PITTSBURGH MADE: Two John Russo make-up docs

Man, Tubi is filled with the work of John Russo, including these two docs:

Monster Make-Ups With Dick Smith (1989): Dick Smith is the godfather of monster make-up and best known for his work on Little Big Man, The Godfather, The Exorcist, House of Dark ShadowsTaxi Driver, Scanners and Death Becomes Her. He was an early pioneer of combining make-up with on-set “practical” special effects to make movie magic. This video, however, is just him doing simple make-up on a willing subject, giving him vampire fangs and then going absolutely wild and making him into a monster. While Smith’s work is dynamic, he’s soft-spoken and this video will show you technique but if you’re watching it as entertainment, you won’t get much. That said, it’s intriguing for horror movie fans. You can watch this on Tubi.

Horror Effects with Tom Savini (2008): Not released until 2008 but probably shot sometime in the 90s, this is less learning the techniques of Savini and more he and John Russo taking a trip down memory lane, talking about the movies they had worked on together and new films that Savini is just starting on like Two Evil Eyes, so yeah, this was around 1990 or so.

When it was shot, this would be the only way that you could see Heartstopper and I’m so glad they left the scene in where Tom keeps doing sets in his home gym while his wife begs him to put a baby in her.

This was directed by Paul McCollough, who shot The WinnersThere’s Always VanillaThe Booby HatchFleshEater and Midnight, as well as edited The Booby Hatch, FleshEater, MidnightThe Majorettes and Heartstopper. He also composed the music for remake of Night of the Living DeadLegion of the Night and Santa Claws.

Russo is a total carny and you know, I kind of love that. I’ve given him money for posters covered in coffee stains and don’t feel bad at all about it.

You can watch this on Tubi.

One thought on “PITTSBURGH MADE: Two John Russo make-up docs

  1. This came out on VHS in the early 90s – I bought a copy at Suncoast Video or some such mall store when I was thirteen. I probably still have it somewhere. It was pretty disappointing. John Russo going “remember this? remember that?” and Tom Savini noticeably trying to make his answers more interesting than Russo’s questions. The Scream Greats Tom Savini documentary is much better – and probably had ten times the budget this had.


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