Friday, August 10, 2012
Carlo Rambaldi did so much that general audiences aren't aware of, even things that devotées of strange films do not know.
For example, he created the life-size dragon for Giacomo Gentilomo's SIGFRIDO, the 1958 version of SIEGFRIED; he also devised a fully submersible yet fire-breathing dragon for THE MEDUSA AGAINST THE SON OF HERCULES (PERSUS THE INVINCIBLE), as well as its unforgettable, tree-like cyclops of a gorgon, not to mention many other uncredited marvels of the sword-and-sandal pictures. Working with Mario Bava, he made John Phillip Law's scuba-like masks for DANGER: DIABOLIK, he revolutionized the art of special makeup effects by redirecting them to gory ends for BAY OF BLOOD, and he designed the hideous burned visage of BARON BLOOD. His job of creating the illusion of living eviscerated dogs for Lucio Fulci's A LIZARD IN A WOMAN's skin was so convincing, it nearly got its director thrown in prison. He built the screen's most convincing, articulated, severed head for (ANDY WARHOL'S) FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN; he gave life to the giggling puppet that arbitrarily trots onscreen prior to a grisly murder in DEEP RED; and, of course, he was responsible for White Buffalo that charged through the delirium of Charles Bronson in the film of that same name, and also the hydraulic, octopus-like spawn that got a hot date with Isabelle Adjani in POSSESSION.
He was unfairly maligned for the failure of his life-size robotic KING KONG; he could deliver beautifully within reasonable perimeters. He was in fact the Michelangelo of the popular Italian cinema, and of the international cinema for a time. But nowadays such men are no longer needed, and woe is us.
This Washington Post article acknowledges his better-known assignments, and one or two more. Everyone who loves cinema should salute Carlo Rambaldi, a true artist and artisan, for his lifetime of service.
Posted by Tim Lucas at 6:14 PM