out his subconcious wishes.

“. . . What is special about Romero’s zombies, however, is their cannibalistic appetite. Romero is almost entirely responsible for the familiar incarnation of the zombie as ghoulish cannibal, as blood-thirsty anthropophage who adds to his numbers by feeding on living flesh.”


2011 – Deep Red (announced)

2009 – Survival of the Dead

2007 – Diary of the Dead

2005 – Land of the Dead

2000 – Bruiser

1993 – The Dark Half

1990 – Due occhi diabolici (segment “The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar” / as George Romero)

1988 – Monkey Shines

1985 – Day of the Dead

1982 – Creepshow

1981 – Knightriders

1978 – Dawn of the Dead

1977 – Martin

1974 – O.J. Simpson: Juice on the Loose (TV documentary) (as George Romero)

1974 – The Winners (TV series documentary)

– Willie Stargell: If I Didn’t Play Baseball (1974)

1973 – The Crazies

1972 – Hungry Wives

1971 – There’s Always Vanilla

1968 – Night of the Living Dead


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