Luigi Cozzi

Active - 1972 - 2005  |   Born - Sep 7, 1947 in Busto Arsizio, Varese, Italy  |   Genres - Horror, Science Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy, Thriller

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An assistant to renowned horror/thriller director Dario Argento during the latter's early career, Luigi Cozzi aspired to be a director in his own right from the late '60s onward -- in contrast to Argento, however, Cozzi has always shown a preference for material rooted in science fiction. Indeed, his first effort before the cameras came about when he was 22 years old and was able to get the permission of noted sci-fi author Frederick Pohl to adapt one of his stories to the screen as an experimental film -- the resulting movie, Il Tunnel Sotto Il Mondo (aka Tunnel Under the World), received only a limited release in Italy but was good enough to establish Cozzi's potential. He earned his first major screen credit two years after that as a writer on Argento's 1971 thriller Four Flies on Grey Velvet. He and Argento collaborated on the screenplay for Eyewitness and the Argento-directed The Five Days of Milan (both 1973), and Cozzi moved into the director's chair that same year for Il Vicino di Casa (aka The Neighbor), produced by Argento for Italian television. In 1975, Cozzi finally got to shoot one of his own screenplays with The Killer Must Strike Again, a critically praised thriller that has since developed a cult following. Since then, he has worked on a mix of horror and suspense vehicles, as well as science fiction pieces such as Starcrash (1979) and Alien Contamination (1980), neither of which was well received by reviewers. His career continued apace, however, between theatrical films and made-for-television works, and remained closely linked to that of Argento until 1990 when -- according to author Louis Paul in his book Italian Horror Film Directors (McFarland, 2005) -- they had a brief falling out over Cozzi's choice of source and subject materials in Il Gatto Nero. Since that time, the two filmmakers have repaired their friendship, and by the end of the 20th century a big chunk of Cozzi's output and activities included documentary films about the work and career of Argento.

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