Practical special effects have always been a very important side of horror movies, someone has to take care of all those horrifying creatures and gruesome killings that have been entertaining us for over a century. And if there is a man who has transcended from being a prodigious special effects artist to a status of a movie star that is Tom Savini.
In the industry since the late 1970s, Tom Savini has been behind the effects of uncountable horror films, in a list that outstands classic titles like Dawn of the Dead (1978), Friday the 13th (1980), Maniac (1980), Creepshow (1982) and its follow-up Creepshow 2 (1987), Day of the Dead (1985), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), or Necronomicon: Book of Dead (1993). And he also made the jump into film direction, being responsible for the remake Night of the Living Dead (1990) and several segments in horror anthologies. But he also has almost a hundred acting credits having played iconic roles like Sex Machine in Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), The County Sheriff in Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead (2004), and Deputy Tolo again with Rodriguez in Planet Terror (2007).
Tom Savini has taken part in many horror documentaries through all his career. But, this time, he is the main center of attention of Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini (2015). It is 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. The film has been produced and directed by Jason Baker, and it includes the participation of numerous popular names including actors Tom Atkins, Doug Bradley, Alice Cooper, Corey Feldman, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Debbie Rochon, Tony Todd, Danny Trejo, Caroline Williams, and Fred Williamson, and filmmakers Michael Felsher, Danny McBride, Greg Nicotero, Robert Rodriguez, George A. Romero, and John Russo.
Horror documentaries are in vogue, with the existence of the recent fan-favorites In Search of Darkness (2019) and In Search of Darkness: Part II (2020) that are available on Shudder. Wild Eye Releasing has scheduled the online premiere of Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini (2015) for October 19, 2021, which will be followed by a Blu-Ray special edition in 2022. Here you can watch the official trailer for the documentary.
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