Savini Spills: FX Legend Looks Back In New Book

Makeup FX titan Tom Savini, whose storied career is as impressive for its staggering diversity as it is for its longevity, finally gets to tell his own story this month, with the release of Savini, an autobiographical work (written with Michael Aloisi) from Dark Ink Books (Am Ink Publishing).

Though he has written Grande Illusions Books l & ll, a “how-to” book revealing some of the secrets behind his most famous makeup-effects work, this tome has more of a personal focus, following the Pittsburgh native’s journey from the Vietnam War, moving from acting, to a practically (geddit? geddit?) accidental FX career (however, his acting resume is still quite extensive).

From humble beginnings doing effects for films such as Deathdream (1972) and Martin (1974), to his legend-making exploding-head zombies of Dawn of the Dead (1978), Savini is the original DIY guy that could work under nearly any conditions (divorce, single fatherhood), or budget (not above using toilet-paper gore effects, actual animal guts, or stuffing an exploding head with potato-chips).

His initial go-to-gore-guy reputation, most notoriously, for 1980’s Maniac, an uncomfortable, squirmy watch, even by modern standards, gave way to true mainstream respect with the latex creature models/armatures/prosthetics (and yes, gore) of Creepshow (1982). 

While mostly focused these days on directing (recently an episode of Shudder’s new Creepshow series titled “By the Silver Water of Lake Champlain “ based on the Joe Hill story) and acting (From Dusk Till Dawn, Machete Kills), Savini still finds time to get his hands bloody, doing masks and costumes (with his production partner Jason Baker) for WWE wrestlers like Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Triple H. He also is set to work on an upcoming horror film directed by Corey Taylor from the band Slipknot.