The Mondo-Esoterica Guide to

Fabio Testi


Born in Italy, 1941, Fabio Testi always wanted to be in films. He initially tried to get into cinema based on his good looks, but found his strong regional accent to be a handicap. Instead, he worked as a stuntman with bit parts in a variety of Spaghetti Westerns including Sergio Leone's Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966) and Once upon a Time in the West (1968).

His first starring roles came in Westerns, playing the eponymous lead in El Zorro justiciero (1969) and a peace-loving Sheriff in Demofilo Fidani's incredibly low budget One Damned Day at Dawn... Django Meets Sartana! (1970), although on many prints he was credited as Stet Carson which did little to help boost his recognition. At the other end of the cinematic spectrum, he took one of the leading roles in Vittorio De Sica's neo-realist production Giardino dei Finzi-Contini (1970) which won the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1971. This was followed quickly by another art-house production Addio, fratello crudele (1971) which co-starred British actress Charlotte Rampling after which the pair dated for some time - he would later be connected with Ursula Andress which gained him a degree of media attention. More international art-house success came in Andrzej Zulawski's L'important c'est d'aimer (1975).

With his name well established, Testi was poised to become an international star, but instead chose to remain in Italy where he took leading roles in films from all of the popular genres, from giallo Cosa avete fatto a Solange? (1972) to Westerns with Joe D'Amato's Giubbe rosse (1974) and Lucio Fulci's Four of the Apocalypse, but he found most of his success in crime films from the politicised Revolver (1973) to Enzo G. Castellari's action packed La via della droga (1977) and Fulci's gory Contraband (1980).

As the Italian cinema boom came to an end in the mid-1980s, Testi moved easily into television roles becoming something of a household name in Italy. In more recent years he has appeared in a number of popular reality series including L'isola dei famosi 2003 (an Italian Celebrity Survivor) and in Gran Hermano VIP (the Spanish Celebrity Big Brother) although in both cases he was eliminated third.

DVD Reviews: Films starring Fabio Testi

Four of the Apocalypse (1975)

Anchor Bay USA Region 0 DVD
Lucio Fulci's strange, twisted and viciously violent film with lots of good ideas, but poorly executed.
Of interest to fans, but not recommended.
One Damned Day at Dawn... Django Meets Sartana! (1970)
Wild East R0 DVD
Fabio Testi stars in Demofilo Fidani's low budget exploitation Western with interesting direction but no plot.
Of interest to genre fans only.
Revolver (1973)

US Blue Underground Region 0 DVD
One of the most popular Italian Crime films, it boasts good direction, acting and with a strong lead performance.
Highly recommended to all.


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All text in this page written by Timothy Young - March 2010.
Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

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