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I’m not sure when the name, Tom Savini, came into my lexicon of words. Growing up in the eighties, the name just always seemed to be there. Being a child at the time, I didn’t really have the understanding that “Savini” was a person. I just remember the older kids talking about how “Savini” did that movie, so it was “going to be awesome”!
To me, the name meant I would probably have to cover my eyes through most of whatever my brother was gong to make me watch. I vividly remember sitting on the floor in my living room watching Creepshow. At the end, when the bugs come out of the guys chest, I stood up, climbed onto a chair and pulled my legs up, I was scared the bugs would come and get me if I stayed on the floor. I had nightmares for weeks after that, and its probably what caused my life long fear of bugs. Damn that Savini! If I only knew then that half the bugs were actually just peanut shells, painted by a genius special effect make up artist, life might have been a bit easier.
As I got older and started to understand horror movies, they went from evil things I feared watching… to films I loved to enjoy. At that point, Savini was no longer a word that made me scared. It was a word that got me excited to movie. Especially when I was sixteen and saw Dusk Till Dawn. Having no clue what the film was about, it blew my still forming mind, making me instantly state it was the best film ever made. Not only did I declare it the best films, I quickly stated that it had the best character in the history of film in it. Some guy named Sex Machine, with a gun on his crotch. Of course, it was Tom Savini. After a third and fourth viewing, Tom became an idol to me.
Almost fifteen years later I found myself working with another man who made my childhood nothing but sleepless nights and wet sheets, Kane Hodder. Having just finished writing Kane’s biography and officially becoming a tiny piece of the horror industry, I had the privilege to met most of the genre greats… except for Tom Savini. For some reason, he seemed elusive. No matter how many conventions and appearances I did, I just never met the man. Then one fateful day, Fangoria issue number 304 with Tom Savini on the cover, arrived in my mailbox.
The fact that Tom was on the cover wasn’t the reason I was excited to read the issue, the real reason was that it was the first time my name was going to grace the pages of this holly rag. After gleefully reading the interview with Kane and myself in the beginning of the magazine, I started to flip through the rest of the pages. When I saw Tom’s article, I almost didn’t want to read it, it would just rub in the fact of how awesome he was… and I still hadn’t met him! Putting my issues aside, I read the article. When I got to the part where he said he wanted to write a book… I almost passed out. This was my chance, an open door for me to walk through and present myself to the legend himself.
Within minutes of reading the article, I was racing to my computer to write up a proposal to send to Tom about how I should be the one to write his book with him. Having Kane’s biography already under my belt, I figured I might really have a shot at getting to Tom. If anything, maybe I could at least talk to him, if he said no, well, then I still would have the satisfaction of talking to the legend. With a bit of work, I got Tom’s email address and sent off my proposal, eager to hear a response. One thing I lack is patience. I hate waiting for something to happen. Waiting for a response from a celebrity… its torture. Especially if you don’t even know if they will respond or not.
Amazingly, within a few hours, I had an email in my inbox… from Tom Savini. Being a horror fan, I know what its like to wait in line for hours to meet the stars you love, to get to shake their hands for a second and take a quick picture, its amazing. To see one of these guys name’s in your inbox, is, breathtaking. Seeing Tom’s name in the “From” list, I tried not to jump up and do a jig, I didn’t know what his response was after all. Staring at the unread email for almost five minutes, I finally sucked up the courage to click on it. There was a full paragraph, that was promising, a no thank you is usually short. After reading, I found out he had a lot of questions, but he was interested. At this point I stood up and did my celebration jig… even if it was a bit early.
After that email it took eight entire months, two split second meetings at conventions (I finally met him!) and one nerve-wracking phone call (do you know how hard it is to act professional when someone like Tom Savini calls you!), but Tom finally agreed to work with me. And not to do just any old book, but his official biography. Even now, thinking about this as I write, I can’t believe I am working with Tom Savini!
After spending a year with Kane Hodder and then another year with him on the road promoting our books, I have a whole new adventure on my hands… and I am more than excited to bring you all along with me. Over the next few months you’ll be able to read updates about Tom’s biography and get to see The Godfather of Gore in a whole new light as I write about my personal experiences with this legend. While you wait for Tom’s biography to come out, kill time by reading Kane’s biography, Unmasked and its companion book, The Killer & I. You won’t be disappointed and you’ll get a taste of what you’ll be experiencing here in… Savini & Me.
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Savini and Me
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