Director – Dusty Nelson (Tales from the Darkside, White Phantom)
Starring – Joseph Pilato (Knightriders, Days of the Dead), Susan Chapek (No Place Like Home, Houseguest), and John Harrison (Tales from the Crypt, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie)
Release Date – 1980
Rating – 2/5
Blu Release – 3/5
When people think of horror several names movie to the forefront. For me the name George A. Romero defines the horror genre and his Night of the Living Dead completely change the zombie sub-genre. I remember the first time watching the classic, along with the remake, when I was a kid staying at my grandmother’s while my dad was out of town. I loved it and it forever changed me.
Romero has partnered with dozens of people of the years to bring his films to the screen and in 1980 several of those people got together to make a no budget horror film. That movie, Effects, was recently released on blu by MVD and American Genre Film Archives. MVD was kind enough to send a review copy my way. Thanks.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a low budget film crew who is staying in the Pennsylvania wilderness to film a horror film. The director is not agreeing with the special effects team because they try to make the kills look realistic while he wants more blood. Things take a murderous turn when the director and a few crew members decide to kill the cast and record it instead of using actual practical effects.**Spoiler Alert**
This is a film I had heard about for some time but never got around to seeing. What caught my eye was the fact that Tom Savini and Joe Pilato were both part of the film. Fans of Romero’s work knows exactly who these two names are. Honestly, after watching it, I wish I would have waited even longer to check it out.
The acting in this one was great. Fans of the original Day of the Dead know the powerhouse performance Pilato delivered in the film. His is one most will never forget and his presence in the film stands out. His performance in Effects isn’t so grandiose but he still delivers one hell of a performance. His character is polar opposite of DotD. The rest of the cast is there to have fun with friends and get through their scenes. Honestly, it feels like they don’t take the film that seriously.
The story for this one is best described as “cobbled” together as the back of the blu states. The story is very inconsistent and at times will test your patience with choppy scenes and a story that has no idea where it is going. I’m curious as to what they originally envisioned and what we actually got.
Finally, the film has several on screen deaths but the way the film is shot you don’t really get to enjoy them due to the “making a movie” angle. Overall, Effects is a tossed together mess of a film. Fans of Savini and Pilato will want to check it out but that is about the only reason I can think of to sit through this mess. I would recommend checking out The Zodiac Killer released by AGFA instead.
After Effects Documentary
Early Short Films