Rambaldi created octopus face years before the Alien chest burster.
One of cinema’s great special effects masters Carlo Rambaldi has died at the age of 86.
Rambaldi will be remembered by most moviegoers as the guy who created the loveable E.T. and the freaky chest-bursting baby monster in Alien. While I have a soft spot in my heart for both of those creatures, my favorite Rambaldi creations appear in films like Mario Bava’s Twitch Of The Death Nerve, Deep Red, Flesh For Frankenstein and Planet Of The Vampires.
With Twitch Of The Death Nerve ( aka Bay Of Blood), Rambaldi designed and orchestrated ultra-violent gore effects that influenced an entire genre of film known as splatter movies. He wasn’t the first, but he was the craftiest. In films like Blood Feast and 2000 Maniacs, Herschell Gordon Lewis brought the butcher shop aesthetic into the cinema, but it was Rambaldi who took the hamburger and refined it into steak tartare. Later, Tom Savini and Rob Bottin would bring the fine china.
When it came to the art of dismemberment and disembowelment, Bava and Rambaldi set the standard for films like Suspiria, Friday The Thirteenth and and Dawn Of The Dead. Just watch Twitch Of The Death Nerve and you will see what I mean. It’s a grand gorefest, beautifully shot and full of eye-popping effects. And even if the movie didn’t have anything going for it other than the title, that alone would be enough.
Twitch Of The Death Nerve is, according to film historian Tim Lucas, “probably known by more titles than any other movie ever released.” You know which one I like.