Fernando Di Leo Set For First
Courtesy Minerva Pictures Group

ROME – Fernando Di Leo, the late Italian exploitation-pic maestro exhumed from oblivion after Quentin Tarantino started citing his works as inspiration, is getting a first remake with plans underway for a contempo redo of his violent 1980 noir “Madness,” about an escaped con seeking to retrieve some loot from under the floorboards of an isolated cottage.

“Madness” (pictured) which starred Andy Warhol alumnus Joe Dallesandro (“Flesh,” “Trash,” “Heat”) as multiple murderer Joe Brezzi, is a lesser-known title by Di Leo whose titles comprise 1970’s gangster pics “Wipeout!,” (Aka “The Boss”) – known to be among Tarantino’s favourite grindhouse movies – “Mister Scarface,” and “Italian Connection.” It’s also being touted as the first of a trio of planned Di Leo remakes.

“We are starting with this one, which is considered a minor Di Leo work, in order to be humble and not put too much pressure on the director,” said Gianluca Curti, who is producing the “Madness” redo.

Young Italian helmer Gabriele Albanesi, whose gory “The Last House in the Woods,” harks back to Italy’s vintage slashers, will be using Di Leo’s original screenplay as his basis, but “making it a bit more violent because Di Leo was a real gentleman,” Curti added. “He made ‘Madness tough, but also a little too sugar-coated,” he opined.

The plots turns on the escaped con, who kills two people on his way to the isolated cottage and then must unexpectedly contend with the people inside before he can remove the loot. These include a sexy manipulative woman.

Curti’s Rome-based family company Minerva Pictures has a longstanding rapport with Di Leo. Many of his works were produced by his father, Ermanno Curti. Minerva’s U.S.-based RaroVideo offshoot in 2011 issued the four-disc “The Fernando Di Leo Crime Collection.”

Casting, which is still being decided, will mix Italian A-list talent and lesser-known Italo thesps.

The score will pay homage to Louis Bacalov’s original theme for the pic.

Shooting is planned to start during Fall 2016 in Italy’s mountainous Friuli Venezia Giulia region which offers incentives for film productions and also “the right atmosphere,” Curti said.

Minerva will kick-off pre-sales on the “Madness” redo at the upcoming EFM in Berlin.

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