#9 Underrate Actor Tom Savini~by Sam

I’ve decided to move our movie content from our Green Carbon Creations blog to keep the focus on the craft how to instructions, frugal finds, New England living and Etsy items there and the movie, gaming and well, more entertainment related posts here. So the next few posts about Sam’s Underrated Actors list will be a bit out of order.

Click here to see our Tom Savini inspired artwork and fashions

Savini as Blades in "Dawn of the Dead"

Continuing down my list of the Top Ten Underrated Actors is Tom Savini.  (Click the link to see the complete list.)  He’d be higher on the list if not for his substantial cult following, just like Bruce Campbell.

Tom Savini is an actor, director, stuntman and the most amazing SFX wizard of the splatter movie genre.  He also did a tour of duty as a combat cameraman in Vietnam and later simulated the actual carnage he saw in war on the big screen.  He was supposed to do the special effects and  make-up George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” when he was drafted.

Savini as Sex Machine

He appears in quite a lot of stuff but usually his roles are as brief as a cameo to under a scene or two.  There are a few movies that he has larger roles in and gets more screen time like Dawn of the Dead as Blades, Deputy Tolo in Grindhouse Presents, Planet Terror and as Sex Machine in From Dusk Till Dawn.

Tom Savini as Deputy Tolo  in Planet Terror

He has many small roles that people put him in because of his cult following and because he’s a very cool guy to work with.   A lot of the films he does the special effects and makeup for he makes cameos in.

In the original “Dawn of the Dead” survivors are watching TV and there’s a sheriff on the news and he’s talking into the camera when he says that he rounded up a bunch of people to help go kill the zombies.  He’s telling people to shoot the zombies in the head twice (the double tap rule) and says you need to burn the bodies after you kill them.  In the remake of Dawn of the Dead , again they are watching TV and the sheriff is explaining about killing zombies but this time the sheriff is played by Tom Savini.  I think it’s a cool tribute to the original even if it’s only brief.

Savini as a zombified Blades

Savini’s character Blades in the original “Dawn of the Dead” is shot by Peter and he falls over the railing into the mall’s water fountain.  In George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead a zombified Blades comes back for about 3-seconds and it’s the coolest 3-seconds of the movie.  According to Tom Savini there was a time different between “Dawn of the Dead” and “Land of the Dead” and his character has been walking around as a zombie for a year and a half.

If you love the special effects makeup created by Tom Savini and want to try and recreate them yourself check out his books:  Grande Illusions: A Learn-By-Example Guide to the Art and Technique of Special Make-Up Effects from the Films of Tom Savini and Tom Savini: Horror Effects.

Tom Savini is just a very cool guy all around.  He’s an amazing artist and although his acting scenes are usually short, they are truly unforgettable.  He should definitely have more screen time, and that is why Tom Savini is #9 on my list of Top Ten Underrated Actors.


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