Out of Print Video Hour

Back in the mid-eighties, Fangoria started up a video series called Scream Greats. The first one, Vol. One, was a profile on Tom Savini, the unsophisticated but effective make up effects guy. It's a neat tape for giving insight into the sort of nerdy horror fandom of that time that is totally endearing (especially when compared with the self-seriousness (ie gothiness) of horror fandom today). Oh, how I would love to go to a horror con in new jersey in 1985! It's interesting how Savini, never a great effects guy, was sort of the right guy at the right time for a make up man to become a minor celebrity. He was photogenic and enthusiastic, and unlike every other well known effects dude, he gladly pigeoned-holed himself as a gore specialist. Guys like Rob Bottin, Stan Winston, and Rick Baker started there at the same time as Savini, but were quick to move on to other, more sophisticated stuff. But staying in gore gave Savini the adoration of horror fans, and what this tape inadvertently shows is that Savini, a vain wannabe actor, really wants attention more than anything else. But he's a cool dude, you can't help but like him. Plus you get footage of a youngish George Romero in shorty shorts.
Fangoria did one more video volume, on satanic cults or something, before discontinuing the series. It's too bad. I imagine a whole shelf of these, each on a different effects dude, would be pretty cool. There is something so nice and beautiful about cheap foam latex effects that are so insanely vulgar they come full circle back to endearingly fun, and exciting as objects of pure cinema in their inventive fakeness.
Here is the whole tape in five parts:

posted by sammy at 1:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome! Savini was a real early-teen icon for me, theres nothing like practical gore effects.

4:26 PM  

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