» » Scream Greats, Vol. 1: Tom Savini, Master of Horror Effects (1986)

Short summary

A documentary detailing the career of makeup artist Tom Savini, including clips from the various movies he's worked on.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Gorisar
    Scream Greats Vol. 1 is an entertaining, if slightly sloppy, video documentary about makeup fx maestro Tom Savini. There's plenty of interview footage and some good behind-the-scenes stuff, as well as some good, though brief, appearances by George Romero. Fangoria editors Bob Martin and David Everett also show up, probably just because their magazine sponsored the tape.

    The clips are plentiful and gory, taking us through most of Savini's career up until Day of the Dead, though for some reason his first two movies, Deathdream and Deranged, are skipped, implying Martin was his first assignment. Savini himself is very entertaining, and we seem to get a good portrait of the man.

    It's a bit haphazardly constructed (director Damon Santostefano also made Fangoria Films' dreadful Severed Ties) but the great interviews and an amazing array of gory clips from Savini's filmography more than make up for it. Scream Greats Vol. 1 doesn't challenge Dario Argento's World of Horror as the best ever horror movie documentary, but it's well worth tracking down for fans (if you can find it!) and certainly a lot better than Scream Greats Vol. 2.
  • comment
    • Author: Cel
    Scream Greats Vol. 1: Tom Savini, Master of Horror Effects (1986)

    *** 1/2 (out of 4)

    Pretty good documentary from Fangoria takes a look at the make-up effects of Tom Savini. Through interviews with Savini, George Romero and various others, we get to learn about how he works and what originally got him wanting to work in movies. Savini talks about seeing MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES at an early age and how Lon Chaney was his biggest influence. He also talks about the various "issues" that some people have with slasher movies and the violent effects that he creates. At just under an hour I don't see how any fan wouldn't love this. As usual, Savini is always great to listen to and he's certainly not short on great stories to tell. Not only do we get his stories but we get a lot of behind-the-scenes footage showing the master doing his stuff to create his effects. Clips from MARTIN, DAWN OF THE DEAD, MANIAC, THE PROWLER and various others are shown. For some strange reason, various Friday THE 13TH clips are shown but usually for the films that Savini didn't work on (like 2 and 3). An extended period of the running time is devoted to DAY OF THE DEAD and the various effects that Savini did on the picture. There are plenty of great stories about the making of the film as well as various issues that happened (including guts in a refrigerator). Overall, SCREAM GREATS VOL. 1 is a very good look at Savini's career up to this point and his fans should really enjoy it.
  • comment
    • Author: Tygrafym
    This documentary is filled with example after glowing example of a master craftsman at his best. This is an excellent film for budding FX artists because Savini and protégé Greg Nicotero walk you through some of the essential tricks of the trade. The most important thing I learned from this movie is that realism in horror films comes from using as many real props as possible. They walk you through how to make gunshot wounds with squibs and charges, how to do cut-away scenes for stabbings, and what materials work best for blood, guts and organs. If nothing else, watch this film to see the actors getting tortured dealing with Savini's "methods". There's a zombie head-bowling scene that you will love! It's seriously hilarious. If you are a horror movie fan, you will really enjoy flashing back to the older movies like Jason, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, and Creepshow and seeing how it all came together for those o so pee my pants scary scenes. I grew up with this movie on virtual loop and I never got tired of it. Tom Savini is my inspiration and my hero. Awe.
  • comment
    • Author: Little Devil
    Let it be noted that "Scream Greats volume one" is a seminal documentary that inspired countless modern day filmmakers and make-up artists. Much like Tom Savini's classic story regarding "Man Of a Thousand Faces" Scream Greats volume one offered the same inspiration for so many of today's artisans. They are artists who are crafting and will craft our current and coming deluge of horror films. Savini (as a child) who was obsessed with the magic of movie make-up after seeing the motion picture Man Of A Thousand Faces (Starring James Cagney) continued to become one of the most influential figures in make-up history.

    I was very much obsessed with horror movies and "monster make-up" when I was a child but when I watched "Scream Greats volume one" (for the first time) in 1986, I was hooked for life. I was ten years old and I couldn't wait until my birthday when I would receive a wooden make-up chest (shaped like a coffin) that was filled with various paints, latex, blood, and brushes. I wanted to be Tom Savini. He was and still is a total inspiration.

    Now I'm making monster movies with heavy make-up and documentaries about inspired horror artists so I blame Mr Savini for this crazy stuff that haunts me every day. The struggle is worth it... I'm still obsessed.

    Someone should re-publish this volume on DVD once again with a new doc attached that regards the many people who were inspired by the great George Romero and the one and only Tom Savini. I'd be more than happy to take part and pay proper tribute...


    Christopher P. Garetano
  • comment
    • Author: Vijora
    Whether or not your a fan of Tom Savini and / or Tom Savini's work, you will enjoy this video. It is a quick 90 minute look at the work and early life of Tom Savini and his contribution to the art of special effects and gore. It's safe to say that Scream Greats has done more for Tom Savini's career than Tom Savini's career. The video includes everything good about the 80's monster gore. It will last the test of time because it holds great so many wonderful moments from films such as Dawn of the Dead, Martin, Maniac, Day of the Dead, and more. Since the early 80's, nothing has effected the mainstream of motion pictures or the horror genre in Savini's career since the Golden Age of Special Effects in "Slasher Films" which Savini played a huge part in.
  • comment
    • Author: xander
    Scream Greats, Vol. 1: Tom Savini, Master of Horror Effects is a 60 odd minute documentary produced by genre magazine Fangoria & was Volume 1 in their short lived Scream Greats series. In fact the Scream Greats series only made it to Volume 2 with Scream Greats, Vol. 2: Satanism and Witchcraft (1986) before it stopped.

    As the title suggests Scream Greats, Vol. 1: Tom Savini, Master of Horror Effects revolves around special make-up effects artist Tom Savini, there are on screen talking head interview contributions from George Romero, Savini himself (at one point talking in front of a theatre showing Day of the Dead) & various other make-up effects people as well as the editors of Fangoria magazine. The interviews are reasonably interesting although it goes without saying if you have no interest in special effects, gore make-up or horror in general then there is very little for you here. The anecdote's & stories hold ones attention although it's maybe not as in depth as some would like. It's also worth noting that since this was made Savini has gone on to do lots of other things so bear in mind it doesn't cover his entire career.

    The one aspect of Scream Greats, Vol. 1: Tom Savini, Master of Horror Effects that I liked was the wide variety of clips & since the documentary is focused on a special make-up effects artist most of the clips shown are various gory highlights from the films Savini had worked on until that point. Clips shown come from Martin (1977), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Maniac (1980), Friday the 13th (1980), Knightriders (1981), The Prowler (1981), Creepshow (1982), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Inside the Closet (1984) the Savini directed episode of Tales from the Darkisde & Day of the Dead (1985). There are also clips from Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) & Friday the 13th Part III (1983) neither of which Savini worked on, behind the scenes footage of Maniac, Day of the Dead, The Prowler, Dawn of the Dead, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Creepshow & The Burning (1981) although there there are no actual clips from the film itself.

    There's some footage of Savini's workshop & various recognisable monsters & gore effects such as Jason, his creature from Inside the Closet & one from Creepshow as well as various decapitated heads & severed limbs.

    Scream Greats, Vol. 1: Tom Savini, Master of Horror Effects is excellent if your looking for a retrospective documentary about Savini complete with some cool behind the scenes footage of some of his films & have an interest in make-up effects. For what it is it's about as good as you could hope for.
  • comment
    • Author: snowball
    This nifty and engrossing little 50 minute documentary centers on legendary 80's splatter horror movie make-up icon Tom Savini, who comes across as a really smart, witty (Savini compares himself to an assassin at the start of the film, explaining that he's always hired to kill folks in movies), passionate and personable guy who's extremely dedicated to his craft, highly supportive of up and coming make-up artists, and exceptionally nice to his many fans. Among the things Savini enthusiastically discusses are how he was inspired by Lon Chaney Sr., his tour of duty in Vietnam, his eagerness to perform stunts in pictures, love for acting, ambitions as a director, his status as a great practical joker, and the positive and negative feedback he hears from people about his work. Other folks interviewed for the documentary include George Romero, fellow make-up artist and protégé Greg Nicotero, and 80's "Fangoria" editor Bob Martin. We also see choice gruesome clips from "Dawn of the Dead," "The Burning," "The Prowler," the first and fourth "Friday the 13th" features, "Martin," "Creepshow," "Maniac," and "Day of the Dead." Better still is the fascinating behind-the-scenes footage of the maestro at working doing such things as squibbing actors and casting molds of their heads. While not the truly definitive and comprehensive documentary on Tom Savini (his early gigs on "Deathdream" and "Deranged" are glossed over), this honey nonetheless qualifies as absolutely essential viewing for Tom Savini buffs.
  • Cast overview:
    Tom Savini Tom Savini - Himself
    George A. Romero George A. Romero - Himself
    Doug Clayton Doug Clayton - Himself
    Taso N. Stavrakis Taso N. Stavrakis - Himself (as Taso Stavrakis)
    Greg Nicotero Greg Nicotero - Himself (as Greg Nickotero)
    Nancy Savini Nancy Savini - Herself, Tom Savini's wife
    Robert Martin Robert Martin - Himself, Fangoria Magazine (as Bob Martin)
    David Everitt David Everitt - Himself, Fangoria Magazine
    Ned Eisenberg Ned Eisenberg - Himself
    Barry Alan Richmond Barry Alan Richmond - Himself
    Joseph Pilato Joseph Pilato - Himself (archive footage) (as Joe Pilato)
    Lia Savini Lia Savini - Herself, Tom Savini's four-month-old daughter
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