Claudio Fragasso

Claudio Fragasso (born 2 October 1951) is a film director and screenwriter. Fragasso first attempted to make art films in the early 1970s, then became a screenwriter in the Italian film industry in the mid-1970s. Fragasso met director Bruno Mattei, which led to a ten-year partnership from 1980 to 1990[2] during which the two worked together closely on films, with Fragasso's contributions often going uncredited. Fragasso's wife Rossella Drudi was also a screenwriter and collaborated with him on a number of projects.[3] Fragasso would later go on to write and direct his own films in the 1980s, including Monster Dog with rock musician Alice Cooper and After Death. Fragasso made Troll 2 in 1989, which was later the topic of Best Worst Movie, a documentary film that discussed Troll 2's fandom.

Claudio Fragasso
Born (1951-10-02) 2 October 1951 (age 68)
Other namesClyde Anderson,[1] Drake Floyd
Years active1974–present


Claudio Fragasso was born on 2 October 1951.[4] Prior to directing, Claudio Fragasso worked as a screenwriter beginning in the mid-1970s.[5] Fragasso had originally planned to make art films, and initially shot his films on Super8 such as Passaggi (1977) and its follow-up Difendimi dalla Notte, with Fragasso noting "In Italy, to be considered important, you must shoot something like that.".[1][5] According to Fragasso, the screenplay for Il Medium was done specifically for director Silvio Amadio in 1975.[6] The film however did not start production until 1979.[6] Fragasso worked on the screenplays on several Italian crime thrillers in the 1970s.[7][8]


Fragasso met director Bruno Mattei when Mattei was still an assistant editor and they immediately got along well with one another as they both enjoyed genre films.[9] In 1980, Mattei began a close collaboration with screenwriter Fragasso, beginning with The True Story of the Nun of Monza (1980) and ending with a comedy called Three For One (1990).[2] The two worked closely together for that ten-year period (collaborating on 15 films)[2] with Fragasso occasionally assuming the role of second unit, or assistant, director.[2][2] Fragasso has stated he is a fan of splatter films, noting that they were "very important to me. The Italian spirit compels us to exaggerate."[10]

Fragasso stated his first films with Mattei were The True Story of the Nun of Monza and The Other Hell, which were filmed simultaneously to save money.[9] The two co-directed the films in a real convent and exchanged actors to allow them to shoot the two films simultaneously.[9] While the films were being processed, Mattei and Fragasso were hired to finish the film Perverse Sex, Violent World which was completed in two weeks using stock footage.[9][3] Their next film Hell of the Living Dead was written by Fragasso and his wife Rosella Drudi.[3] Fragasso also assisted in directing the film.[11] Mattei however maintained that on all the films Fragasso claims to have co-directed, he was really just Mattei's assistant director.[11]

Following Hell of the Living Dead, producers suggested another two-film deal which led to Women's Prison Massacre and Violence in a Women's Prison, both starring Laura Gemser.[10] Violence in a Women's Prison was written by Fragasso and Drudi.[10] Fragasso spoke positively on working with Gemser, stating that "compared to the starlets of today, she was virtually a nun, the absolute opposite of a porn star".[10] Gemser would years later work for producer Aristide Massaccesi's Filmirage team, as a costume designer on Fragasso's film Troll 2.[10] Producer Roberto Di Girolamo requested a post-apocalyptic film from Fragasso and Mattei, called Rats: Night of Terror.[12] Fragasso would also collaborate on the two Westerns Mattei directed in the 1980s: Scalps and White Apache.[11] Fragasso also appeared in small roles in some of his films, such as Robowar and Cop Game.[4]

In 1986,[1] Fragasso made a film on his own without Mattei titled Monster Dog for producer Eduard Sarlui, starring musician Alice Cooper.[12] Fragasso and Drudi also co-wrote the sequel to Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2, called Zombi 3.[12] Director Fulci had to leave the Philippines set before completing the film, leading to Drudi and Fragasso having to re-write and expand the script in one day, the film's directing chores being completed by Bruno Mattei who was working in the Philippines at the time.[13] Fragasso flew there the next day to assist Mattei with the filming.[13]

While working on Zombi 3, Fragasso simultaneously directed another zombie film called After Death, written by himself and Drudi, which he described as "a small movie I did with half the budget of the "official" movie, which was shot in the same location in the Philippines" for Filmirage.[13][14] After Death was shot at night since during the day, Fragasso was shooting Zombi 3 with Mattei.[13] Fragasso also directed Beyond Darkness (La Casa 5) for Filmirage.[14]

Fragasso has claimed that he and Drudi wrote the original story for Filmirage's Killing Birds which they wrote under the title Artigli, a claim dismissed by Italian film critic and historian Roberto Curti, who noted that the treatment for Killing Birds, that was written by Claudio Lattanzi and Bruna Antonucci, was much closer to the finished film.[15]

Fragasso would later make Troll 2 for Massaccesi who wanted to make a horror film without any blood in it.[13] The film was shot in mid-1989 in Morgan, Utah.[16] Rosella met the producer Sarlui and he had a mask from the film Troll which Fragasso had not seen.[13] Fragasso stated their film was originally to be titled Goblins and was written with Drudi as a more family-oriented horror film with humor about goblins who hated carnivorous humans as the goblins were vegetarians.[13] Fragasso is credited as Drako Floyd, a pen name created by Drudi from the Dragon sign in the Chinese zodiac and for the band Pink Floyd.[14]

1990s and 2000sEdit

In the mid-1990s, critics suggested there was a resurgence of crime films in Italy going on after the release of The Escort.[17] This new wave included Fragasso's Palermo - Milan One Way, the box office success of which led to others such as Coppia omicida and the television film Operazione Odissea.[18] Fragasso continued to make several films for both theatrical and television release, culminating in his 2007 sequel to Palermo - Milan One Way which was called Milano Palermo - il ritorno.[18]

Partial filmographyEdit

Note: The films listed as N/A are not necessarily chronological.
Title Year Credited as Notes Ref(s)
Director Screenwriter Screen story writer Other
Mania 1974 Yes Assistant director [19][20]
Meet Him and Die 1976 Yes Yes [21]
Gangbuster 1977 Yes [22]
La banda Vallanzasca 1977 Yes Dialogue collaboration [23]
Don't Trust the Mafia 1979 Yes Yes Assistant director [24]
Il medium 1980 Yes [25][26]
The True Story of the Nun of Monza 1980 Yes [27][28][29]
Hell of the Living Dead 1980 Yes Yes Yes assistant director [11][30][31]
The Other Hell 1981 Yes Yes Yes assistant director [32][11][33]
The Seven Magnificent Gladiators 1983 Yes [34]
Rats: Night of Terror 1984 Yes [35][36]
Il piacere 1985 Yes Yes [37]
Monster Dog 1986 Yes Yes Yes [1][14]
White Apache 1986 Yes Assistant director [11][38]
Scalps 1986 Yes Assistant director [11][38]
Double Target 1987 Yes Yes [39][40]
Strike Commando 1987 Yes Yes [41]
Zombi 3 1988 Yes Yes [42][43][44]
Robowar 1988 Yes Yes [45][46]
After Death 1989 Yes [47]
Beyond Darkness 1990 Yes Yes Yes [48]
Night Killer 1990 Yes Yes Yes [49][50][51]
Troll 2 1990 Yes Yes Yes [52]
Teste Rasate 1993 Yes [53]
Palermo — Milan No Return 1995 Yes Yes [54]
Best Worst Movie 2009 Yes himself [55]
Interzone N/A Yes [56]
Three For One N/A Yes [57]


  1. ^ a b c d Curti 2019, p. 130.
  2. ^ a b c d e Lupi & Gazzarrini 2013, p. 32.
  3. ^ a b c Gregory & Caddeo, p. 7.
  4. ^ a b "Claudio Fragasso". AllMovie. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b Curti 2019, p. 131.
  6. ^ a b Curti 2019, p. 44.
  7. ^ Curti 2019, p. 184.
  8. ^ Curti 2019, p. 218.
  9. ^ a b c d Gregory & Caddeo, p. 6.
  10. ^ a b c d e Gregory & Caddeo, p. 8.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Curti 2019, p. 52.
  12. ^ a b c Gregory & Caddeo, p. 9.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Gregory & Caddeo, p. 10.
  14. ^ a b c d Curti 2019, p. 133.
  15. ^ Curti 2019, p. 161.
  16. ^ Gingold, Michael (January 2010). "Troll 2 - Best Worst Experience". Fangoria. No. 289. p. 62.
  17. ^ Curti 2019, p. 285.
  18. ^ a b Curti 2013, p. 285.
  19. ^ Curti 2017, p. 121.
  20. ^ Curti 2017, p. 122.
  21. ^ Curti 2013, p. 184.
  22. ^ Curti 2013, p. 218.
  23. ^ Curti 2013, p. 203.
  24. ^ Curti 2013, p. 257.
  25. ^ Curti 2019, p. 34.
  26. ^ Curti 2019, p. 35.
  27. ^ Paul 2005, p. 219.
  28. ^ Curti 2019, p. 32.
  29. ^ "La vera storia della Monaca di Monza = The true story of the nun of Monza". WorldCat. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  30. ^ Curti 2019, p. 55.
  31. ^ "Virus (1980)" (in Italian). Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  32. ^ Curti 2019, p. 51.
  33. ^ Gordiano & Gazzarrini 2013, p. 215.
  34. ^ Kinnard & Crnkovich 2017, p. 204.
  35. ^ "Rats - Notte di terrore (1984)". Archivio del cinema italiano (in Italian). Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  36. ^ Alexander, Chris (2014). "The Rats are Coming...Geretta Geretta is Here!". Delirium. No. 3. Charles Band. p. 29.
  37. ^ "Il piacere (1985)". Archivio del cinema italiano (in Italian). Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  38. ^ a b Grant 2019, p. 468.
  39. ^ "Double target (1987)". Archivio del cinema italiano (in Italian). Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  40. ^ Hayward 1988, p. 155.
  41. ^ "Strike Commando (1986)". Archivio del cinema italiano (in Italian). Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  42. ^ "Zombi 3 (1988)" (in Italian). Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  43. ^ "Spettacoli a Roma" (in Italian). L'Unità. 29 July 1988. p. 22. ISSN 0391-7002.
  44. ^ Firsching, Robert. "Zombi 3". AllMovie. Archived from the original on 2 August 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  45. ^ "Robowar - Robot da guerra (1989)". Archivio del cinema italiano (in Italian). Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  46. ^ Paul 2005, p. 218.
  47. ^ "After Death (1989)". Archivio del cinema italiano (in Italian). Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  48. ^ "La casa 5 (1990)". Archivio del cinema italiano (in Italian). Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  49. ^ "Non aprite quella porta 3 (1990)". Archivio del cinema italiano (in Italian). Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  50. ^ "Night Killer [Blu-ray]". Severin Films. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  51. ^ Paul, Zachary (26 June 2017). "Looking Back at the Unofficial 'Texas Chainsaw' Sequel from Italy!". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on 11 March 2020. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  52. ^ "Troll 2". American Film Institute. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  53. ^ "Teste rasate". WorldCat. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  54. ^ Stratton, David (29 October 1995). "Palermo – Milan No Return". Variety. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  55. ^ "Best Worst Movie". Variety. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  56. ^ "Interzone". AllMovie. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  57. ^ Lupi & Gazzarrini 2013, p. 155.


  • Curti, Roberto (2013). Italian Crime Filmography, 1968-1980. McFarland. ISBN 0786469765.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Curti, Roberto (2017). Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1970–1979. McFarland. ISBN 1476629609.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Curti, Roberto (2019). Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1980-1989. McFarland. ISBN 1476672431.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Hayward, Anthony (1988). "Video Releases". Film Review 1988-9. Columbus Books Limited. ISBN 0-86287-939-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Kinnard, Roy; Crnkovich, Tony (2017). Italian Sword and Sandal Films, 1908-1990. McFarland. ISBN 1476662916.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Lupi, Gordiano; Gazzarrini, Ivo (2013). Bruno Mattei: L'ultimo artigiano (in Italian). Il foglio. ISBN 8876064605.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Paul, Louis (2005). Italian Horror Film Directors. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-8749-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Gregory, David; Caddeo, Federico. "A Hell of a Team". Gorezone. No. 32. ISSN 0896-8802.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External linksEdit