Family & Companions
Served as a combat photographer in Vietnam where the real-life horrors he encountered doubtlessly influenced his subsequent astoundingly graphic depictions of on-screen violence. Savini's gory stomach-churning special makeup effects have been the major draw for many otherwise undistinguished horror films. His great moments in movie mayhem include a unwary camper receiving an arrow in his eye, a stumbling zombie getting the top of his head neatly sliced off by a whirling helicopter rotor, and legions of cockroaches bursting from the chest and mouth of a corpse.
Inspired as a child by the legendary achievements of Lon Chaney Sr., he developed an early passion for the magic of movie makeup. He also worked extensively as an actor and makeup artist in regional theater. Savini gained notoriety as the makeup FX mastermind behind the splatter movie cycle that hit its stride with the 1980 summer release of the immensely successful "Friday the 13th." His work in that film inspired scores of imitations. He even made several memorable appearances on the "David Letterman Show" to reveal some tricks of his specialized trade.
Savini's most important work was done in collaboration with the Pittsburgh-based horror auteur, George Romero. Though often memorably gross, the startling special makeup effects displayed in these films actually provide an action/horror comic-book texture to the darkly satirical proceedings.
Savini has been devoting more time to directing in the last several years. He has directed three episodes of the syndicated TV series, "Tales from the Darkside" and one feature film, the indifferently received remake of Romero's classic "Night of the Living Dead." In recent interviews Savini has expressed growing disinterest in the sort of clinically graphic shock effects that made him famous. He now advocates a more restrained atmospheric approach to the genre.
Director (Feature Film)
Cast (Feature Film)
Visual Effects (Feature Film)
Make-Up (Feature Film)
Stunts (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Feature debut as makeup assistant on Bob Clark's "Deathdream/Night Walk/Dead of Night"
Feature debut as special makeup effects artist on "Deranged"
First collaboration with George Romero as special makeup effects artist and actor on "Martin"
Debut as stuntman and fight choreographer (also actor and makeup FX) for Romero's "Dawn of the Dead"
First major supporting feature role as Morgan the Black Knight (also stunt man and makeup FX) in Romero's "Knightriders"
Constructed monsters for Romero's "Creepshow" (also actor and makeup FX)
TV directing debut, "Tales From the Darkside"
Feature directing debut, "Night of the Living Dead" (remake)