Luigi Batzella (San Sperate, May 27, 1924 – San Sperate, November 18, 2008) was an Italian Z-movie director, writer and former actor who used numerous pseudonyms. Some of them were Paolo Solvay, Ivan Kathansky, A.M. Frank, Gigi Batzella, Paul Hamus, Dean Jones, Paul Selway and several others.
Although his films were generally inept, Batzella did get to work with a number of established B-actors of the time like Richard Harrison, Gordon Mitchell, Brad Harris, Rita Calderoni and Mark Damon. There is some conflicting information on whether his real name was Paolo Solvay or Luigi Batzella. According to the IMDb it’s Batzella, according to Gordon Mitchell and Richard Harrison, it’s Solvay.
Batzella was essentially a hack-of-all-trades, working in a variety of genres, directing spaghetti western (A Pistol for Django, 1971), war films (When the Bell Tolls, 1970), erotic horror (Nude for Satan, 1974), and politically very incorrect Nazi-exploitation (Achtung! The Desert Tigers, 1977… read more