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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Wasn't expecting this - was still tinkering on what to write next.

    Then this happens.

    Actor Joseph Pilato has died, he was seventy.

    March 16th, 1949 - March 24th, 2019

    He died peacefully in his sleep like director, George A. Romero; cause of death is (currently) unknown.

    News of his demise was announced by actor Marty Schiff on his Facebook page...

    It is with great sadness that I inform you that actor and old friend Joseph 'Joe' Pilato passed away quietly in his sleep last night. Rest in Peace, Joe.
    - posted on March 25th

    Schiff by the way played "Motorcycle Raider" in "Dawn Of The Dead" (1978). That was Pilato very first movie.

    Pilato had a bit part as "Skipper" in the '78 film. His appearance is mostly edited out of the theatrical cut (only in a single long shot) and deleted entirely from the Dario Argento version - "Zombi". It only (officially) exist in the Extended Cut, a.k.a. the Cannes Film Festival version.

    I say 'officially' since his role, all of it can be seen the bootleg endeavor, "Extended Mall Hours" cut which combined Argento and Cannes cuts (theatrical was edited from the Cannes version).

    There is an sub entry for that - for more info, click here.

    By the way, that extra gun was pointed at Stephen "Flyboy" Andrews (David Emge), not Pilato's character; a bit off camera.

    The actor had for the most part retired, but did do the horror convention circuit. When he was acting, Pilato had done several genre features; "Knightriders", "Alienator", "The Demolitionist", "Wishmaster", "Empire Of The Dark" and "Effects".

    While researching for this post, discovered at one time the actor wanted to be a lawyer in the 1970s. And something hit me.

    In strange coincidence, he would begin and end his career within the Romero undead universe.

    As mentioned above, "Dawn" was his first feature. His last movie was as a voice actor in the 3D animated feature, "Night Of The Living Dead: Darkest Dawn" as Harry Cooper, the role done by Karl Hardman in the original 1968 film.

    "Darkest Dawn" was a previous Retrospective entry; click here for Part I, Part II and Part III.

    His '78 film credit isn't Skipper, but "Officer At Police Dock".

    It is his death scene in "George A. Romeo's Day Of The Dead" (1985) as Captain Henry Rhodes which became legendary for its gore (practical effects), replicated to various degrees in zombie flicks around the world. Still in the imagination of fans to this day.

    The other bit - epiphany?

    While doing the image work (somewhat of a rush job; found out hours ago). It occurred to me that actor Joe Keery (from "Stranger Things" as Steve Harrington) kinda looks like a younger version of Pilato.

    Yeah, we lost another horror icon. Rest in peace.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 03-31-2019 at 04:49 AM.

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