Of italian origin, as his name lets to think, Carlo RAMBALDI began to work on national productions, someones fantastic, anddid some mechanical creatures. His most amazing work of this time is perhaps the mythical beings for the peplum PERSEO INVINCIBLO,a realistic dragon rather similar to some mesozoic Reptiles and the most original Gorgon ever seen on screen, rather close to the voracious extraterrestrial of DRAGON'S DOMAIN episode of SPACE 1999 serie.
His compatriot, the producer Dino de LAURENTIIS, hired him for the remake of KING KONG directed by John GUILLERMIN in 1976 . He made not only a giant hand and a mechanical head for close-ups, but also a full-scale version of the huge Gorilla. Unfortunely, this one didn't work very well and and is very barely seen in the movie, so, in the most of scenes, Kong is played by the makeup artist Rick BAKER in front of a blue screen to obtain than he seems taller. It must be said than same very big mechanisms are often difficult to make to move easily; the creator of JAWS' shark had to ask some help to Robert MATTEI, who did the giant squid of 20000 leagues under the sea, and even Stan WINSTON had to do several shots with JURASSIC PARK trilogy's Dinosaurs to obtain the movements required.
As a result of his fame, Carlo RAMBALDI was hired for international and american movies. So, he made the mechanical head with childlike eyes and moving neck of Steven SPIELBERG's CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and the head with protractile tongue of Ridley SCOTT's ALIEN. After this came the slimy sexual entity of Andrew ZULAWSKI's POSSESSION, and his most famous creature, E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL. In 1984, after the misfortune of KING KONG, he could to show his ability to operate gigantic creatures, with David LYNCH's DUNE, produced by Dino de LAURENTIIS, and its huge space navigator and giant worms. Unfortunely, the movie doesn't make justice to his creations : there are few shots of giant worms in the film because David LYNCH would to avoid that DUNE could be seen as a "monster movie", and they are still covered of desert dust to integrate them with the decor.
It's a fact than Carlo RAMBALDI is not very well estimated by the other special effects makers because they are said less talentful than himself according to him , and the problems on KING KONG are always recalled by his collegues in spite of the successful effects of DUNE .
More, his werewolves for SILVER BULLET, rather disappointing but made exactly like de LAURENTIIS would, cannot to compete with the impressive ones done by Rob BOTTIN for THE HOWLING and Rick BAKER for AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. So, the name of Carlo RAMBALDI, who made also for the producer Dino de LAURENTIIS the humanoid monster of CONAN THE DESTROYER and the Troll of CAT'S EYE from a Stephen KING's story, disappeared of the screens after KING KONG 2, a sequel still produced by Dino de LAURENTIIS with very well done giant Gorillas - even if, this time, Carlo RAMBALDI used very more often players with make-up than mechanical full-scale models.
However, Carlo RAMBALDI rises again in Italia in 2007, on the theatrical adaptation of Dante ALIEGHERI's DIVINE COMEDY, conceptualizing some fantastic characters, created by Sergio STIVALETTI, a well-known italian make-up artist, who had done special effects on THE CHURCH, including a Devil incarnation inspired by the fantastic and erotic Boris VALLEJO's paintings. On a music created by the famous Enio MORRICONE ( composer of a lot of italian westerns, of MISSION, WOLF, MISSION TO MARS, THE THING with John CARPENTER, etc.. ), this opera about the Inferno let to see some evil creatures and a Griffin. So, this opera gives opportunity for a little Carlo RAMBALDI tribute and to recall than he is a living legend.