TOM SAVINI

They call him The God­fa­ther Of Grue. The Doyen Of De­struc­tion. The Sec­ond Cousin Of Splat­ter.

Empire (UK) - - CONTENTS - WORDS CHRIS HE­WITT

TOM SAVINI IS one of the great­est make-up artists of all time, and the man be­hind some of the blood­i­est and most in­ven­tive kills in hor­ror. With the reis­sue of 1981 slasher The Burn­ing, he talks us through his scar­let-soaked tri­umphs…

1 BA­CON WELL DONE

The Film: Fri­day The 13th (1980) The Vic­tim: Kevin Ba­con

Yes, this is a young Kevin Ba­con, bumped off in the first Fri­day The 13th cour­tesy of an ar­row through his neck. “I had done Martin for George Romero, and in that a stake goes through a guy’s neck. I used the same neck and body on Kevin Ba­con. A happy ac­ci­dent: I was push­ing the ar­row through Kevin’s neck and the blood tube came off the pump, so my as­sis­tant grabbed it and blew. That’s why blood gur­gles out of Kevin’s neck.”

2 END OF THE RHODES

The Film: Day Of The Dead (1985) The Vic­tim: Joe Pi­lato

An iconic mo­ment as Joe Pi­lato’s Cap­tain Rhodes is ripped in half by a group of ghouls while he yells, “Choke on ’em­mmm!” His an­guished ex­pres­sion wasn’t a put-on. “We were shoot­ing in Florida, and back in Pitts­burgh some­body had un­plugged the fridge with the pig guts in it. But we had to use them. Joe Pi­lato was locked un­der the floor. We couldn’t get him out if we wanted to. The stench was con­stant. But we weren’t rush­ing. We had only one chance at the body be­ing torn apart. He was ready to puke by the time we were done. ”

3 BUG OUT

The Film: Creepshow (1982) The Vic­tim: EG Marshall

In the fi­nal part of Romero’s hor­ror an­thol­ogy, EG Marshall’s Up­son Pratt finds his para­noia about cock­roaches is well-founded as bugs con­sume him. “I was worn out by that point on Creepshow. I couldn’t fig­ure out how to get the roaches to come out of EG’S chest, and George sug­gested pre­cut­ting a hole in the chest, fill­ing it with toi­let pa­per, paint­ing it with make-up and then it would be easy to squeeze roaches through wet toi­let pa­per. When they came out, thou­sands of them, we all screamed and ap­plauded. It was glo­ri­ous.”

4 GOOD­BYE, JA­SON

The Film: Fri­day The 13th: The Fi­nal Chap­ter (1984) The Vic­tim: Ja­son Voorhees

Savini re­turned to the Fri­day The 13th fran­chise for the fourth in­stal­ment, and promptly killed off Ja­son Voorhees (not quite once and for all) with a ma­chete to the face. “One of my crew guys,

John Vulich, was walk­ing around with the Dawn

Of The Dead ma­chete and he had it on his head. I saw that and I said, ‘Okay, that’s how we’ll kill Ja­son: smack him on the head with the ma­chete and he’ll fall to his knees and slide down the blade.’ We worked end­lessly to build a rub­ber Ja­son. That’s one of the mas­ter­piece deaths of my ca­reer.”

5 THE CA­NOE MAS­SACRE

The Film: The Burn­ing (1981) The Vic­tims: Fisher Stevens, Ned Eisen­berg, JR Mckech­nie, Sarah Chod­off, Bon­nie Deroski Eight­ies slasher-movie vic­tims are usually picked off one-by-one; this lake-bound mas­sacre saw shears-wield­ing nutso Cropsy (Lou David) kill five teenagers — in­clud­ing Fisher Stevens — in one gory go. “The guy who gets the shears in the throat, that was the same neck/shoul­der ap­pli­ance from Martin. I even cut off Fisher Stevens’ fin­gers. We had blood tub­ing go­ing through gelatin fin­gers. It was pretty spec­tac­u­lar.”

6 CHOP­PER TOP

The Film: Dawn Of The Dead (1978) The Vic­tim: Jim Krut The sig­na­ture death in George A Romero’s

Dawn Of The Dead sees a zom­bie taken out by the whirring ro­tor blades of a he­li­copter. “Peo­ple ap­plauded that in the the­atres. I used a friend of mine, Jim Krut, be­cause he had a very low fore­head. The top of his head was made up of eight pieces and there was a long string run­ning off it. I had a friend take that and run when George said, ‘Ac­tion,’ to whip the top off the head.”

7 SAVINI ON SAVINI

The Film: Ma­niac (1980) The Vic­tim: Tom Savini Savini’s cameo in Wil­liam Lustig’s grisly chiller ends pre­ma­turely with a shot to the head. So he killed him­self, so to speak. “We stole that shot. You’re not al­lowed to fire a gun in New York City. It has a five-year manda­tory sen­tence. So, af­ter I blew the head off we were gone in 60 sec­onds. That car was dumped into the river in New York. Some­body’s go­ing to find that and won­der what the hell this was all about.”

THE BURN­ING IS OUT ON 10 OC­TO­BER ON DVD AND BLU-RAY

Clock­wise from above: Kevin Ba­con, Fri­day The 13th; Fisher Stevens, The Burn­ing; Jim Krut, Dawn Of The Dead; Tom Savini, Ma­niac; A rub­ber

Ja­son Voorhees, Fri­day The 13th: The Fi­nal Chap­ter; EG Marshall, Creepshow; Joe Pi­lato, Day Of The Dead.

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