Talking With Italian Horror Legend Giovanni Lombardo Radice aka John Morghen
By Owen Keehnen

Giovanni (call him Johnny) Lombardo Radice aka John Morghen is a genuine horror legend. He has appeared in so many favorites in the genre starting in 1979, most of them in his native Italy. The Rome born actor has worked with so many legends. His films include ‘Gates of Hell’ directed by Lucio Fulci, ‘Murder in the Etruscan Cemetery’ directed by Sergio Martino, ‘House on the Edge of the Park’ directed by Ruggero Deodato, who also directed him in ‘Phantom of Death’, ‘Cannibal Ferox’ directed by Umberto Lenzi, ‘Cannibal Apocalpse’ (his personal favorite) directed by Antonion Marghetti who also directed him in “Space Island’, the 2006 remake of ‘The Omen’ by John Moore, ‘Body Puzzle’ directed by Lamberto Bava, ‘Demons 3’ aka ‘The Church’ directed by Michele Soavi and written by Dario Argento, and many others. He’s still working today having filmed three movies last year and one currently in pre-production. Johnny was also kind enough to take time from his busy schedule for a quick and exclusive interview.(For the latest updates on Johnny's career check out

You celebrated 30 years in horror last year.  What is your strongest memory of your role as Ricky in Ruggero Deodato's 'The House on the Edge of the Park' (1979)? 

It was my first movie, so the sheer fact to be on set was a great emotion in itself and I was lucky because I began with a big role and one I could easily understand, because of the trashy and wild life style I had led in my teenage time. The movie was somehow “stagey” (all in one set, no exteriors) and that helped too because I had some experience as a stage actor. The greatest emotion was surely the first day of shooting. Alex and myself arriving in the villa, with some steps to descend. Will I be able to make them without looking? Will I tumble down like Jack and Jill?

The following year you worked with horror master-director Lucio Fulci in 'Gates of Hell'.  What about his style and method as a director do you think accounts for his amazing success?

Fulci had a great visual style and mastered the camera perfectly. Plots probably interested him less and in my opinion the Gates of Hell story doesn’t make head or tail somehow, but the atmosphere is great. If Lucio felt that an actor was sure of himself and with ideas he left a lot of freedom and that was my case. He respected my theatre background and was always very kind and complimentary to me. A great master.

You were also great as Charlie Bukowski, the deranged Vietnam veteran in Antonio Margheriti's 'Cannibal Apocalypse' in 1980.  How did you get into character for the role?

At that point I had some experience with losers and loonies, and Bukowski was a very well written character. I had no problems getting into it, and Margheriti was very helpful. Such a sweet man and such a great director.

You've been in so many Do you have any great horror movies - 'Demons 3' (1989), 'Murder in an Etruscan Cemetery' (1982), 'Cannibal Ferox' (1981), 'The Omen' (2006), 'The Devil's Daughter' (1991), 'House of Flesh Mannequins' (2009), 'Sound Stage Massacre' (1987), etc.  What has been your best and worst experience filming a horror movie and why? 

Unless it’s a different title for something, I wasn’t in Demons 3 and the same goes for The Devil’s Daughter. Anyway my favourite movie is undoubtedly Cannibal Apocalypse, both for the role I had and for my special love for Margheriti and the worst I made is Cannibal Ferox. Stupid and violent script, bombastic acting (at least mine) and Lenzi...well, he was Lenzi

Yes, the movies were all yours, but I think the titles were different depending on where they were released. 'Demons 3' was also called 'The Church and Demon Cathedral', 'The Devil’s Daughter' was also called Demons 4 and The Sect. Anyway, so tell me a little bit about your upcoming project 'Eaten to Pieces!'  

It’s just an idea I was offered. It’s a script so violent to be funny. As a matter of fact quite hilarious at times, so I said yes why not, also considering that my role is involved in a sub-plot in NY and has nothing to do with either the jungle or cannibals of any kind. But, you know, I receive a lot of scripts and ideas, but from this to reality it’s a big step.

Do you have any other projects lined up you would like to let the readers know about?

Well, I am very involved with the stage work and just directed a Neil Simon play (The Dinner Party) in which I act from time to time, sharing the role with the producer, who’s very busy at times and can’t always be there. And I think I will revive for the third time my role of Reverend Marius in Athol Fugard’s Road to Mecca. In addition there’s a project concerning Off by Michael Kearns, a very extreme American play I translated and in which I should act as a black drag queen on her way to death sentence.

As for movies I am waiting for the UK movie The Beautiful Outsider to start. I will be with David Hess again and I can’t wait.

You also have done horror convention shows?  As a cult star I'm sure you get asked a lot of unusual questions.  What is the strangest thing a fan has ever asked of you?

If I got excited in the sex scenes…The poor fellow didn’t know about being fucking cold and with twenty people watching you.

Vampires, werewolves, zombies, witches, creatures, aliens, telemarketers...what does it for you horrorwise Johnny and why?

As a matter of fact my favorites are ghosts. I love them. The Uninvited was a real party for me. I love aliens too and would love to see them arriving one day, making the politics petty things of the world so stupid all of a sudden…

Okay, we're pulling into the Lombardo Radice Drive In. What three horror flicks are on the triple bill for tonight and what goodies are they going to be serving up at the concession stand? 

Sorry but I am not a horror fan, can we switch to thrillers? In that case they would be Seven, What Happened To Baby Jane and Psycho and I would like watching them with a Big Mac Menu. What else at a Drive In?

And your favorite horror flick death scene?

The Bukowski one in Cannibal Apocalypse.

What's the best Halloween costume you ever had?

I never dressed up for Halloween.

What scares you in real life?

The idea of having an accident with my moped, going blind, crazy people, violence in general.