I’m blessed, seriously, to live in Pittsburgh, a place where Tom Savini will just show up next to you at the drive-in. To the rest of horror movie fans, he’s this exhaulted gore god. And he still is here, but I have so many memories of just seeing him jogging or riding in the elevator with him when he taught at the Art Institute. He’s someone who made it from our town and as such, while the rest of the world may or may not know him, he’s royalty here, even if we basically leave our royalty alone and just wave or be polite.
Jason Baker’s Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini tells his story, starting in Bloomfield — where he still lives — and showing how his art of splatter led to a series of films that are still celebrated. It also has appearances from Robert Rodriquez, Tom Atkins, Tony Todd, Greg Nicotero and so many more, as well as clips of Savini’s best work and appearances in films.
I was in sheer bliss watching this. Sure, if you’re a fan you know so much of it. But I really liked the place that it found Savini in, at peace with what he’s done and where life has taken him. It really gets into how much of a devoted family man he is, which I enjoyed very much.
If you’re a fan of horror at all — and why are you on our site if you’re not? — you need this.
The Wild Eye release of this movie has four hours of extras, including an audio commentary with Tom Savini and director Jason Baker; Savini’s personal behind the scenes video archives with footage from Day of the Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, From Dusk Til Dawn, Creepshow, Friday the 13th Part IV and more; Savini’s personal video behind the scenes footage from directing Night of the Living Dead; Savini’s home movies; footage of his stage version of Dracula; a folded poster and an illustrated slipcase. You can get this from MVD.