Paul Cardullo takes a look at an unusual Groovy Gory Gruesome Gold film this week — writer/director Dusty Nelson's Effects (1980). Though it was shot in 1978 and ostensibly released in 1980, it did not receive a proper release until the DVD came out in 2006. Paul takes a look at the new 4K Blu Ray restoration just released by American Genre Film Archive. The cast and crew is comprised of a number of once-and-future alumni of George A. Romero films, including Joseph Pilato (Rhodes from Day of the Dead (1985)), make-up genius Tom Savini (Dawn of the Dead (1978) et al.), and John Harrison (composer and 2nd-unit director on Creepshow (1982) and Day of the Dead (1985)). Paul discusses the meta-contextual nature of the film and why sometimes things are not always as we expect them to be. Listen below to check out his review and find out just why you should seek out this lesser-known gem.
Effects (1980) 4 out of 5 stars
While a crew is filming an ultra-low-budget horror film, most of them are also unaware that their director is simultaneously shooting a snuff film — with some of them as the unwitting subject.s
Director: Dusty Nelson
Writers: William H. Mooney (novel), Dusty Nelson (screenplay)
Cast: Joseph Pilato, Susan Chapek, John Harrison, and Tom Savini
Run time: 84 min
From American Film Genre Archive:
A new 4K transfer of this snuff-fueled frighmare starring Tom Savini and Joe Pilato
Cobbled together with loose change by George Romero's friends, Effects is a mesmerizing D.I.Y. frightmare that no one talks about, but everyone should. A group of coked-up filmmakers — including Tom "Dawn of the Dead" Savini, Joe "Day fo the Dead" Pilato, and John "Tales from the Darkside: The Movie" Harrison — gather in Pittsburgh to make a slasher. As filming begins and "accidents" happen, it's clear that something isn't right. And no one can be trusted. Landing somewhere between Snuff and a student film by John Carpenter, Effects is a meta-enhanced takedown on the philosophy of horror that doubles as a sleazy and terrifying movie on its own.