|Date of Birth||15 December 1936 , Rome, Lazio, Italy|
|Date of Death||23 January 1999 , Rome, Lazio, Italy (heart attack)|
|Birth Name||Aristide Massaccesi|
|Nickname||The Evil Ed Wood|
Mini Bio (1)
Massaccesi was reluctant to use his real name early in his directing career, since he was still known mainly as a director of photography and he didn't want his directing jobs to jeopardize his cinematography career. He used his real name for screenplay and cinematography roles, but worked under many aliases (such as Michael Wotruba) to disguise the authorship of some films in order not to mix up the different genres of comedy, western, drama, thrillers and others. He used to many phony names that he may well have used more pseudonyms credited to him than any other director in the world.
Massaccesi entered the horror film genre with Death Smiles on a Murderer (1973) under his real name, which inspired him to make other gothic horror films. Under a new pseudonym, Joe D'Amato, he directed soft-core, erotic films starring Laura Gemser, such as Emanuelle e Françoise le sorelline (1975), Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (1977), Emanuelle in America (1977), Sexy Nights of the Living Dead (1980) and others. He also directed such action films as Duri a morire (1979).
Massaccesi, now referring to himself as Joe D'Amato, entered the "gore" genere films with Beyond the Darkness (1979), which remains his most successful horror film, shot in four weeks on a low budget entirely at a villa near Bressanone and which had an excellent music soundtrack by the rock group Goblin. His next horror film, but less successful than the previous one, was Anthropophagus (1980), directed under the alias "Peter Newton". The film starred Tisa Farrow, sister of Mia Farrow and the star of Zombie (1979), another gore genre flick.
During the 1980s and 1990s D'Amato directed over 100 hardcore porn sex films for the Italian video market, although under his many pseudonyms he continued to direct and produce other films. One of them was StageFright: Aquarius (1987) directed by Michele Soavi on which, under his real name, Massaccesi served as producer. He then directed two "Ator the Invincible" films. He directed the violent, hardcore The Emperor Caligula: The Untold Story (1982), using the name "David Hills", a commercial exploitation (some might say "rip-off") of the successful film by Tinto Brass.
D'Amato's other films during the 1980s were Paradiso Blu (1980) and violent adventure films such as Deep Blood (1990), which were filmed in Florida, and Ghosthouse (1988). Some of D'Amato's greatest successes abroad were L'alcova (1985) and Undici giorni, undici notti 3 (1989), as well as the horror-thriller Paura nel buio (1989) (aka "Hitcher in the Dark").
However, his long film career came to an abrupt end when, in January 1999, he suffered an unexpected and fatal heart attack at his home in Rome. He was 62. Joe D'Amato had made his mark on Italian cinema as a talented director, scriptwriter, producer and cinematographer with scores of films and more than a dozen aliases to his credit.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Matthew Patay