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Date of birth: 30 July 1931, in Rome, Italy.
Date of death: 21 May 2007, in Ostia, Rome, Italy.

Written by Fred Anderson

Bruno Mattei was born into the movie industry in 1931. After
working with different odd jobs at his father's popular editing facility,
Bruno learned the craft himself.

During the sixties and early seventies he edited close to a 100 movies,
a few of them for fellow exploitation masters as Jess Franco and Joe
D’Amato. After having gotten bit by the directing-bug he finally
stood behind the camera at his first directing-effort in 1970, the quite
successful drama “Armida, il dramma di una sposa”.

It took six years until he directed another movie, and during that time
he continued to edit other movies. But from 1976 he never stopped
directing and gained notoriety with some ultrasleazy nazisploitation-
movies, “SS Girls” and “S.S. Extermination Love Camp”.

This was the start of what became Bruno’s trademark, ripping of other
popular movies and making some fast money on them. This time the
arthouse classic "The Night Porter" (1974) inspired Tinto Brass
“Salon Kitty” (1976) and the ball was rolling. The nazisploitation was

Bruno continued with sex-oriented movies and worked with some of
the legends in the industriy: Laura Gemser in “Mondo Erotico”
(1977) and a couple of other shockumentaries, and of course Ilona
“Cicciolina” Staller in “Cicciolina amore mio” from 1979.

A few nunsploitation movies later, Mattei jumped on the zombie-
craze and made his first “classic”, “Hell of the Living Dead” in 1980.
He used ideas from Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” (1978), tossed in
some inspiration from Deodato’s and Lenzi’s cannibal-films and more
or less stole Goblins legendary score from the Romero-movie and the
same group's music from Luigi Cozzi’s “Contamination” (1980).

Shot over a period of four weeks outside Barcelona, both Bruno
Mattei and his new best friend, scriptwriter Claudio Fragasso, realized
that the footage wasn’t good enough and decided to spice it up with
jungle stock footage and additional gore scenes. The first version
ended up over 100 minutes, and after further editing it seemed ready
for release.

“Hell of the Living Dead” was a smaller success and got Mattei even
more directing gigs. He continued with more sex movies, a couple of
Caligula-rip offs and the bizarre post-apocalyptic revenge of the
nature-movie “Rats” (1984), a strange horror movie with guinea pigs
painted to look like rats.

After two Italian Westerns and countless Rambo-esque adventures in
the Philippines, including three of the most shameless rip offs ever:
“Terminator II” in 1990 (more or less a remake of “Aliens”, but with
no budget) “RoboWar” in 1988 (similar to “Predator”, with a guy in a
Jofa-helmet) and “Cruel Jaws” in 1995, (a copy of “Jaws”, that even
used actual material from Spielberg’s movie and credits Peter
Benchley as a writer), Mattei’s career slowed down.

However; thanks to production company La Perla Nera, Mattei made
a comeback in 2003 with “Snuff Trap” and started to make movies
like he never had left the happy eighties. Zombies, cannibals, demons,
jungles, explosions, women’s prisons and tons of gore came from his
deranged mind, but ended abruptly in 2007 with his death.

It started like wildfire on the internet in May 2007. “Bruno Mattei in
coma!”. Fans, friends and even those who didn’t like him were
stunned. A couple of weeks later it was confirmed that Mattei died
during the coma, because of a brain tumor. He was buried the 31th of
May 2007.
His last completed film was “Zombie: The Beginning” (2007) and
seems to be a rip off on Uwe Boll’s “House of the Dead” (2003) of all
movies, but it’s also rumored to be a prequel to “Hell of the living

Bruno Mattei has never been hailed as a master, but no one can deny
that the man had talent, energy and will to produce some of the most
entertaining exploitation movies ever made.

He will be missed.

2007 Zombies: The Beginning / Zombi: La creazione
2006 Island of the Living Dead / L' Isola dei morti viventi
2004 The Tomb / La Tomba
2003 Cannibal World / Mondo cannibale
2003 Land of Death / Nella terra dei cannibali
2003 Snuff Trap / Snuff killer – La morte in diretta
1995 Cruel Jaws
1994 Gli Occhi dentro
1990 Terminator II
1988 Strike Commando 2 / Trappola diabolica
1988 Zombi 3 (uncredited)
1987 Strike Commando
1984 Rats: Night of Terror / Rats – Notte di terrore
1981 Caligula and Messalina / Caligula et Messaline
1980 Hell of the Living Dead / Virus
1980 The Other Hell / L' Altro inferno
1977 S.S. Extermination Love Camp / KZ9 – Lager di Sterminio
1977 SS Girls / Casa privata per le SS
1970 Armida, il dramma di una sposa

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