Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shocktober Director of the Day: Tom Savini

Tom Savini is a sweetheart. Uncle P had the good fortune to meet and talk with the genre legend at the one and only genre convention I ever attended, way back in the mid-80's. We spent several minutes talking about his FX Makeup work on films like Dawn of the Dead and Friday the 13th. He was gracious, humble and accessible, something rare in the movie business. He signed an autograph for me and told me to stay as far from the business as I could. Sadly, I ignored his advice.

In addition to his skills as a makeup artist, Savini is also an actor, who has appeared in over 40 titles including Dawn of the Dead; Knightriders; Creepshow; From Dusk 'till Dawn (as the hilariously named 'Sex Machine'); Planet Terror and most recently, Machete.

As a director, his resume is rather scant. He directed three episodes of the George Romeo syndicated series "Tales from the Dark Side" before his one and only feature film, 1990's Romero-produced remake of Night of the Living Dead:

Remaining faithful to the tone of the original, Savini's version features one very important difference in its ending (SPOILER ALERT), turning the character of Barbara (a pathetic, whiny dope in the original) into an eventual tough-as-nails survivor. Savini's remake is far from the ground-breaker that Romero's original was, but it does add a new twist to the familiar tale (as well as full-color gore FX). Savini's only other directing credit is the short "House Call" from a video series called "Chill Factor." His IMDb listing cites 8 impending projects as an actor. I included him in this series because his remake of Romero's classic is certainly worth a look, if only for it's twist on the original.

More, anon.

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