Luigi Cozzi was born in Busto Arsizio in Italy on 7 September 1947. At a young age, Cozzi made films in 8mm and grew up wanting to be a film director. Cozzi was also a great fan of science fiction, and worked as an overseas correspondent for Western film magazines such as Famous Monsters of Filmland and Photon. Cozzi’s first film The Tunnel Under the World was described by Cozzi as “shot very quickly on a ridiculously low budget.” The film features a martian and a vampire. He befriended director Dario Argento and began working on his screenplay for Four Flies on Grey Velvet, as well as working as an assistant on the film.
Following work on Four Flies, Cozzi moved to Rome where he worked as a journalist. He continued work with Argento on his film The Five Days and began working in television, writing two episodes (“Eyewitness” and “Neighbor”) and directing “Neighbor” for the Door into Darkness television series. His next film made was what Cozzi described as an Argento-styled thriller titled The Killer Must Kill Again. Cozzi’s next film project was Take All of Me which he considered his best film. The film is a non-genre film which involves a love story between the failed pianist Richard and the young girl Stella. Cozzi has since attempted to develop new non-science fiction films including The Locomotive and Freshmen but could not get funding for them. After the success of Star Wars, Cozzi found investors who were willing to fund a larger-scale science fiction film, and began working on a film initially called Empire of the Stars which was later released as Starcrash. Cozzi felt he did not have the budget to compete with Star Wars and decided to give the film a “deliberately crazy look”. The film was plagued with production problems ranging from food poisoning on the set and a communist worker revolt which led to the films master copy being held for ransom by Italian activists. Cozzi was about to do a sequel to the film titled Star Riders which would have a $12 million budget from Cannon Films with actors Klaus Kinski, Nancy Kwan and Jack Rabin. The sequel never went into production. Cozzi began expressing his frustration with the Italian film industry, stating in an interview in Cinefantastique that “What can I do? In Italy, when you bring a script to a producer, the first question he asks is not ‘What is your film like?’ but ‘What film is your film like?’ That’s the way it is in Italy. We can only make Zombie II, never Zombi I.” Cozzi went on to direct The Humanoid starring Richard Kiel, taking over for Aldo Lado. The film is credited to George B. Lewis and was not released in the United States after American International Productions turned down the finished film. Cozzi began working on a new film titled Alien Contamination which producers agreed to finance on the condition that the film would resemble Alien. After another Italian film tiled Alien 2 on Earth was released, the producers took a title from the uncompleted Lucio Fulci film Contamination: Atomic Project and applied the word “Contamination” to the title. The film was shot in eight weeks on a budget of $800,000.
1980s to present
Cozzi began working at writing novels, writing thrillers including Killer Instinct and Fear Hotel and the science fiction novel Time Parallels and the horror novel Cthulu Night. He was later offered by Menahem Golan to do an updated version of the story of Hercules on the condition that he could re-write the script in three weeks. Cozzi accepted and developed Hercules, which drew inspiration from Clash of the Titans. Cozzi’s film includes large amounts of stop-motion animation. Cozzi worked on a sequel that had actor Lou Ferrigno reprise his role, but found the actor only available for three weeks which led to Cozzi padding the film with footage from the first film. Cozzi continued working with Argento, working on the special effects scenes in his film Phenomena. He created the scene involving the insects attacking a school by filming smashed coffee grounds in a water tank. He followed this work with television series Giallo working again with Argento and Lamberto Bava. Cozzi was offered to direct the film Witchery, which the initial director Claudio Lattanzi left during pre-production. Cozzi entered and left two weeks into pre-production, finding the story “too predictable and banal”. Other later work included directing and writing Paganini Horror. The film stars Donald Pleasence and is based on the legend of a famous violinist being in league with the devil. Cozzi also wrote the script for Sinbad which was directed by Enzo G. Castellari, but completed by Cozzi. Among his later work is The Black Cat starring Caroline Munro, who is visited by a witch. Cozzi played himself in the film Sick-o-pathics and also developed documentaries on Dario Argento. Cozzi later made two documentaries on the films of Dario Argento, and for years co-owned and managed Argento’s retail movie memorabilia store in Italy, Profondo Rosso. A new film made by Cozzi titled Blood on Méliès’ Moon was announced at the Italian Horror Fest in Nettuno in July 2014. Cozzi explained his return to film making was due to modern technology making it easier to make a film. Cozzi stated that it was similar to when he “decided to become a publisher, until then, to publish a book you had to print at least one or two thousand copies. That meant a lot of money and often your storehouses were full of unsold copies. After the advent of digital, you could print even only thirty copies of a book and so I decided to start publishing books and novels.” The title of the film came from Cozzi when working for Cannon in the 1980s which had a different plot. The film had its world premiere at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival.
Enrica Bianchi Colombatto (born 23 July 1942 in Brescia, Lombardy) is an Italian actress, usually known by her stagename of Erika Blanc.
Her most notable role was as the first fictional character Emmanuelle in Io, Emmanuelle (1969). Blanc starred in several cult European horror films, including The Third Eye (1966), Kill, Baby, Kill (1966), So Sweet… So Perverse (1969), The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (1971), The Devil’s Nightmare (1971), The Red Headed Corpse (1972) and Mark of the Devil Part II (1973). Her other film credits include roles in Django Shoots First (1966), Target Goldseven (1966), Blood at Sundown (1966), Halleluja for Django (1967), The Longest Hunt (1968), Seven Times Seven (1968), Hell in Normandy (1968), Long Arm of the Godfather (1972), Tony Arzenta (1973), The Stranger and the Gunfighter (1974), Il domestico (1974), I figli di nessuno (1974), Eye of the Cat (1976), La portiera nuda (1976) and Dream of a Summer Night (1983). She recently returned to films with small but intense roles under the direction of Turkish-born director Ferzan Özpetek, acting as Antonia’s mother in Le fate ignoranti (2001), and as the sensitive, alcohol-addicted Maria Clara in Cuore Sacro (2005). In 2003 she starred as the grandmother in Adored, directed by Marco Filiberti.