Gino Marinuzzi Jr. is a major musical figure twice over, in movies as well as in composition and education, and he comes by that presence as his birthright. His father, Gino Marinuzzi (1882-1945), was a major Palermo-born conductor and composer, known around the world from the dawn of the 20th century, closely associated with the music of Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, Donizetti, Bellini, and Richard Strauss. Gino Marinuzzi Jr. was born in New York in 1920, a period in which his father held posts in the United States, and graduated from the Milan Conservatory in 1942. He was closely associated with Teatro dell'Opera de Camera in Rome, and made his conducting debut with the opera's ballet company in 1947. Marinuzzi subsequently turned to composition, including writing music for movies and radio. He entered the Italian film industry in 1950 with All for Love, and over the ensuing decade wrote the scores to such diverse productions as Jean Renoir's The Golden Coach (1952) and Vittorio Cottafavi's Hercules and the Captive Women (1961). Marinuzzi also taught composition from the early '50s onward (among his most notable students is pianist Vittorio Bresciani) and later became fascinated with electronic music. In 1956, in collaboration with Federico Savina, Marinuzzi co-founded the Accademia Filarmonica Romana. His later achievements include the creation of the Fonosynth 2 elettronico, an instrument on which electronic music can be composed.
Marinuzzi's film assignments in the 1960s varied between reasonably traditional subjects, such as I Castrati (1964), Terrore Nello Spazio (aka Planet of the Vampires, 1965, directed by Mario Bava and utilizing Marinuzzi's electronic composing skills), and the offbeat espionage thriller Matchless (1967). He left the film industry for nearly 20 years after that to concentrate on teaching and serious composition, returning in 1984 to write the score for the television series La Piovra (aka The Octopus). His score for Planet of the Vampires, perhaps his most critically acclaimed film work, was lost from home-video versions of the movie from the early '80s until the start of the 21st century, thanks to a decision by its one-time distributor, Thorn-EMI, to replace Marinuzzi's score with one that they owned outright and on which no royalties would be due. The 2001 reissue of the movie on DVD, by way of MGM/UA, restored Marinuzzi's music, which was also released on a soundtrack CD for the first time in early 2004.