Monday, September 11, 2017

Italian Horror Week 2017 Aftershocks - Italian Horror Icons We Loves: Where Are They Now? by Danny Mozz

Giovanni Lombardo Radice, also known to audiences as John Morghen, is best known for his villain and simpleton roles in Italian horror films. Most notably for the spectaculary and gruesome death scenes his characters semi-regularly fall victim to, he has been fondly titled "Italian Horror's Whipping Boy".

Giovanni established a career in theatre before landing a role in Ruggero Deodato’s violent revenge shocker House on the Edge of the Park in 1980.
In an interview, he reportedly stated that he wished he had never portrayed Mike Logan in Cannibal Ferox. Radice created his stage name, John Morghen, by taking the anglicized form of his first name, Giovanni becomes John, and using his grandmother's maiden name as his last name Morghen. His family practically disowned him when they discovered he was using his family name to create incredibly violent films.

He is best know for such classics as City of the Living Dead (Lucio Fulci, 1980), Cannibal Apocalypse (Antonio Margheriti, 1980), Cannibal Ferox (Umberto Lenzi, 1981), Treasure Island in Outer Space (Antonio Margheriti, 1987), Stagefright (Michele Soavi, 1987), The Church (Michele Soavi, 1989), The Sect (Michele Soavi, 1991), Body Puzzle (Lamberto Bava, 1992).

Today, Giovanni is still very much involved in film. He has appeared in the remake of The Omen and in Scorsese's Gangs Of New York. He also ocassionally appears at cons, and he also works in physiotherapy, in which he earned his degree as a young man.

Cinzia Monreale was an active runway model before starting her film career. In 1975, at age 17, she made her film debut in a minor role in the Vittorio Sindoni's comedy Son tornate a fiorire le rose, then she got her first main roles again with Sindoni, in the comedies Perdutamente tuo... mi firmo Macaluso Carmelo fu Giuseppe and Per amore di Cesarina.

Monreale appeared in several films throughout the seventies, including the spaghetti western Silver Saddle, which was her first time working with famed horror film director Lucio Fulci. In 1979, at age 22, she starred in a leading role with director Joe D'Amato in Buio Omega ("Beyond the Darkness"), and in 1981, again working with Fulci, she appeared as 'Emily' in the cult horror classic The Beyond, with Catriona MacColl and David Warbeck. Other roles include Joe D'Amato's Return From Death (aka Frankenstein 2000), Lucio Fulci's Warriors of the Year 2072 and The Sweet House of Horrors, the award-winning Festival directed by Pupi Avati, Under the Skin, and When a Man Loves a Woman.

Since, Monreale has also worked as a producer. She served as a videographer in the 2005 original documentary Kill Gil: Volume 1 and she produced the 2006 documentary Kill Gil: Volume 2. She is also active on television, in TV-movies and series.

Ian McCulloch made his onscreen debute in the second episode, "Genesis", of the UK series Survivors. He also starred roles in the Italian horror films Zombie Flesh Eaters also known as Zombi II (1979) by Lucio Fulci, Zombi Holocaust (1980) by Marino Girolami, and Contamination (1980) by Luigi Cozzi.

Zombie Flesh Eaters was originally banned in the United Kingdom as part of the 1980s campaign against "video nasties". McCulloch stated that he did not see the film in its entirety, or on a big screen, until years later.

Over the years, McCulloch has had supporting roles in studio films like Where Eagles Dare (1968) with Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood, and Cromwell (1970) with Alec Guinness and Richard Harris. In addition, he has appeared in successful independent films, most notably The Ghoul (1975) with Peter Cushing and John Hurt.

He has also guest starred in many TV series, including: Manhunt (1969); Colditz (1974), as the mysterious Larry Page in "Odd Man In"; Secret Army (1977); Return of the Saint (1978); Hammer House of Horror (1980); The Professionals (1980), episode "Mixed Doubles", in which he played the physical fitness and close quarters combat instructor of Bodie and Doyle; and the Doctor Who, serial Warriors of the Deep[1] (1984).

Today he is enjoying retirement and making guest appearences at horror cons and festivals.

Catriona MacColl is recognised for her work on European television and film, mainly in Italy. She has gained somewhat of a cult status, by horror fans, because of her career as an Italian horror actress. MacColl began her career in the late 1970s, making her debut in the French romantic drama Le dernier amant romantique, in which she received a small role. In 1979, she received her first leading role in Lady Oscar, a historical drama directed by Jacques Demy based on the manga Rose of Versailles by Riyoko Ikeda. Following her part in the drama Le fils puni, she appeared in the first of director Lucio Fulci's 'The Gates of Hell Trilogy', City of the Living Dead, playing the role of Mary Woodhouse, with Christopher George.

In her second role in the trilogy, The Beyond, she plays the role of Liza Merril, a young woman who inherits an infamous hotel in Louisiana only to discover what lies beneath it is one of the seven doors to Hell. MacColl has stated that The Beyond is her most favourable of the trilogy, for the fact that she enjoyed working with the cast and crew, especially David Warbeck, and that it was filmed in New Orleans. The final of the trilogy was The House by the Cemetery, for which she played Lucy Boyle, the mother and wife of a family who move into an old house, unaware that someone or something lives in the basement. MacColl did not originally plan to work in films with such a violent nature, as she had thought that they would not attract an audience, but following the growing fanbase of the trilogy over the years and that the films have received worldwide recognition, she is proud of the success of the trilogy.

She has also appeared in such films as Hawk the Slayer (1980), Afraid of the Dark (1991), A Good Year (2006), and most recently, the 2011 anthology film The Theatre Bizarre. She also starred in the Swiss short comedy film Employé du mois.

MacColl has had a successful career in television. In 1978, she made her television debut in the French series Il était un musicien. Her credits include, the mystery series Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, the short-lived BBC series Squadron, the mini-series The Last Days of Pompeii, Dempsey and Makepeace, The Hardy Boys, and the French soap opera Plus belle la vie. She made her return to horror in 2014's Horsehead.

The brawny and imposing actor Bobby Rhodes was born in 1947 in Livorno, Italy. He first began acting in films in the late 1960s. Rhodes has been frequently cast as hard-as-nails two-fisted macho-guy types in various Italian war, action, and horror features made throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

Bobby was excellent as the funky, no-nonsense Tony the Pimp in Lamberto Bava's outrageously gruesome cult fright flick Demons (1985). Rhodes was likewise fine as rugged gym instructor Hank in the equally enjoyable sequel Demons 2 (1986). His other memorable movie parts include rough'n'tumble soldier Carlos in the thrilling The Last Hunter (1980); crafty, fearsome hunter Woody Aldridge in the exciting futuristic sci-fi/action opus Endgame - Bronx lotta finale (1983); narcoleptic soldier Private Wilbur Davis Jr. in the dreadful war comedy Ciao nemico (1983); a formidable mercenary in Hearts and Armour (1983); King Xenodama in Hercules (1983); and a profane P.O.W. mechanic in Afganistan - The last war bus (L'ultimo bus di guerra) (1989). Moreover, Rhodes has also worked in films as both a stand-in and a stuntman.

Today Bobby loves to keep in touch with his fans. He spends his time doing guest appearences at cons and fests, and can be followed on youtube to be kept up on whats going on in his life. You may be caught off guard when you hear his real voice is nothing like Tony The Pimp.

Christopher George began acting in New York City, where he performed on the stage and in television commercials. His big break came when he was working as a bouncer at a New York waterfront bar and producer Robert Rafelson convinced him to begin an acting career. He studied acting under Wynn Handman and landed roles in Off-Broadway productions of popular plays of the day. Small theater productions in which he appeared while he was studying drama included All My Sons, The Moon Is Blue, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Stalag 17 and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Under drama coach Wynn Handman, he landed a sixteen-week engagement in the play Mr. Roberts with actor Hugh O'Brian; parts in Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams works followed. His career took off after he made a 60-second TV commercial for shaving cream, where he played the young man in the "Good morning, Mr. Gray" shaving spot, and won the New York Film Festival Award for best actor in a commercial. During this 1962 shaving-cream commercial, George played a groom lathering up before his first honeymoon night, with a line where he said, "It's all for you." The commercial earned him over $30,000. He also appeared in roles on the television series Naked City and Bewitched. While in New York City, George played in the Lemos Greek Repertory Theater because he could speak Greek fluently.

He first appeared on the screen when he landed a role in the film In Harm's Way (1965), playing a dying sailor for 30 seconds. This gave him his first opportunity to meet and work with John Wayne, who had been his boyhood idol and who would become a lifelong friend.

He first rose to prominence playing a supporting role in the Howard Hawks-directed Western film El Dorado (1966), starring John Wayne. He and Wayne became friends while shooting the film and would co-star in additional Westerns, including Chisum (1970) and The Train Robbers (1973). After a successful film careeer he then moving on to tv shows television work throughout the 1970s with guest roles on many popular series including Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, Police Story, S.W.A.T., Charlie's Angels and Fantasy Island. In 1973, he starred opposite of Jim Brown in I Escaped from Devil's Island. He also surprised fans by posing nude for Playgirl magazine in the June 1974 issue. In 1976, he played a supporting role as Lieutenant Commander Wade McClusky in the all-star World War II epic Midway. That same year, he would play the lead role of Ranger Michael Kelly in the Film Ventures International independent film Grizzly. A thinly-veiled Jaws clone, the animal horror thriller became one of the most popular films of George's career earning more than $39 million at the box office.

He followed that success with a busy string of horror, action, splatter and slasher B movies over the next seven years, including Dixie Dynamite (1976) co-starring Warren Oates; Day of the Animals (1977); City of the Living Dead (1980); Graduation Day (1981); Enter the Ninja (1981); Pieces (1982) and Mortuary (1983). George also co-starred with his wife Lynda Day in multiple television films, including Mayday at 40,000 Feet! (1976) and Cruise Into Terror (1978). They also worked together in episodes of The F.B.I. (1970), Mission: Impossible (1971), McCloud (1975), Wonder Woman (1976), Love Boat (1977) and Vega$ (1978).

Sadly, George died of a sudden heart attack on the late evening of November 28, 1983 in a Los Angeles hospital at age 52.

-Danny Mozz The Shock Chamber

1 comment:

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