Ruggero Deodato, renowned as the director behind the “most controversial film ever”, has died aged 83.
An inspiration for filmmakers including Oliver Stone, Eli Roth and Quentin Tarantino, his most infamous release was the 1980 horror ‘Cannibal Holocaust’.
Italian news outlet Il Messaggero reported he had passed away on Thursday (29.12.22), but a cause of death has not yet been released.
‘Cannibal Holocaust’ was so gruesomely realistic it saw Ruggero put on trial for murder.
The shocker featured acts of sadomasochism and real-life animal slaughter, leading to the film being banned in several countries.
To make it feel more authentic, Ruggero also convinced the actors to fully disappear for one year – but police seized all copies of the film and prosecuted the filmmaker for allegedly killing his cast.
While facing 30 years in jail, the director convinced the stars of the film to appear in court to prove they were still alive and save him from a sentence.
He claimed the film was a satire on the exploitative violence shown on Italian news at the time, adding about improvising most of the film’s plot on set: “Tomorrow we’ll impale a girl, tomorrow we’ll kill the unfaithful wife... tomorrow we’ll kill a pig, because a crew member is fed up with eating fish.
“I couldn’t kill real people, so the animals got killed, but all the animals were eaten. They didn’t just die for the film.”
The plot sees an academic who heads into the Amazon forest in search of a missing American documentary crew feared to have been eaten by a cannibal tribe.
He discovers a film they recorded before their deaths, which is said in the movie to be “authentic” footage.
The film is hailed as the inspiration for the “found footage” horror genre that includes ‘The Blair Witch Project’ and ‘V/H/S’.
Ruggero accused the makers of ‘Blair Witch’ of stealing his idea and said he “didn’t like” the hit 1999 horror.
He also accused Oliver Stone of copying a village burning sequence in ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ “almost exactly” for his Vietnam film ‘Platoon’.
Ruggero started his career as an assistant director for Roberto Rossellini and worked for Sergio Corbucci on spaghetti western Django.
He also made a cameo appearance in Eli Roth’s 2007 ‘torture porn’ sequel ‘Hostel II’.