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Michele Soavi, sometimes known as Michael Soavi (born 3 July 1957)[1] is an Italian filmmaker, actor, and screenwriter best known for his work in the horror film genre, working alongside directors like Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci.

Michele Soavi
Michele Soavi 2011.JPG
Michele Soavi in 2011
Born (1957-07-03) 3 July 1957 (age 62)
OccupationFilm director, actor
Years active1978 – present



Michele Soavi was born in Milan. As a teenager, Soavi enrolled in creative arts classes and developed into a talented actor. He took acting lessons at Milan's Fersen Studios, but his greatest talent was working behind the camera.[2] Soavi's directorial career began when he was offered an assistant director job by Marco Modugno after appearing as an extra in Modugno's 1979 film Bambule.[2] Soavi continued to act in films such as Alien 2: On Earth and Lucio Fulci's City of the Living Dead, and served as an assistant director to Aristide Massacessi (Joe D'Amato), and occasionally appeared in bit parts in some of D'Amato's films. Soavi later came into his own when he started his collaboration with famed Italian horror director Dario Argento, who used him as second assistant director on the film Tenebrae.[2] Soavi continued to work with Argento for several years; with his first credit as director being the documentary Dario Argento's World of Horror, followed by a pop promo for Bill Wyman.[2] He directed his first feature film with 1987's Stage Fright for producer Joe D'Amato.[3] He worked as assistant director to Terry Gilliam on The Adventures of Baron Munchausen in 1988, and followed this with his second feature film as director, 1989's La Chiesa (The Church). His third feature, The Sect (a.k.a. "The Devil's Daughter"), followed in 1990.[2]

Soavi has been credited as almost single-handedly continuing the traditions of Italian horror in the 1990s, directing the acclaimed zombie love story Dellamorte Dellamore (a.k.a. Cemetery Man).[2] The film was based on Tiziano Sclavi's novel of the same name, and the author was also known for being the creator of the successful Italian comic book Dylan Dog, and "Dellamorte Dellamore" starred Rupert Everett in the lead role.[1] Soavi retreated from the film industry in the mid-1990s to care for his ailing son, but, in recent years, he has begun working once more in Italian television.[2]

In 2008, it was announced that Soavi was working on a new feature film, The Catacombs Club.


Soavi in 1994.

As DirectorEdit

As Assistant Director / Second Unit DirectorEdit

As Actor OnlyEdit

Soavi makes cameos in all the films he directed and assistant directed prior to 2000. He has also acted, usually uncredited, in numerous films from other Italian horror directors.


  1. ^ a b Baldassarre, Angela (1999) "The Great Dictators: Interviews with Filmmakers of Italian Descent", Guernica Editions, ISBN 1-55071-094-X
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Buchanan, Jason "Allmovie Biography",, Macrovision Corporation
  3. ^ Pyke, Jim "The Films of Michele Soavi"

External linksEdit