Giordano Bruno Mattei — alias Jordan B. Matthews… alias Stefan Oblowski… alias Vincent Dawn… alias Pierre Le Blanc… alias Frank Klox, and David Hunt, and Jimmy Mattheus, and Gilbert Roussel, and… oh, you get the idea — started working in the movies as an editor. It turned out he had a genuine talent for arranging the bits and pieces of other people’s movies. Unfortunately, that’s a a habit he took with him when he started making movies of his own. Far from being unhappy with the lack of originality in the Italian movie business, Mattei thrived on it. Even decades later, when times and fashions had changed, he kept “borrowing” from the same sources he and his colleagues had ripped off years ago.

But though he stole liberally from other, better films, he never seemed to understand what made those other films better. So he usually ended up stealing all the wrong things, and garbling them pretty badly. Still, his genuine talent as an editor meant his films, awful though they might be, were usually pretty well-assembled. His technical skill allowed him to make some of the most genuinely entertaining Bad Movies of all time. They are so consistently bad, and so consistently entertaining, that they formed a subgenre unto themselves, and approach the status of post-modern art.

Some artists have their statues built while they are still alive; others — the outsiders, the mavericks, the visionaries — must struggle to scratch their initials on the plinth. Say what you will about Bruno Mattei, one thing is certain: he left his defiant B.M. all over the history of cinema.

So join us through the month of November, as we celebrate Brunoween: the holiday that starts a little too late, and keeps going on and on, long after you wish it would stop.

 

Brunoween


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