JOE D’AMATO WEEK: Omega Rising: Remembering Joe D’Amato (2017)

Created by Eugenio Ercolani (Aenigma: Lucio Fulci and the 80sBanned Alive! The Rise and Fall of Italian Cannibal Movies) and Giuliano Emanuele (Italy Possessed: A Brief History of Italian Exorcist Rip-offs), this film was originally included with the 88 Films release of Buio Omega.

Thanks to interviews with George Eastman, Michele Soavi, Claudio Fragasso, Ruggero Deodato, Al Cliver, Rossella Drudi and more, this film gives a rich overview of the life and times Aristide Massaccesi, the man who is known by so many names, but also Joe D’Amato. It confirms what I’ve always believed: sure, D’Amato made some disreputable movies, but he also had a lot of heart and treated everyone he worked with incredibly well.

In some way, I wish this was more than just talking heads dryly discussing D’Amato, but I think somewhere, he’s smiling realizing that they put exactly as much effort into a dissection of his life as he would into theirs. And as always, George Eastman says incredibly horible things about someone and then says, “But I loved the guy.” I kind of feel the same way about that incredibly tall Italian grump.

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