42nd Street Cinema

A Conversation With Giovanni Lombardo Radice (AKA John Morghen)

Taken from a chat session over at Cinema Nocturna. 3 years ago while writing for Bloody Italiana I got chance to have a brief chat with the one and only John Morghen (Giovanni Lombardo Radice). I have decided repost it here as the future of Bloody Italiana is still unknown.

James: I'm sure you've been asked this a million times but. What was it like working with the great Lucio Fulci?

Johnny: Fulci was great, a great person, but very sad.

James: Why was he sad? If you know?

Johnny: He had had a tragedy in the family, One of his daughters fell from a horse and either died or was injured for life I can't remember. But that was before the movie [City of the Living Dead]. I don't know why but he sort of felt responsible. And then I was resentful not being loved by Italian critics. I loved him, I used to know him socially before shooting. We were both friends of Duccio Tessari.

James: A director that I find very underrated of whom you worked for was Antonio Margheriti.
How did you get to know him?

Johnny: Antonio??? I worship his memory. The noblest man who lived in the tides of time - W.Shakespeare & Julius Caesar. He called me for the movie, I think he had seen the previous ones. I Didn't audition, I was just asked in.

James: And John Saxon, how was he?

Johnny: Professional and not very happy with the movie I think. Didn't spend much time with him outside the set. You see I never led the actors life NEVER. Always out with the locals wherever.

James: Did you know Antonio before doing Cannibal Apocalypse?

Johnny: No.

James: It's nice that the movie brought you two together.

Johnny: It did and for life. I'm still in touch with his son and daughter. And used to call on him at least once a year, until he died, I Spoke with him by the phone a few months before his passing.

James: What was it like working on the set of Cannibal Ferox? and also working with Umberto Lenzi?

Johnny: Do you have in mind what you do in the morning in the bathroom? It's Four letters brownish and smelly :)

James: It was that bad?

Johnny: WORSE I love shitting actually.

James: Are you happy with the film at all?

Johnny: No James I watched it for the LAST time recently.

James: Oh.

Johnny: I'm terrible in it overacting all the time and their movie is fascist and even paedophiliac. I forgot about the scene with the two young natives. DISGUSTING!

James: How were the other actors and actresses and yourself treated on set and by Lenzi?

Johnny: Lenzi shouted to those allowing him to do so. Not Me. He was shouting at the crew mostly. Fascism first rule. Do pester the weakest.

James: Okay, Your work with Ruggero Deodato and The House on The Edge Of The Park.

Johnny: Great it was my first big emotion. I was young. For the first time on a set after some years on stage.

James: How was it like working with him as a director?

Johnny: He was a sport. Very Nice. Shouting but with a merry side always. Very sure of what he was doing. A great man to have as your first movie director.

James: Did you get along with David Hess?

Johnny: DAVID!!!! FOR PRESIDENT. He helped me a lot I will always be grateful to him. I have a picture of me and him always on my desk.

James: What was it like working with Michele Soavi on The Church? Which I am yet to see.

Johnny: He's like a brother to me. He's a great director. He has something more in the line of fantasy and culture.

James: It was great speaking to you, thanks for your time.

Johnny: Ciao James be a good boy.



Unknown said...

One of my all time favorites! Great interview!

James said...

Yeah Giovanni is a great guy!

Nigel M said...

God I remember that day- I went for a nap, then logged onto the chat to talk with him and he'd already gone and I think I managed to get Barbara Magnolfi's last 2 or 3 mins :)

Nigel M said...

I did manage to get a decent interview from him later regarding the political and social significance of that era of Italian film- a great insiders view, sadly that lot went when my old computer decided to buy a farm.

He has always had a great deal of time for his fans

Balding Celebrities said...

Nice interview. I know he doesn't speak highly of it but his performance in Cannibal Ferox is an all time favourite of mine.
Looking forward to seeing him in the upcoming A Day of Violence too.

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