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Joe D'Amato is a Actor, Director, Scriptwriter and Producer Italien born on 15 december 1936 at Rome (Italie)

Joe D'Amato

Joe D'Amato
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Birth name Aristide Massaccesi
Nationality Italie
Birth 15 december 1936 at Rome (Italie)
Death 23 january 1999 (at 62 years) at Rome (Italie)

Joe D'Amato (birth name: Aristide Massaccesi) (15 December 1936 in Rome - 23 January 1999 in Rome) was a prolific Italian filmmaker who directed roughly 200 films, usually at the same time acting as producer and cinematographer, and sometimes providing the script as well. While D'Amato contributed to many different genres (such as the spaghetti western, the horror film, the war movie, the swashbuckler, the peplum, and the fantasy film), the majority of his films are exploitation-themed pornography, both soft and hardcore.

He is perhaps most well known for his horror film efforts, many of which went on to become cult movies (such as Anthropophagous and Beyond the Darkness), and for his hastily-produced remakes of popular American films (such as the Ator series, based upon the Conan the Barbarian films), some of which were featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000. The poor production value of many of his films, combined with his expressed lack of concern for the production quality of his films as long as they proved profitable, have led him to be labeled as "the Evil Ed Wood", despite D'Amato's apparently amiable nature.


D'Amato was familiar to the environment of cinema through his father who worked as an electrician at Cinecittà. He began his career in 1961 as camera operator (often working under cinematographer Franco Villa). Then, starting with Pelle di Bandito in 1969, he regularly worked as director of photography for directors such as Demofilo Fidani (Dead Men Don't Make Shadows, One Damned Day at Dawn… Django Meets Sartana!, A Barrel Full of Dollars), Alberto De Martino, Massimo Dallamano (What Have You Done to Solange?), Silvio Amadio, Mino Guerrini, and Michele Lupo (Ben and Charlie).

In 1972, D'Amato started directing his own movies whilst still continuing to work as cinematographer for other directors. His first directorial efforts include the spaghetti westerns Scansati... a Trinità arriva Eldorado and A Bounty Killer in Trinity, the decamerotic movies Novelle licenziose di vergini vogliose and More Sexy Canterbury Tales (The Last Decameron), the swashbuckler burlesque Pugni, Pirati e Karatè (starring Richard Harrison, the war movie Heroes in Hell (with Klaus Kinski), the sword and sandal movies The Arena (co-directing with Steve Carver) and Livia, una vergine per l'impero romano, the gothic giallo Death Smiles at a Murderer (starring Klaus Kinski and Ewa Aulin), and the western Cormack of the Mounties (with Fabio Testi and Lionel Stander, shot in Canada alongside Lucio Fulci's movie The Return of White Fang on which D'Amato worked as second unit director).

In the second half of the 1970s, D'Amato tried to capitalize on the worldwide commercial success of the French softcore movie series Emmanuelle. His first attempt, Emanuelle's Revenge, a collaboration with Bruno Mattei, only referred to the French heroine by name. The next movie, Black Cobra Woman (aka Eva nera, starring Jack Palance and Laura Gemser) already incorporated several plot elements from the French series. Laura Gemser had previously impersonated the character of Black Emanuelle in a film by Bitto Albertini. Under the direction of D'Amato (who had first cast her as maid for his erotic comedy Vow of Chastity (1976)), Gemser continued the series with a total of five sequels (Emanuelle in Bangkok (1976), Emanuelle in America (1977), Emanuelle Around the World (1977), Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (1977), and Emanuelle and the White Slave Trade (1978)) which grew increasingly violent and included scenes of gang rape, zoophilia, cannibalism, and fake snuff film footage. (Some versions for the foreign market — especially in France — also contained hardcore sex scenes, which D'Amato claimed not to have directed himself.) Besides the Emanuelle movies, D'Amato also directed Ladies' Doctor (1977), a sexy satire on the Italian health care system starring Renzo Montagnani, the mercenary movie Tough to Kill (1978), made two erotic mondo movies (Emanuelle and the Erotic Nights and Sexy Night Report) again in collaboration with Bruno Mattei, and the sequel Sexy Night Report N.2 on his own. At the end of the decade, D'Amato directed The Pleasure Shop on 7th Avenue (which follows the Last House on the Left-formula and contains in its uncut version, though essentially a softcore movie, a brief scene of fellatio) and Images in a Convent (a nunsploitation movie containing a hardcore gang rape scene).

In the early 1980s D'Amato made some of his best known gore films such as Antropophagus, Absurd (Horrible), and Buio Omega (Beyond the Darkness), for which he later gained cult status among horror film fans.

He then went into an early hardcore phase, starting out with a series of hard and soft porn movies shot around Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Some mix eroticism with horror movie themes like cannibalism (Papaya, Love Goddess of the Cannibals, softcore, with Sirpa Lane), zombies (Erotic Nights of the Living Dead, hard, with Laura Gemser), voodoo (Sex and Black Magic, a softcore movie starring Richard Harrison), and homicidal radioactive mutants (Porno Holocaust, hardcore). Less horrific are Black Sex (the first genuine Italian hardcore movie and at the same time a weird melange of ghost story and cancer drama), Hard Sensation (another variation on the Last House on the Left model, also hardcore) and Paradiso Blu (a softcore Robinsonade starring Anna Bergman). Recurring stars of these movies were Mark Shannon, Lucia Ramirez, Dirce Funari, and Annj Goren.

Back in Italy, D'Amato mostly worked together with Claudio Bernabei on a number of obscure low-budget hardcore productions with titles like Super Hard Core, La voglia, Blue Erotic Climax, Le porno investigatrici, Stretta e Bagnata, Bocca Golosa, and Love in Hong Kong, for most of which they used the directorial pseudonym Alexandre Borsky. On his own, D'Amato directed the so-called Imperial Trilogy, starting with Caligula: The Untold Story (the sequel to Tinto Brass's Caligula) and concluding with the obscure low-budget follow-ups Messalina orgasmo imperiale and Una vergine per l'impero romano. Recurring stars of this period were Pauline Teutscher, Laura Levi, Mark Shannon (again), and Paolo Gramignano.

Around this time, D'Amato also started working as a producer, which eventually led to the founding of his own film company. From 1982 to 1994, Filmirage — as it was called — financed a total of 42 escapist non-hardcore genre entries: slashers, horror, and post-apocalyptic movies directed by Umberto Lenzi (La Casa 3 - Ghosthouse, Hitcher in the Dark), Claudio Fragasso (La Casa 5, Troll 2), Lucio Fulci (his last movie: Door into Silence), Michele Soavi (directorial debut: Stage Fright), and Luigi Montefiori (2020 Texas Gladiators), as well as a number of horror, fantasy, and softcore erotic movies directed by D'Amato himself, most notably three of the four Ator movies, the postapocalyptic film Endgame, the Dirty Dancing rip-off Dancing Is My Life (starring Valentine Demy), and the trilogy revolving around the fictional author Sarah Asproon (Eleven Days, Eleven Nights, Top Model, and Web of Desire, starring Jessica Moore and Kristine Rose).

In 1994, when Italian cinema was at a low point commercially, D'Amato returned to hardcore filmmaking. For his first handful of low-budget productions (mostly starring Luana Borgia), he again used the pseudonym Alexandre Borsky — before teaming up with Luca Damiano to co-direct, mostly uncredited, a number of higher-budgeted costume porn movies such as Aladdin X, Marco Polo, and Hamlet X.

Then, from 1995 until his death in early 1999, he mostly directed and produced movies on his own again, founding the production companies Butterfly Motion Pictures and Capital Film (with seat in Los Angeles). He transformed into hardcore pornography such divers subject matter as the tragedies of William Shakespeare (Juliet & Romeo, Othello 2000, Anthony and Cleopatra), Greco-Roman mythology (Ulysses, Samson and Hercules in the Land of the Amazons, Olympus - Refuge of the Gods), Roman emperors (Caligula - The Devious Emperor, Nero, Messalina), the 1920s and 1930s in the U.S. (Gangland Bangers, Some Like It Hard, Rudy - The Valentino Story), the W.I.P. genre (Operation Sex, The Joy Club, Midnight Obsession), the western (Outlaws, Calamity Jane), and Swashbucklers (Selen the Girl from Treasure Island, Raiders, Lady in the Iron Mask). He also devised porn versions of successful movies, such as Anal Instinct (Basic Instinct), Dangerous (Damage), Eternal Desire (Highlander), Anal Paprika (Paprika), Robin Hood: Thief of Wives (Robin Hood: Men in Tights), and Anal Perversions of Lolita (Lolita).

D'Amato was one of the few porn directors who in the late 1990s continued to shoot on 35mm film (and not on video). In the last five years of his life, he directed almost 100 hardcore movies for the European video market. During this time, he also sought ways to finance non-hardcore movies with money earned from directing hardcore pornography, of which he grew tired at times. They were to be four: the erotic movies Provocation (1995) and Top Girl (1996), the erotic thriller The Hyena (1997), and the pirate adventure movie Predators of the Antilles (1998) starring Anita Rinaldi.

Shortly after completing the hardcore feature Showgirl, Joe D'Amato died of heart failure at his villa in Rome in early 1999.

He had one son, Daniele Massaccesi, who started out by helping his father in the camera department and later moved to the United States where he entered into a lucrative career as a cameraman, working on such films as Cold Mountain, Hannibal, and Kingdom of Heaven.

Usually with

George Eastman
George Eastman
(14 films)
Laura Gemser
Laura Gemser
(22 films)
Michele Soavi
Michele Soavi
(6 films)
Gabriele Tinti
Gabriele Tinti
(12 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Joe D'Amato (52 films)

Display filmography as list


Porno Holocaust, 1h53
Directed by Joe D'Amato, Bruno Mattei
Origin Italie
Genres Erotic, Horror, Slasher, Pornographic
Themes Seafaring films, Films about sexuality, Transport films, Rape in fiction, Erotic films, Sexploitation films, LGBT-related film, Lesbian-related films
Actors Dirce Funari, George Eastman, Annj Goren, Mark Shannon, Lucía Ramírez, Joe D'Amato
Roles Benoit
Rating34% 1.721541.721541.721541.721541.72154
A group of scientists are taken to a secluded island where nuclear weapons testing occurred in 1958, in order to investigate sightings of mutated animals, and allegations of a monster. On the island, overgrown crabs are discovered, and the researchers and their ship's crew are stalked and spied on by an unseen being. After having sex with his wife, Professor Keller goes for a swim, and is drowned by the monster, which then rapes and kills Keller's wife.
Anthropophagous, 1h30
Directed by Joe D'Amato
Origin Italie
Genres Thriller, Horror, Slasher
Themes Medical-themed films, Seafaring films, Post-apocalyptic films, Films about religion, Transport films, Films set in the future, Serial killer films, Zombie films, Films about viral outbreaks, Political films, Dystopian films, Disaster films
Actors Tisa Farrow, Serena Grandi, George Eastman, Zora Kerova, Margaret Mazzantini, Joe D'Amato
Rating53% 2.652132.652132.652132.652132.65213
A pair of Germans visiting a remote Greek island go to the beach, and are slaughtered by someone who emerges from the ocean. On the mainland, five travelers are preparing to tour the islands, and are joined by Julie, who asks for a ride to an island that some friends of hers live on. The only one who objects to this detour to the island (which Julie explains has only a few permanent residents, and only sees tourists a few months out of the year) is Carol, whose tarot cards convince her that something bad will happen if they go to the island. The group sails to the island anyway, and while disembarking the pregnant Maggie hurts her ankle, so she stays behind on the boat with its owner. A man attacks the boat, ripping the sailor's head off, and abducting Maggie.
Emanuelle Around the World, 1h37
Directed by Joe D'Amato
Origin Italie
Genres Drama, Erotic, Adventure, Horror, Romance, Pornographic
Themes Films about writers, Films about journalists, Films about sexuality, Erotic films, Sexploitation films, LGBT-related film, Lesbian-related films
Actors Laura Gemser, Ivan Rassimov, Karin Schubert, George Eastman, Marino Masè, Joe D'Amato
Roles Caleb
Rating48% 2.4233252.4233252.4233252.4233252.423325
Emanuelle is invited to India to write a report on Guru Shanti, a man who claims to have achieved the ultimate orgasm. Once there she engages in a variety of sex acts, including one with the Guru; she disproves his theory. She then heads to Hong Kong to investigate trafficked women. Once she then arrives back in America, she teams up with fellow reporter Cora Norman and both of them snoop out a trail of men smuggling women to the Middle East.
What Have You Done to Solange?, 1h45
Directed by Massimo Dallamano
Genres Thriller, Horror, Crime
Themes Serial killer films
Actors Karin Baal, Joachim Fuchsberger, Cristina Galbó, Camille Keaton, Fabio Testi, Claudia Butenuth
Rating68% 3.4470853.4470853.4470853.4470853.447085
Italian teacher Enrico Rosseni is having an affair with one of his lovely young students. While on an afternoon outing the two lovers learn that a fellow student is brutally murdered mere yards from them. Now other female students are being targeted by a killer with a sinister vendetta and Rosseni is looking like a suspect.


I predatori delle Antille, 1h35
Directed by Joe D'Amato
Genres Adventure, Historical, Romance
Themes Seafaring films, Transport films, Pirate films
Actors Anita Rinaldi
Rating49% 2.473832.473832.473832.473832.47383
Sir Francis Hamilton (Menyhért René Balog-Dutombé), an ambassador of Charles II of England (Lajos Dejan) is on his way to Jamaica when his ship is attacked by pirates led by notorious George Rackham (Henrik Pauer). Pirates kidnap Sir Francis and demand from his wife Lady Elena Hamilton (Anita Skultéty) a great sum of ransom money. Lady Hamilton pleads the king for help but she is rejected. However, daring Lady Hamilton is not willing to give in to the pirates and commissions Captain Graham (Zoltán Kiss) to gather a band of mercenaries to storm the pirates' lair and free Sir Francis. Captain Graham suggests to hire pirate Thomas Butler (Carlo De Palma) of Tortuga. Butler has a condition: If they succeed in saving Sir Francis, Lady Hamilton will sleep with Butler. Lady Hamilton agrees and they set sail but Butler's ambitious mistress Pilar (Venere Torti) who accompanies them starts to grow jealous day by day.
The Crawlers, 1h31
Directed by Joe D'Amato
Genres Horror
Actors Gabriele Tinti, Mary Sellers
Rating28% 1.4250251.4250251.4250251.4250251.425025
After a small town nuclear power plant dumps hazardous waste into a forest surrounding the small town, people begin dying in increasingly gruesome ways. People cannot pinpoint the source of the deaths, until the EPA investigates, proving that the forests' roots were mutated due to the waste, beginning to kill and eat people. The plants attempt to break loose, however the EPA arrives again and bulldozes the plants, killing them, leaving the possibility that some more plants may have survived.
Deep Blood
Deep Blood (1990)
, 1h30
Directed by Joe D'Amato
Genres Horror
Themes Films about animals, Films about sharks, Natural horror films
Actors Laura Gemser, Charlie Brill, Mitzi McCall
Rating32% 1.641721.641721.641721.641721.64172
Four boys, Miki, John, Jason and Alan, after meeting an old Native American, they make a pact of blood to seal their bond of friendship. After some ten years, the boys reunite and decide to go for holidays together. But a killer shark ruins their plans and attacks the beach community and kills John during fishing. The three remaining friends decide to avenge John's death and they set to hunt the beast but their task won't be easy since there's a legend saying that the beast is an incarnation of an ancient hoodoo spirit in the form of a killer shark.
Ator IV: The Hobgoblin, 1h34
Directed by Joe D'Amato
Genres Fantasy, Adventure
Actors Eric Allan Kramer, Donald O'Brien, Laura Gemser, Marisa Mell
Rating27% 1.381941.381941.381941.381941.38194
When Ator is killed, many years later his son looks for his sword. Once upon a time a god gave a mighty sword to the king of Aquiles to bring justice to his people. Now he wants it back - but the king rather gives his life than the sword. Goddess Dehamira, who spoke for him, is being taken all her privileges and banned in a circle of fire, until a human arrives who's strong enough to free her. When prince Ator becomes 18, he gets the sword from the mean sorcerer gnome Grindl, to free Dehamira and his people. On his journey he has to fight against dragons and other fantastic figures.
Killing Birds, 1h31
Directed by Joe D'Amato
Origin Italie
Genres Horror
Themes Films about animals, Medical-themed films, Post-apocalyptic films, Films about religion, Films set in the future, Natural horror films, Films about birds, Zombie films, Films about viral outbreaks, Political films, Dystopian films, Disaster films
Actors Robert Vaughn, Lara Wendel
Rating35% 1.7631451.7631451.7631451.7631451.763145
Fred Brown (Robert Vaughn), a soldier, returns to Louisiana from the Vietnam war to find his wife (Brigitte Paillet) in bed with another man, and kills them both and his parents (Ellis and Nona Paillet), only sparing his son. While he is cleaning his knife, a falcon attacks him and tears out his left eye and blinds him in the other. He ends up at a hospital where he says goodbye to the child before he is taken into foster care.
Amore sporco, 1h35
Directed by Joe D'Amato
Origin Italie
Genres Drama, Erotic
Themes Films about sexuality, Erotic films, LGBT-related films, LGBT-related film, Lesbian-related films
Actors Valentine Demy, Jeff Stryker, Laura Gemser
Rating45% 2.2636052.2636052.2636052.2636052.263605
Une jeune danseuse new-yorkaise (Valentine Demy) se rend à Broadway en espérant y trouver la gloire.
Convent of Sinners, 1h28
Directed by Joe D'Amato
Origin Italie
Genres Drama, Horror
Themes Films about religion, Films about sexuality, Erotic films, Sexploitation films, Nonnesploitation, LGBT-related film, Lesbian-related films
Actors Eva Grimaldi, Gabriele Tinti
Rating48% 2.424822.424822.424822.424822.42482
Suzanne (Eva Grimaldi), une jeune fille violée par son propre père, est envoyée au couvent pour ses péchés. Là, elle tombe amoureuse d'un prêtre, malheureusement, les religieuses qui la désirent également, sont jalouses et en colère. Alors, elles l'accusent d'être possédée par le diable.
The Alcove
The Alcove (1985)
, 1h30
Directed by Joe D'Amato
Origin Italie
Genres Drama, Thriller, Romance
Themes Films about sexuality, Erotic films, LGBT-related films, LGBT-related film, Lesbian-related films
Actors Lilli Carati, Annie Belle, Al Cliver, Laura Gemser
Rating47% 2.377722.377722.377722.377722.37772
C'est l'histoire d'un militaire fasciste au retour d'Afrique qui ramène à sa femme bisexuelle des cadeaux insolites, dont une princesse locale noire jouée par l'étonnante Laura Gemser.
The Pleasure, 1h30
Directed by Joe D'Amato
Origin Italie
Genres Drama, Erotic
Themes Films about sexuality, Erotic films
Actors Gabriele Tinti, Lilli Carati, Laura Gemser, Maurice Poli, Dagmar Lassander
Rating47% 2.3921052.3921052.3921052.3921052.392105
Dans une propriété bourgeoise de l'Italie d'avant-guerre, un aristocrate veuf, Gérard, est inconsolable depuis la mort de son épouse Leonora, la seule femme qu'il a aimée et qui prenait du plaisir à se prostituer dans un bordel. Il tente d'évoquer ses souvenirs charnels en écoutant des bandes enregistrées qui dévoilent leurs expériences sexuelles. Jusqu'au jour où sa belle-fille Ursula, le portrait craché de sa mère défunte, lui rend visite pour lui annoncer qu'elle et son frère Edmund sont désormais sous sa tutelle. Mais la jeune fille veut surtout perdre sa virginité dans les bras de son beau-père. Amoureuse de lui, elle prend petit à petit la place de sa mère au point de devenir sa sosie. Qu'elle se maquille comme elle ou qu'elle écoute leurs étreintes enregistrées, et alors que Edmund couche avec la maîtresse de Gérard, Ursula se métamorphose en Leonora sous les yeux de Gérard qui succombe à ses charmes troublants.