Aristide Massaccesi, known professionally as Joe D'Amato, was an Italian film director, producer, cinematographer, and screenwriter who worked in many genres (westerns, decamerotici, peplum, war films, swashbuckler, comedy, fantasy, postapocalyptic film, and erotic thriller) but is best known for his horror, erotic and adult films.
D'Amato worked in the 1950s as electric and set photographer, in the 1960s as camera operator, and from 1969 onwards as cinematographer. Starting in 1972, he directed and co-directed around 200 films under numerous pseudonyms, regularly acting as cinematographer as well. Starting in the early 1980s, D'Amato produced many of his own and other directors' genre films through the companies he founded or co-founded, the best known being Filmirage. From 1979 to 1982 and from 1993 to 1999, D'Amato also produced and directed about 120 adult films.
On 23 January 1999, Joe D'Amato died of a heart attack in Monterotondo, a comune in the Metropolitan City of Rome Capital. According to Luigi Cozzi, his death happened unexpectedly while he was busy preparing a new film.