Tom Savini, as the start of this documentary informs us, is an actor, stuntman, director and special make-up effects maistro.
This documentary, originally released in 2015 but only now being made available on digital platforms, charts the history of this genuinely nice man.
The documentary is mainly Tom, sat in a chair, talking about his life, occasionally punctuated with small snippets of interviews from the likes of George A. Romero, Tony Todd, Alice Cooper, Robert Rodriguez and more.
Tom’s father was a many of many jobs, from bricklayer to shoe-maker, and so Tom grew up believing that doing many things was just the normal.
He also grew up with four older brothers and an older sister, all of whom influenced him in various ways, from art to fitness to movies.
It was his mother who, when his father would make him go to bed, would let him sneak back down to watch late-night horror movies on TV.
Tom, for his part, would often make himself up to look like a monster and sneak down to scare her whilst she was watching one.
Savini was in the army, Vietnam, as a photographer and guard. He originally signed up to support his then wife and forthcoming child, although the latter was eventually put up for adoption by the mother. He returned from the army in 1969.
He re-found his love of movies and theatre and began treading the boards whilst also doing all of the makeup, for three local theatres.
He found himself working in the movies and with Romero on Dawn Of The Dead and going on to work on Friday The 13th and Creepshow.
Eventually, when Savini moved into directing, he wound up remaking Night Of The Living Dead, though didn’t have a great time during it as he was going through a divorce.
He broke into the public conscious as an actor on Dusk Till Dawn and was at the height of his acting career, but this coincided with him gaining custody of his 9-year old daughter and he was a single parent. He turned down a lot of work to look after her.
Now, Savini spends his time consulting, he no longer does makeup owing to issues with his hands, and teaches at his own special effects school.
He comes across as a genuinely nice guy and that’s borne out by everyone we hear from who associated a simple word with him, fun.
19th October 2021
THE QUICK SELL
A documentary about the life of Tom Savini. The film covers his early days in Pittsburgh, and his rise to stardom as Hollywood's most sought after special effects wizard.