Riz Ortolani – film composer

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Riziero “Riz” Ortolani was an Italian film composer. Born on 25 March 1926, he died in Rome, on 23 January 2014.

In the early 1950s, Ortolani began his musical career as a founder and member of a well-known Italian jazz band.

His score for Paolo Cavara and Gualtiero Jacopetti’s ‘shockumentary’ Mondo Cane, whose main title-song was More earned him a Grammy and was also nominated for an Oscar as Best Song.


Director Quentin Tarantino featured Ortolani’s work in more recent productions such as Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) and Django Unchained (2012).

Ortolani scored all or parts of over 200 films, including horror, gialli, spaghetti westerns, Eurospy films, exploitation films and mondo films. Notable horror films and giallo thrillers scored by Ortolani include:

Horror Castle/The Virgin of Nuremberg (1963)

Castle of Blood (1964)

One on Top of the Other (Lucio Fulci, 1969)

So Sweet, So Perverse (1969)

Web of the Spider (1970)


Seven Blood-Stained Orchids (1972)

Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972)

The Dead Are Alive (1972)


Seven Deaths in the Cat’s Eyes (Antonio Margheriti, 1973)

Super Bitch aka Blue Movie Blackmail (Massimo Dallamano, 1973)

Death Steps in the Dark (Maurizio Pradeaux, 1976)

I Am Afraid (Io ho paura, 1977)

Red Rings of Fear (Alberto Negrin, 1978)

enigma rosso red rings of fear

Brutes and Savages (1978)


Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

House on the Edge of the Park (1980)

Zeder aka Revenge of the Dead (1983)

Killer Crocodile (1989)

killer crocodile

Killer Crocodile 2 (1990)

Wikipedia | Thanks to Wrong Side of the Art! for some of the poster images above.

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