Luciano Ercoli (October 19, 1929 - March 15, 2015)
The news just broke that Italian producer and director, Luciano Ercoli, has died. Ercoli was the producer of two spaghetti westerns, both directed by Duccio Tessari, A Pistol For Ringo and it's sequel The Return Of Ringo. He also directed three gialli.
His first giallo, written by giallo and Italian Horror scribe Ernesto Gastaldi, The Forbidden Photos Of A Lady Above Suspicion tells the story of a woman (Dagmar Lassander) who is forced into an affair by a blackmailer who claims her husband is a murderer. It’s quite a solid entry into the entry.
His second and third gialli, also written by Gastaldi, were collected in the NoShame The Death Walks Box Set. The first, Death Walks On High Heels, stars Susan Scott (screen name of Nieves Navarro) as the daughter of a deceased thief who is pulled into a tangled plot to retrieve jewels from her father's heist. The second giallo, Death Walks At Midnight also stars Susan Scott as a woman who witnesses a murder while under the effects of a psychedelic drug and her attempts to discover what she actually saw.
At the time of his passing The Death Walks Box is out of print but well worth a giallo fan tracking down. In the opinion of this writer, they are among the most entertaining and fun of the gialli I've seen. The Forbidden Photos Of A Lady Above Suspicion is currently still in print and while is not as good as the aforementioned films is also worth a watch and can be found rather cheaply at many internet retailers.
Ercoli was the recipient of a large inheritance and retired from directing after his 1975 poliziotteschi film The Police Can't Move. He is survived by his wife Nieves Navarro, who starred or co-starred in many of his films as well of lots of other genre fare such as gialli, spaghetti westerns, sex comedies and films in the Emanuelle series. They married in 1972. When she retired from her acting career in 1989, the couple returned to Spain where they lived out their golden years.
While he had left the world of directing long ago I am still saddened to hear of his passing and we send our condolences to his wife Nieves Navarro, and the friends and fans he leaves behind. Ercoli was a stylish director who worked with some of the best people Italian cinema had to offer including Ennio Morricone, Pier Paolo Capponi, Stelvio Cipriani, Frank Wolff, Ernesto Gastaldi and of course, Nieves Navarro. He will be missed.