Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register Now to see X-MEN First Class!
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
World’s First Look At New Dawn Of The Planet Of Apes Footage
Andy Serkis Caesars the moment
First Clip From Star Wars Rebels
TIE Fighter take down
Max Greenfield Says Hello My Name Is Doris
New Girl star in new comedy
Teaser For Orange Is The New Black Season 2
Piper goes for the throat
Captain America Remains In Command At US Box Office
Rio 2 still second but Transcendence disappoints
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
19 February 2014
Ellen Ripley To Become An Action Figure
Alien 35th anniversary toys announced
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
Alien (2003)
Empire Star Rating
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: 20th Anniversary Special Edition (2002)
Empire Star Rating
Bits And Pieces
Empire Star Rating
The Stendhal Syndrome
Empire Star Rating
Tenebrae
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Carlo Rambaldi 1925-2012
Special effects legend dies aged 86

12 August 2012  |  Written by Owen Williams  

submit to reddit

Carlo Rambaldi 1925-2012

One of the great pioneers of movie special effects, Carlo Rambaldi has died at his home in Italy after a long illness. He was 86.

Rambaldi had recently been living in the southern Italian city of Lemezia Terme, but was born in the north, in the village of Vigarano Mainarda, in Emilia-Romagna. He attended Bologna's Academy of Fine Arts as a teenager, and had intentions of becoming a painter. But an offer from Italian director Giacomo Gentilomo to create a dragon for the film Sigfredo proved life-changing.

Rambaldi's work immediately became a staple of Italian horror and fantasy cinema. He worked with the maverick likes of Mario Bava (Planet Of The Vampires, Twitch Of The Death Nerve) and Damiano Damiani (The Witch In Love), and had the dubious honour of having to legally prove that his work was pure artifice, when some unpleasantness with a dog in Lucio Fulci's A Lizard In A Woman's Skin saw the director facing a two-year jail sentence. Rambaldi was able to demonstrate his animatronic creature work in court, and Fulci was exhonerated.

After Dario Argento's Deep Red, Rambaldi caught the eye of super-producer Dino De Laurentiis, who gave him the immense task of reinventing King Kong for the ambitious 1976 remake. While the film itself may not have been flawless, the creature work was effective and Rambaldi and his team won an Oscar for their efforts. Rambaldi worked on a further spate of Laurentiis films in the 1980s, including Dune, Conan The Destroyer, and the Stephen King adaptations Cat's Eye and Silver Bullet. For the latter he created the werewolf, completing a trimumverate of his own versions of the classic monsters that he'd begun with Andy Warhol's Dracula and Frankenstein.

Working with De Laurentiis kept him with one foot in Italy, but it's for his work with Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott - to the tune of further Oscars - that Rambaldi will perhaps best be remembered. It was Rambaldi and his team who brought HR Giger's extraordinary Alien to life. And following a fruitful collaboration on Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Spielberg entrusted Rambaldi with the design and creation of E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial. All those '80s kids clutching plush E.T.s could thank the man behind Dagoth and the Guild Navigator.

His final credits were all on projects directed by his son, Vittorio Rambaldi: Primal Rage, Decoy, and A Friend From Space. The last was made in 2006, but Rambaldi always stuck to practical effects, and never embraced CGI. "E.T. cost a million dollars and we created it in three months," he told La Repubblica. "If we wanted to do the same thing with computers it would take at least 200 people a minimum of five months!"

"Carlo Rambaldi was E.T.'s Geppetto," said Spielberg at the weekend. "All of us who marvelled and wondered at his craft and artistry are deeply saddened at his passing."


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Bourne Legacy Scores At US Box Office
The Campaign wins second place
Hugh Laurie May Be Robocop's Villain
UPDATE: He's no longer in talks

Your Comments

Sad,Sad News.
Gosh I only just heard! Rest In Peace. A true innovator and dream catcher. Thanks for all the ingenuity Carlos! Alien was a truly magical piece of invention that changed cinema and design forever. I hope he's with Stan Winston somewhere kicking back having a good laugh at us mere mortals. More

Posted by Rich Empire at 22:11 on 13 August 2012 | Report This Post

Riposa in pace
Sadly but inevitably the 'practical' craftsmen are leaving… More

Posted by olirog at 17:38 on 13 August 2012 | Report This Post

RIP
Such sad news. I grew up with the work of Winston, Walas, Baker and Rambaldi. Such imagintation and unforgettable designs. I loved Rambaldi's design for the Guild Navigator in Dune. Rest in peace sir. More

Posted by woodgob at 13:31 on 13 August 2012 | Report This Post

RIP
Such sad news. I grew up with the work of Winston, Walas, Baker and Rambaldi. Such imagintation and unforgettable designs. I loved Rambaldi's design for the Guild Navigator in Dune. Rest in peace sir. More

Posted by woodgob at 12:56 on 13 August 2012 | Report This Post


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
20 Not-So-Super-Men That Won't Star In A Film Any Time Soon
Forget your Batmen, your Spider-Men and your Ant-Men… Meet 3-D Man (and his pals)

The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

The 10 Most Exciting Movies At Cannes 2014
Empire's pick of the Croisette's finest

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Who’s In Spider-Man’s Sinister Six?
A bluffer’s guide to the planned spin-off from the Amazing Spider-films

14 YouTube Videos Every Game Of Thrones Fan Should Have Watched By Now
From goats singing the theme tune to every death in under three minutes

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)