mardi 28 avril 2009
Pittsburgh born actor/SFX wizard/stuntman/director who did a tour of duty as a combat cameraman in Vietnam, and who has since acquired a remarkable cult following amongst film fans, primarily due to his ground breaking SFX in the "splatter movie" explosion of the early 1980s. Along with fellow special make-up legends Dick Smith and Rob Bottin, Savini was one of the key SFX people behind the startling make-up & EFX seen in the fantasy / horror genre films of the 1980/90s. Savini was heavily influenced by the remarkable silent era actor Lon Chaney, and he sought to emulate the amazing theatrical make-up effects that were a hall mark of Chaney's career. In Savini's insightful book "Grande Illusions", he speaks of his early first attempts at applying prosthetics to his face using "spearmint gum", having misinterpreted that he was meant to actually use 'spirit gum'!
His first work was in low budget fare providing SFX & make up for independently made horror films such as Deranged (1974) and Martin (1977). However, he really caught the attention of horror buffs with his grisly effects in the cult George A. Romero directed zombie film Dawn of the Dead (1978), and then in the controversial slasher film Friday the 13th (1980), the movie generally identified as the kick start for the aforementioned "splatter movie" genre. Savini also contributed the incredible EFX & make-up to other splatter thrillers such as Maniac (1980), The Burning (1981), Creepshow (1982) and Romero's third 'Dead' film, Day of the Dead (1985) (for which he won a Saturn Award).
In 1990, Savini directed his feature film debut Night of the Living Dead (1990), the remake of the original zombie-classic.
Not content with just being behind the lens, Savini has appeared in dozens of films, and can be seen demonstrating his capable acting skills as 'Morgan, the Black Knight' in Knightriders (1981), as 'Blades', one of the biker gang members in Dawn of the Dead (1978), and as 'Sex Machine', another leather clad biker, but this time with a groin mounted gun in the wild vampire film From Dusk Till Dawn (1996).