Giannetto De Rossi–Horror SFX Legend–Passes Away At 79

by Thomas Tuna

Giannetto De Rossi–one of the acknowledged giants in horror makeup and special effects–has passed away.

No cause of death was immediately reported. De Rossi was 79.

De Rossi began his career, as reported in, back in the 1960s as a traditional makeup artist for some of the great Italian filmmakers. He worked for Federico Fellini on Casanova (1967) and for Sergeo Leone on Once Upon a Time in the West (1968).

De Rossi then expanded his repertoire on Joe D’Amato’s Emanuelle in America (1977), a movie that followed an investigative journalist delving into the seamy world of “snuff films”. His makeup work on this film was so realistic that he was approached by Lucio Fulci to handle the effects on his next project.

That 1979 film–Zombi 2 (check out the video on this page)–showcased De Rossi’s talent and imagination and led to work on two 1981 Fulci horror flicks–The Beyond and The House by the Cemetery.

In the 1980s, De Rossi’s reputation caught the attention of Dino De Laurentiis, who hired him to work on 1984’s Dune and Conan the Destroyer. De Rossi also designed the special effects for Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo III (1988) and Daybreak (1996).

De Rossi continued his big-screen magic into the 21st Century, handling the makeup and special effects on the 2003 French slasher film High Tension. This movie, directed by Alexandre Aja, contains arguably some of De Rossi’s best horror special effects.

The staff of Horror News Network extends its condolences to De Rossi’s fans, colleagues, friends and family.

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