Bruno Mattei  

Italian exploitation and horror director notorious for ripping off blockbuster Hollywood movies in the most blatant ways possible, copying entire scenes, scripts of dialogue, naming his movies as their sequels, all usually wrapped in an extremely inept, badly-acted b-movie package. Amongst the movies he soiled were Jaws, Terminator, Aliens, Mummy, Predator, 8MM, etc. Mattei is The Revenge of the Indie Movie Maker, remaking Hollywood movies and ruining them, just like Hollywood does to others. He also filmed the usual exploitation and Italian staples of Women in Prison flicks, Nazisploitation, zombies, sword and sandal, westerns, giallos, etc. Listed here are only his most extreme movies. Died in 2007.


Caligula and Messalina  
Mattei, as usual, cashes in on a bigger production, this time on the buzz created by Tinto's Caligula. He tells the same tale, with added bits for the story of Messalina, an ambitious and manipulative lover-warrior of Caligula, only his version doesn't have the hardcore inserts and the gore is all off-screen. But the sleaze is nevertheless rampant, way beyond the norm of Eurotrash, with orgies, bizarre sexual performances, a threesome with a dwarf, a noble-woman who searches for the biggest schlong only to find it on an unbelievably ugly ogre of a man in a slum, bridal-night bisexual rape, and hardcore donkey and horse sex, the latter stolen from Borowczyk's The Beast. He followed up with Caligula Reincarnated As Nero to tell Nero's tale of incest, madness and sadism, with slightly less sleaze and a little more gore.

Cannibal World (AKA Cannibal Holocaust: The Beginning)  
Mattei's remake (AKA rip-off) of Cannibal Holocaust under one of his many aliases: Vincent Dawn. A group of reporters in desperate need of sensational footage and a quest for ratings, dig into their cruelty and wander off into cannibal land. They add their own sadism to the already naturally cruel jungle, upping the ante until the cannibals decide to rid themselves of this white plague. But, besides the jungle location, the shiny actors and tribal locals all look like they just stepped off a porn-set with bad over-acting to match, and Mattei has no understanding of what made the original work, filming the cannibals like rabid zombies feeding on a fresh kill and having the characters flip from extreme cruelty to humanist and back again at a whim. The gore is there though, with plenty of disemboweling, jungle abortion, decapitation, etc. and even some animal cruelty, only its just as ineffectual as the rest. Cannibal Xerox indeed.

Emanuelle and the Erotic Nights    
Mattei's Mondo-style documentary on all things perverse around the world featuring the usual staged acts mixed with possibly real footage. Laura Gemser undresses, narrates and serves as the only link to the Emanuelle series. The collection includes exhibitionism, nude roller-skating, rituals with knives, a Lady Godiva who gets friendly with her horse, a magician who makes a penis appear on a woman, castration and genital surgery, etc.

Hell of the Living Dead (AKA Virus)  
Bruno Mattei's take on the zombie genre with his usual awful cheesiness and ridiculous sleaze. A chemical leak in New Guinea starts creating zombies. The military and a local news crew join forces to survive in the jungles amongst the tribes and fight the fast-spreading virus. This is yet another terrible zombie clone with laughably bad acting and dialog, weak gore effects (despite the abundance of red stuff and ripped flesh), and non-scary zombies who couldn't outrun a slug. To make 'convincing' scenery, grainy documentary snippets are intercut with the movie. A prime example of the stupidity is when in order to infiltrate the local black tribes, a white female news reporter strips naked, and voila, gratuitous nudity.

Jail: The Women's Hell, The  
Mattei revisits the Women in Prison genre with all the cliches, bad acting and b-movie ineptness he could muster, with all the expected copycat scenes of lesbianism, rape, sadistic guards, exploitation by guards and camp visitors, attempted escapes and hunts, whippings, etc. Except Mattei pulls out the gore effects for the hunting climax as some sadistic guards, hunters and tribesmen hunt down the convicts in wild abandon to cut them up, decapitate them, set up gory traps for them, graphically slice up breasts, or impale them with poles and machetes.

Land of Death  
A completely shameless rip-off by the king of rip-off ineptness: Bruno Mattei. This one steals dozens of complete scenes, frame by frame, from Cannibal Holocaust and Predator, mixing them together in a b-movie of laughable cheese. A group of soldiers go into the jungle to rescue friends and come across cannibals. There is no need to describe the plot and characters, as we've seen them already elsewhere. Even the gore is sanitized, cutting away from the splatter and leaving us with some weak scattered shots of skinned bodies, intestine munching and dismembering.

Sexual Aberration (AKA Libidomania)    
Another Mondo by Mattei, this one on all things sexual. The parade here (which mixes staged, and mondo African footage, much of which is stolen from other films) include people with various fetishes (bathwater, statues, necrophilia, peeping, exhibitionism, horse sex, etc), sex shows, naked beauty contests, interwoven with African tribal customs involving phallic decorations, bridal night customs, gory carving and eating of a bat for its special qualities, mutilating body art, etc. All the while we get a laughable, pseudo-scientific narrative with plenty of Freudian claptrap and links to historical recreations remarking on the various aberrations and fixations, the roots of all such perversities, and the 'issues' with female anatomy, and so on. The sequel is more of the same, except more pornographic, with a laughable parade of staged nude shows, kinks, perversions and fetishes, spliced together with various tribal customs involving sex, piercings, staged tribal violence, rotten corpses and the abduction of a white woman. Homosexuality is also compared in explicit detail in both the Western world and amongst primitive tribes.

Women's Camp 119 (AKA S.S. Extermination Love Camp)  
Mattei's second take on the Nazisploitation genre is a blend of bleak, mean-spirited horror and very silly exploitation, injected with references to real Holocaust details that leave behind a very bad taste. At a Nazi experimentation camp, all kinds of sordid things are going on: Whippings and humiliations straight out of a women in prison flick, gory uterus transplants, lots of speeches about the superiority of Germans, an experiment to revive frozen soldiers using prostitutes while an audience watches, naked cat-fights and lesbian guards, sudden brutal experiments with poison and poison bullets on girls that somehow always get their clothes off, attempts at curing homosexuality with naked girls, doctor-prisoners that somehow justify what they do, a deranged man whom the Nazis keep as a pet rapist, depressing drama, bad over-acting, and more.

Zombie 4: After Death  
Someone must have taken a dozen zombie movies, cut them into bits, thrown the pieces in the air and made this movie out of whatever landed first. There is no logic, no consistency (zombies sometimes plod and sometimes jump from trees and talk, and sometimes slash and cut like Demons), the plot involves voodoo, scientists, hell and other bits and pieces which are never tied together, and the characters are as flat as can be. There are only two mediocre splatter scenes, the rest of the action involving some blood and green goo. This isn't a stupid movie, it's literally mindless.

Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 (AKA Zombi 3)
See Lucio Fulci.

Zombies: The Beginning  
Mattei's last movie is a grand finale of insane, rip-off exploitation movie making. This is a sequel to his terrible Island of the Living Dead, but it ignores the ending of that movie, somehow transforming the survivor of an island full of medieval zombie-ghosts, into Ellen Ripley in Aliens. The complete plot is xeroxed, with line-by-line scenes and dialogue, except for the adjustments made to account for an island full of scientists experimenting with zombies and zombie impregnation (what?!). When the company (what company?) refuses to believe her, she becomes a Buddhist recluse (huh?), until she is asked to join a military operation to save the scientist families, bla bla... you know the story. The gore is relatively low for a zombie movie except for a couple of splatter scenes involving zombie-alien births, and the ending involving incubation machines, zombie hybrids, bug-eyed alien-zombie children, fetus vacuum cleaners and a big brain, must be seen to be believed.

1999- by The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre Table of Contents