Umberto Lenzi

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Umberto Lenzi
Umberto lenzi sitges2008.jpg
Umberto Lenzi at the Festival de Cine de Sitges in October 2008.
Born (1931-08-06) 6 August 1931 (age 85)
Massa Marittima, Italy
Occupation Film director and screenwriter

Umberto Lenzi (born 6 August 1931), is an Italian film director who was very active in Italian international co-production peplums, Eurospy films, spaghetti westerns, Macaroni Combat movies, Poliziotteschi films, cannibal films and giallo murder mysteries (in addition to writing many of the screenplays himself).

Life and career[edit]

Born in Massa Marittima, Grosseto, southern Tuscany, Lenzi became passionate about cinema when studying law; after working as a journalist for various local newspapers and magazines, he abandoned his university studies and moved to Rome, where he enrolled at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, graduating in 1956.[1]

After a few years spent as a film critic an a writer, in 1960 he made his film debut as assistant director in the Renzo Merusi's drama The Dam on the Yellow River. One year later, he made his directorial debut with the pirate film Queen of the Seas.[1]

Between 1962 and 1966 Lenzi specialized in adventure films, in particular directing two films based on the Robin Hood character and three based on Emilio Salgari's Sandokan, as well as an adaptation of the comic book series Kriminal. After a few forays in the Eurospy, Spaghetti Western and Macaroni combat genres, in 1968 Lenzi started with Orgasmo a proficous and successful series of Giallo films, the first four of them starring Carroll Baker in the main role.[1]

In 1972 Lenzi directed the groundbreaking exploitation film Man from the Deep River, which is considered as either the inspiration or the start of the cannibal genre.[1][2] Starting from Gang War in Milan (1973), for a few years Lenzi concentrated into some successful crime films, known as "poliziotteschi", often collaborating with Tomas Milian and contributing to create Milian's character of "Er Monnezza".[1][3] In 1980, he returned to the cannibal genre with the truce Eaten Alive!; the same year, he directed Nightmare City, a film described as a "highlight of Lenzi's horror filmography". In 1981, he directed his last cannibal film, Cannibal Ferox.[1]

In the early 1980s Lenzi's career spanned in various genres, particularly comedies. He returned to the horror genre in 1987 with Ghosthouse, and in 1989 he started collaborating with Italian television. Following a number of low-budget cop films, he retired from directing in the early 1990s.[1]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Paul, Louis (2005). Italian Horror Film Directors. McFarland. ISBN 9780786487493. pp. 143-158.
  2. ^ Mark Martinez. "". Kult Movie Maximux. Retrieved 2006-10-24.  External link in |title= (help)
  3. ^ Pallotta, Alberto (2005). Quel fenomeno der Monnezza. Un Mondo A Parte. pp. 11–3. 
  4. ^ "BFI | Film & TV Database | Il coltello di ghiaccio (1970)". British Film Institute. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 

External links[edit]