On this ghoulish episode of the Popzara Podcast legendary actor, stuntman, director, makeup artist and monster moulder, Tom Savini. The Maestro of Makeup joins our own Nathan Evans to talk about the new documentary Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini, about and starring the one and only Sex Machine himself.
Jason Baker’s years-in-the-making documentary is similar to Roy Frumkes’ The Definitive Document of the Dead, using decades of private and public footage, interviews, and scenes of some of the best, most inventive, and gruesome movie magic ever created to tell the story of the man who helped establish an entire industry.
The best way to describe Savini to the curious would be that he’s Ray Harryhausen meets Jackie Chan, by way of Lon Chaney and Houdini – with a superior goatee. During a career spanning 40+ years (and counting) he helped create some of the genre’s most iconic and memorable characters, including Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th), Fluffy (Creepshow), and Dr. Tongue and Bub (Day of the Dead).
Nate and Savini discuss his fruitful relationship with George Romero (Dawn / Day of the Dead, Creepshow), how stage magic is rooted in horror, the differences between practical effects and CGI, other legendary makeup artists John Chambers (Star Trek, Planet of the Apes) and Dick Smith (The Godfather, The Exorcist), similarities between Jim Henson and himself, and the importance of educating the next generation of makeup and effects artists with Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program at the Douglas Education Center in Monessen, Pennsylvania.