Omega Rising: Remembering Joe D'Amato

Synopsis: Omega Rising: Remembering Joe D'Amato delves into the career of the notorious Italian filmmaker, Aristide Massaccesi aka Joe D'Amato, the infamous director behind the legendary Video Nasties Anthropophagus: The Beast and Absurd.
Genre: Documentary
96 min


I'm a copier, a cheater.

Ruggero Deodatos film had just come

out and had gone really well...

called Eaten Alive... No... Yes...

it was called Last Cannibal World...

It had done really well, it had been seized by the

censors, so we decide to ride their commercial success.

I had an associate called Fabrizio De Angelis, with whom I put

together a company in order to make Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals.

It came out well, with this combination, a little

horror and a little sex, that worked well...

We went to Fogliano, but

nobody believes we did.

We hired a lot of Filippino's from Rome, we put

some wigs on them and pretended they were lndio's.

They all fell into the trap.

At Fogliano there is an artificial

lake with two palm trees...

it could look like the Amazon and with these

Filippino's in wigs, it was perfect...

I first met Aristide

Massaccesi in 1971

when I worked on the first

film I had written.

A film directed by Michele Lupo,

with Giuliano Gemma.

Aristide, during this period, was a director

of photography and a camera operator.

I liked him because he was

simple and spontaneous

very friendly, and extremely brave.

I saw him shoot a scene,

precariously tied to a coach

with the serious risk of

harming himself.

I asked him if he was crazy.

He was a pleasant person

and he always had a joke so you

would always be laughing.

With Emanuelle e Francoise- le

sorelline (Emanuelle's Revenge)

I was involved by chance.

He had a script that was too short and

he asked me to have a look at it.

I admit to having stolen the

idea from an old film,

adding this idea of a man being

held captive in a cage.

A French film, that took the concept

from a previous Greek film.

It was an idea that had been

copied a couple times.

He offered me a role.

I didn't want to do the film,

especially my role.

It took place in a villa owned by

one of the producers,

Which was a five minute

walk from my house.

So, seeing as I needed the money...

the morning cf the shoot, instead of getting a

cappuccino, I went there and did my scenes.

That's the only reason I did it.

I've never seen the film.

I haven't the foggiest idea

of what came of it.

I doubt there is a film, in which Aristide put

any real effort in the framing of his shots.

That was not his role. His

role was to hurry up.

Most of his films were sold

before shooting,

he would get money from the

distributors and shoot them.

Often he would go so quickly that he would

finish a lot sooner than scheduled.

He couldn't go tell this to the distributors

though because if not they would say:

why the f*ck did I give that

amount of money?

Once, one of his

distributors visited the set

and we didn't have a

thing to show him

so we pretend to shoot without any

film in the camera.

He explained the situation to us and

we went along with his charade.

The Anthropophagus project

was born by chance.

I had gone to his office for a visit and he

was dealing with a script that didn't work.

He only had the beginning:

a man that finds himself

shipwrecked on a lifeboat.

I told him, jokingly I will write it for

you but I have to be the protagonist.

The film was supposed to

be set in Greece.

I would often choose what films to do on the

basis of where they were going to be shot.

I wrote what you can

see in the film.

There weren't any great ideas.

The only original concept was this

man going crazy and

basically becoming a cannibal

after devouring his son.

As luck would have it, I didn't

even get to go to Greece

because all my scenes

were shot in Rome.

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