BREAKING: Iconic director of ‘world’s most controversial horror film’ passes away aged 83

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Ruggero Deodato, the iconic Italian director of the controversial horror film ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ passed away at the age of 83.

Ruggero Deodato, the iconic Italian director and screenwriter passed away this Thursday, December 29, at the age of 83. Although he had a stunning film career he will probably be best remembered for the controversial horror film Cannibal Holocaust, in 1980. The film was banned, or heavily censored, in around 40 countries globally.

His work spanned a wide range of genres including peplum, comedy, drama, poliziottesco, and science fiction, but also directed several violent and gory horror films that featured strong elements of realism.

When Cannibal Holocaust was released in Italy, in under two weeks it was banned and seized by the authorities due to its content. It contained scenes of extreme violence, including the death of a coati and some monkeys, along with scenes of brutal torture.

Deodato was arrested and even faced trial amid accusations of actually murdering actors in very lifelike scenes in the movie. These charges were eventually dropped when the director presented these supposed dead actors in the courtroom, as reported by

Although cleared of murdering his actors, Deodato found himself convicted of animal cruelty. In 1984, this verdict was subsequently dropped. Speaking in 2011 with The Guardian, the Italian claimed that the death of the animals was a part of the circle of life.

“In my youth, growing up, I spent a lot of time in the country close to animals and therefore often saw the moment of their death. The death of the animals, although unbearable – especially in a present-day urban mindset – always happened in order to feed the film’s characters or the crew, both in the story and in reality”, he insisted.

Deodato added: “I make films that people call ‘horror’ because I want to make films about real things that happen in the world. And most real things aren’t very nice”.

In France, Deodato earned the nickname ‘Monsieur Cannibal’, and his work is said to have influenced the likes of other top directors, including Eli Roth, and Oliver Stone.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at