20 Jul

Woeful tales of the fanboy circuit: Tom Savini

Posted by Bryan White | Friday July 20, 2007 | Woeful Tales

Update! Tom and I have spoken since the publication of this article way back and since then some really strange stuff has happened. I cover it in this episode of Cinema Suicide on Youtube.

Tom SaviniBack in 1998 I was a student living in Orlando, FL. I caught wind of a collectables show happening at the convention center on I Drive and promptly drove over to Waxtree Records to sell some of my black metal cds in order to acquire some money for bootleg tapes and admission. Upon entry, I found myself in a magical world of people selling goods ranging from yard sale junk to banofide collectable items. There were comic books, action figures, vintage lunchboxes at ridiculous prices, collector priced Transformers and so on. The main draw for me were the sprawling tables of bootleg videos. Entry to the show was cheap, but I didn’t have much money, so I blew it all right away on copies of Chinese Ghost Story and The Storm Riders.

I was also supposed to meet some friends at the show, but I got there before they did, so after I’d spent my money, I spent some time wandering around the floor, looking for them. I’d never been to a convention before at this point, aside from some comic shows, but those don’t really count. This was also more of a high-end flea market than a con, but as I wandered, I was surprised to see a “celebrity” area at the back of the show where people lined up to get autographs. The lines were huge! Lou Ferigno was there, Ron Palillo who played Horshack on Welcome Back Kotter, the guy who played Will Robinson on Lost In Space, Boomer from Battlestar Galactica. All of these people has crowds. All of them, that is, except for Tom Savini, who I discovered sitting mere feet from me.

Understand that Tom’s line wasn’t just small, it was non-existent. I looked down and to my right to see him sitting there and jumped back slightly. This was a shock. I took a look around. There were four or five sweaty fanboys standing around, wearing X-Files shirts, clutching their Xena action figues and staring at Tom as if they recognized him from somewhere, but couldn’t place him. He looks like that guy with the crotch gun in Dusk Til Dawn, doesn’t he? I quickly assessed the situation to make sure that these assholes weren’t, in fact, in some kind of zombified line to get the man’s time then I made my move.

See, the night before this show, I watched Maniac and Dawn of the Dead and this was some kind of coincidence. I approached Tom’s table quietly and tastefully expressed my appreciation for his contributions to that which I hold so dear.

“Hi, Mr. Savini. My name is Bryan. I’m sure you get this all the time, but I’m a huge fan and I just wanted to let you know that I love your work. It’s an important part of who I am today.”

Or something to that effect. I didn’t jump all over him and foam at the mouth. I didn’t speak a mile a minute and lay some heavy shit on him. I also didn’t buy any of his overpriced merchandise OR shell out for his autograph and that may have influenced what happened next.

At the close of monologue, I extended my hand as if to shake his. Tom, already looking grouchy, cast a cold eye to my extended hand where it lingered for a minute, as if he were trying to burn it off with his laser eyes. He looked back up at me, crossed his arms and sank back into his folding chair, casting his glance longingly to Horshack’s mile-long queue and casually blowing me off by spitting, “Yeah.” through that trademark moustache. His angry eyes returned to me, only this time he didn’t make eye contact, looking past me for another con-goer who might pay the 95 bucks he was asking for that photo of him in the Dawn of the Dead motorcycle rider getup.

Shocked, I looked around, hoping that these Xena-clutching jerks hadn’t seen me get burned, big time, by the man. Sheepishly, I retracted my hand and probably muttered something like, “See ya.” and turned to leave. I walked maybe ten paces before the outrage struck me. Had this really happened. Am I dreaming? Is this some kind of hallucination? I turned to see if Tom was, in fact, sitting ten paces behind me and there he was! Still trying to burn a hole in me with his angry, laser eyes.

It wasn’t much later when I found my friends and recounted the story. I guided them back to the table where Savini was sitting to point him out because they weren’t really horror movie fans and had no idea who I was talking about. Robin took one look at him and proclaimed, “The crotch gun guy!” The best part was that Tom honed in on me as soon as he had line of sight and recognized me immediately as that guy. He was still shooting daggers!

To this day I have no idea what caused that reaction. Fango loves to write about Savini and his interaction with fans. For years I’d been hearing about people running into him and striking up a conversation to find that he is the charismatic fan favorite that you think he might be. Not I. I got the distinct impression that Tom wanted to kill me. Maybe it was because I didn’t buy any of his overpriced stuff. Sue me. A friend of mine walked up to Michael J. Anderson (the backwards talking midget from Twin Peaks) at a con, bought nothing and did the same thing I did with Savini and he turned out to be awesome! What the hell, Tom? A few years back I recounted this story to another con guest who told me not to put his name to it, but he and his wife said that Tom is like that all the time and they get the Savini treatment every time they meet, closing the story by repeatedly saying, “Fuck ‘em. Fuck ‘em. Fuck ‘em. But don’t tell him I said that.” (fuck it, it was Joe Pilato). I don’t feel so bad about it now, but back then, that sucked! I was extremely disappointed and my impression of the man hit rock bottom.

Since I started showing up to cons, I’ve had a lot of celebrity encounters and most of them are nice people who understand the power of the characters they have played. The understand what it means to be on the other side of the autograph table. However, I’ve also been burned by Bruce Campbell and The Misfits, which I may talk about later on.

In closing, I once told this same story in a much more truncated version on Ain’t It Cool News’ horrible, awful, talkback system for a report about how awesome Tom Savini is and how Vampirates was getting the greenlight (fat chance there). I wound up getting banned. It probably had something to do with me calling Savini a bag of dicks or the mere fact that I insulted a holy chao on the dorkiest fanboy website on the interwebs.

119 Comments 

  1. July 20, 2007 9:24 am

    T. Rigney

    Ah, another tale of Tom Savini disappointment. During a promotional gig for my book at Horrorfind, I met a special effects guy who was hoping to show Savini his portfolio. I went with him to the Tom’s fanless table, watched him pay too much for an autograph, and hung back while he whipped out the portfolio. Savini became visibly annoyed, flipped violently through the book to the point that I thought me may rip a few pages, and then tossed the thing back to the guy while grumbling, “You’re an amateur.”

    Needless to say, the guy was pretty upset. And while I’m sure Savini gets requests like this all the time, Portfolio Guy wasn’t looking for work or a hand-out — he just wanted to talk shop. Furthermore, why bother doing these fan-oriented conventions if you’re just going to treat the people who approach you like the scum of the earth?

    I have a feeling Savini is a very bitter, very lonely individual whose career has taken a considerable turn for the worse. Most of his recent acting gigs are quite lame, as are the films he’s contributing make-up effects to these day. The guy’s a relic, a has-been, outsourced and outgunned by the generation that grew up on his work.

    Sorry this turned into a full-blown rant, but I rarely encounter anyone who has anything negative to say about Mr. Savini.

  2. July 20, 2007 9:37 am

    Bryan White

    I got the same impression from Bruce Campbell when I met him. He did a talking show at the Universtiy of New Hampshire, showed up extremely late and then spent a half hour casually reading the local ordinances of the town of Durham, NH before he leapt into a vitriolic rant about the quality of movies these days. He went on and about how many remakes and sequels were being released that year before he did some Q&A from the audience where he bitterly fielded questions from the audience. My question about him being in the last Phantasm movie was replied with “Sit down.”

    There’s more to it than that, but some of these guys need to get a grip. I’ve been to a bunch of cons and, for the most, part, the guests a great! Bill Moseley, Betsy Palmer, Jeffrey Combs and Reggie Bannister know how to play the game. It’s these guys who haven’t acted much since their hey day that are a bunch of dicks. Howard Sherman took my money ($20!), silently signed my Day of the Dead and then tossed it back without a word. Nice to see you in that Aflac spot, Howard. Michael Berryman couldn’t have possibly been any more bored when I met him. You could tell Adrienne Barbeau would have preferred to be anywhere but the con when I met her. It’s such a bummer when these people turn out to suck, but the ones who know how to interact with fans make it all worth it.

    Betsy Palmer stands as the greatest con ecnounter I’ve ever had. She reminded me of my grandmother and couldn’t be any nicer. She had us there talking for, like, twenty minutes. It still makes me smile when I think about it.

  3. July 20, 2007 11:53 am

    Bryan White

    By the way, what’s the title of your book?

  4. July 21, 2007 5:00 pm

    T. Rigney

    The name of the book is “Found.” Just a small coming-of-age horror novel I wrote a few years ago. Nothing major. When I’m not reviewing movies no one watches, I can be found writing stories no one reads.

  5. July 21, 2007 5:47 pm

    Bryan White

    Well, you still have a published novel and that’s cool as hell.

  6. September 7, 2007 10:37 am

    Woeful tales of the fanboy circuit: Bruce Campbell |

    [...] icons.  While my encounter with Bruce Cambell was a far cry from the heart breaking meeting with Tom Savini, it still marks another moment of disappointment and the sudden realization that maybe Fango was [...]

  7. September 9, 2007 1:45 pm

    Retroman DC

    I met Tom Savini at the ComicCon in Novi. He was very cold and didn’t seem to be interested in talking to me at all. Not cool.
    Contrast that to Tom Sullivan who did the special effects for Evil Dead. Tom absolutely loved chatting with everyone about anything and everything and especially his experience on the evil dead films. My friend and I talked with him nearly a half hour. Great warm friendly guy who enjoys the fans and loves horror movies.

    Retroman DC
    http://www.dchighway.com

  8. November 25, 2008 9:17 am

    Mike

    Hey, I can relate with your story. It’s a shame that some people are just so full of themselves.

    The guy reccently was pretty hostile to the angry video game nerd too in a video he posted on his site.

  9. November 25, 2008 10:08 am

    Kristian

    Yeah, maybe you guys are getting burned because you are mouthbreathers with bad hygiene. Take a shower, chew a tic tac and think of something to say that your idol hasn’t had to answer or feign gratitude of several hundred times before.

  10. November 25, 2008 10:42 am

    Bryan White

    Yeah, that must be it. We’re all a bunch of greasy losers with nothing to say and a steady stream of drool. You got my number. Such insight. Such wisdom. I’ll be sure and take your advice the next time I decide to shell out $15 for some hack actor’s autograph.

    Asshole.

  11. November 25, 2008 5:56 pm

    Mike

    Actually Kristian I’m not a fan of Tom’s work at all.

  12. January 15, 2009 9:03 am

    Jeremy Couturier

    I hate hearing these stories but some actors dont appreciate the people who put money in their pockets. NO Fans=no work opportunities. Being a nice human being goes a long way.
    I attended a screening for A Better Tomorrow at the MFA in Boston in 1996 while I was attending school. Chow Yun-Fat spoke afterwards for an hour and took some questions from the audience. What an extremely humble charismatic guy! At the time his english wasn’t very good but he was a trooper, even singing at one point to a cheering crowd. He signed items for another 1/2 hour before jetting off with his wife and manager. As he left the theater he shook hands and mingled as he left and I got to high five him! Here was basically the biggest actor in Asia at the time tipping his cap to a small crowd of strangers from a strange land.
    Guys like Savini and Cambell are benifiting from work they did over 20 years ago. Cambell has no excuse for his career, or lack of. It’s obvious he’s no master thespian and most of the stuff he’s in is low grade. He should be happy he’s still working. Know your audience and appreciate them, no matter how smelly or awkward they seem! They can quickly forget you….right Tom?

  13. January 15, 2009 9:29 am

    Bryan White

    Chow Yun Fat’s another one of those guys I would kill to meet. I’ve heard that he’s a stand-up guy through and through and that really does go a long way. There are some guys like Bill Moseley and Reggie Bannister who routinely do these shows and love the fan interaction. Joe Pilato always seems extremely fucked up when I see him (Michael Rooker, too) but they’re both killer at the fan game.

    Part of Savini’s career failure is that bitterness. He’s not nice to the fans so he slips further and further away.

  14. February 27, 2009 9:46 am

    Real Man

    Why don’t you fat nerds get a life? You’re all nerds…and you’re…fat. Fat…nerds! FAT FAT FAT FAT FAT FAT FAT FAT FAT FAT FAT FAT! Nerds!

  15. May 14, 2009 3:57 pm

    Gemini37

    I am really surprised by Tom’s reaction to you guys. I met him at Dragon Con in Atlanta back in 1990. Not only was he pleasant with me, but when I mentioned that I had been doing makeup since I was 15 (I was then 26) he gave me his business card with his fricken’ address and phone number ! I have remained in contact sending him emails and on a few occasions phoned him. I agree with Bryan’s remarks regarding Tom’s career or lack there of. I don’t think he is happy with his career curently but that does not give him the right to be a dick. If he is gonna be that was towards his fans he should stay home and/or retire. Regarding Bruce Campbell, I met him at the very same Con I had met Tom. He was funny as hell and very accomadating taking pictures and signing autographs. (I think it sucks that stars started charging for autographs, I always got them for no charge.)

    - GEM

  16. May 28, 2009 10:15 pm

    Reedemption

    Dang….i REALLY wanna meet Betsy Palmer….is she still around?

    As for Gemini’s observations, i have no doubt that Savini and Campbell were nice guys when you met them. But you DID meet them in 1990.

    And as everyone’s been pointing out, they’re far from their hayday, which may be why they’re so bitter. Back in the good old days though it probably would have been a joy to hang out with their jolly and successful personas.

  17. May 28, 2009 10:52 pm

    Gore

    I challenge anyone to digitally re-create the Friday the 13th Part IV scene where Tommy slices the machete into Jason’s face and he slides down it.

    Granted the eyebrows moved too mechanically, but it is still more real than anything that can be done with CGI today.

    That is the problem. Audiences have come to accept crappy digital FX work and gore masters such as Tom are out of jobs. It is a shame really.

    Savini’s career will surge again…always happens to actors like that. Look at Mickey Rourke.

  18. June 1, 2009 4:54 pm

    boy_ghost

    I certainly hope if I ever run into Savini he doesn’t swallow my soul with his moustache. There really seems to be no magic word to please a guy like him. Anyway, you guys should check out my horror film PUREE. We shot it on 16mm black and white and made three hands for blending. Tell me what you think….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1Q7Ij-TEwE&feature=channel_page

  19. June 15, 2009 2:37 pm

    steve herrington

    I met and had the plesure of working with Tom in the early years…at the fort bragg playhouse..and the fayetteville little theater..in north carolina..he was always nice to me and the fellow actors..and a great talent..to work with…make-up skills..as well as acting skills…(1973-1976).

  20. July 1, 2009 1:59 pm

    Patricia Young

    While I am not a big Savini fan-I salute him for him being such a big fan of Lon Chaney Sr & recognising Lon’s awesome make-up mastery. Tom goes up in my estimation for that! Theres a common vein there!

  21. July 25, 2009 2:33 pm

    Tashi

    I didn’t meet Tom personally but he judged a horror film contest in KC in which I was a entrant, and I went to a Q&A with him and Romero. They came off as unpretentious and down to earth. He did talk about some personal stuff and I don’t think he’s so much bitter about his work as he might be about his divorce and maybe some stuff going on in his life we may not know about.

    The warmest most personable and social person from this particular circle was Brinke Stevens. Incredibly charming she posed with every fan that wanted to take a pic with her including me. She’s about as real as it gets.

  22. July 27, 2009 10:25 am

    Brian R.

    Here is a recent Interview I did with Mr.Savini.

    http://amediamnhorror.ning.com/profiles/blogs/tom-savini-interview

  23. July 28, 2009 2:57 am

    Ladnik

    I go to Tom Savini’s School in PA and in your first semester you get to go to a “talk with Savini” he gives a couple hour lecture on his life and shows the video “the many faces of Savini” and then answers anyone that has questions. I think hes a big pothead with a wealth of awesome fucking stories. I just wish i had more questions for him cause he would have stayed there all day to answer them. The only thing that really bugged me about Savini was all the movies he put down. He talked shit about all these new movies that had just come out and Halloween and Child’s Play and a lot more. I also played volleyball with him at the school’s picnic and he came by our class once to drop in and he looked at my stuff and said i had a lot of style. So that is all my encounters with the man. I vouch for his good side.

  24. July 28, 2009 7:52 am

    Bryan White

    That’s cool! See, for every story like mine and Todd’s, there’s usually a story like this one. Which leads me to think that Tom might be bipolar and how you’re treated depends on his mood at any given time of day.

  25. August 7, 2009 3:21 am

    Brian

    I met tom a couple years back at the pittsburgh comic con. once again no line, he was talking to someone at his table i stood there for 5 min before i said excuse mr savini i just wanted to say im a fan. he gave me a nasty look and said thanks and continued talking to his friend/

  26. September 18, 2009 5:51 pm

    nux vomica

    tom savini is, like you and me, a human being. he has good days and he has bad days. that doesn’t make him fucking bipolar. to put so much emphasis on meeting someone is sure to lead to let down. stop idolizing people and just enjoy their work. and all this “I will destroy your career if you don’t love my portfolio and buy me a drink, and tell me you love me” talk? put yourself at his end for 1 year. then try 25.
    The only thing you owe the public is a good performance – Bogey

  27. October 12, 2009 3:48 pm

    Justin

    I saw the same thing at Horrorfind ’07 (I think it was 07, Rob Zombie’s Halloween cast was their) I saw Mr. Savini’s table and he looked pissed and it was a ghost town around his table. IDK what the problem was. I was too scared to say anything to him with him lookin that pissed, the other celebs were much much nicer.

  28. October 12, 2009 3:57 pm

    Bryan White

    Bullshit. If you hit the convention trail and your intention is to meet and greet your fans, you’re going to sit at a table for a couple of days and take their money for a litle bit of your time, you owe them something more than a sneer and a shitty attitude. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a con or something to that effect, but the prices for these people to write their names on your merchandise are getting out of hand and Savini’s were some of the highest I’ve ever seen.

    Some “celebrity guests” at horror shows like being there and interacting with the fans and it’s very clear that they’re into meeting you and your appreciation of what they do actually means something to them. There are others who clearly don’t like doing the con thing but the money is too good to pass up but they at least put on a good face and humor you. That’s also acceptable. Savini does none of this. He slips your $20 into a fire box and then blows you off.

  29. December 21, 2009 4:14 pm

    Alice Keymer

    nux vomica is an idiot. If you take someones money you OWE them. Screw you.

  30. January 31, 2010 6:20 pm

    PINSTRESS2118

    I AGREE WITH ALICE!NOX VOMICA IS AN ASS!IF IT WASNT FOR US FANS WATCHING THEIR MOVIES AND BUYING THEIR MERCHANDISE THEY WOULDNT BE AROUND OR POPULAR.WHY EVEN GO TO ONE OF THOSE EVENTS IF YOUR GOING TO BE IGNORANT?BECAUSE HES A GREEDY IDIOT WHO DOESNT CARE ABOUT HIS FANS!I,FOR ONE,WILL REMEMBER THAT WHEN I SEE THAT HES GOING TO APPEAR SOMEWHERE OR WHEN ONE OF HIS MOVIES COME OUT IN THE THEATERS.JEFFREY COMBS IS ONE OF THE BEST OUT THERE!I WOULD LOVE TO MEET HIM AGAIN.

  31. February 1, 2010 9:47 am

    Bryan White

    I HAVE ALSO MET JEFFREY COMBS AND HE IS, INDEED, THE SHIT! I LOVE THAT GUY! WHY ARE WE YELLING??

  32. February 10, 2010 11:44 am

    Missy T

    A certain prominent person in the horror world said to me that they wished that they could have a dollar every time they heard someone mention Tom’s off -hand attitude.

  33. April 6, 2010 2:52 am

    GravediggerGrimm

    Y’know, I’m sitting up late in the campus computer lab w/ a friend and was talking to him about how much I’d love to see a fan put that fucking marker in his throat at the next con, and it hit me…”google ‘Tom Savini is a dick’ just to see if someone else has published a story like yours”…and wouldn’t ya know it. I’ve met him twice at the same convention in Cleveland, Cinema Wasteland, two different years and each time he’s been a royal prick. Growing up idolizing him I delivered the same line to him as was mentioned in this blog and it was met with the same reaction, almost like that dog that’s been trained to go into kill-mode when it hears certain wild-card words. Same story, no line at his table, a bit of a ghost town surrounding him, and you’d think he’d be happy someone took the time to give him a genuine compliment. I’m a human being too and I’ve been annoyed at shit strangers have said to me, but not when it’s shit from the heart and esp when I’m fuckin PAID TO BE THERE and TAKING MONEY FROM THEM. I would even agree that all you owe the public is a good performance, although if you don’t feel the need to greet them, stay the fuck at home. He’s gonna be at the next Wasteland here in a week. It will be hard not to fuck with him, but he’s lucky I’m older now. He gave me the same reaction as all of you have written in the blog and comments, and he insulted my girlfriend at the time when she tried to offer him a beer the second time I ran into him. Where I come from, it doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re that fuckin rude, you’re lookin at getting curb-stomped, not $20.

    Asshole.

  34. April 6, 2010 8:07 am

    Bryan White

    He also had a table at the last Rock and Shock show in Worcester, Mass. It wasn’t necessarily a ghost town but I saw him posing with people at the show. It looked like he did alright but then I was told by the folks the Outside The Cinema podcast, who were also at the show, that he stood them up when he was supposed to do an interview with them.

  35. May 3, 2010 1:53 pm

    cheez avenger

    A friend of mine was telling me about the time he met him at some comic con, and asked him a few general bs questions, Savini told him that he was “busy.” My friend looked around, behind him, side to side and told Savini that “there’s no one here.” Savini told him that he was expecting a big turn out. Um, yeah. No.

    Savini may be bi-polar.

  36. June 11, 2010 7:32 am

    ckap

    I ran into Savini the other day. I’m a cop in pittsburgh and strangely enough the day before my brother in law and I were were talking about him. As I’m “walking the beat” I noticed a guy that looked oddly familiar. As I looked again I thought to myself… “Holy Shit thats Tom Savini”. I walked up to him and said “Mr. Savini!”. He replied “Yeah” in kind of a cocky voice as he squinted at me to get the sun out of his eyes. I put my hand out and gave him a hearty hand shake and simply said “Sir I’m a huge fan, and thank you for your service to our country, I’m a Veteran myself”. He laughed and replied “Your too young to be a Vet” but continued to shake my hand. I began to walk away and noticed he was giving me the infamous Savini Stare, so I turned back around and simply said “I’ve heard stories about you being an asshole, but I refuse to believe it”, and just stared at him. Now I’m not sure if he was intimidated by the badge, or respected me as a Vet, but he just started smiling and we had a long conversation about random shit. I don’t think it’s so much that Savini is ungrateful for his fans, I just honestly think that certain things from his past haunt him, including Vietnam and other short comings in his life. But at the conclusion of our conversation he gave me his personal card which includes his home phone number, cell number, and personal email (not the email address on his website). Savini is an old school bad ass and just has that “stand up to me” attitude… but all my feelings about him are just assumptions, not necessarily facts.

  37. July 12, 2010 6:16 pm

    Joeman

    Funny story about the hand-shakes. As a matter of fact, I have a similar story. My buddy and I went to the horror convention in Chicago and walked into the bar in the hotel. We sat down and to my surprise, Doug Bradley (Pinhead) was sitting down next to us. Doug Bradley was totally nice and agreed to take a picture with us for free (keep in mind it was $20 dollars in the convention room).

    All of a sudden, Tom Savini walked in. We were like “holy crap, it’s Tom Savini”. We were thinking 2 pics for the price of nothing, 2 legends next to us at the bar. Tom Savini did indeed agree to take a pic with us, but when I went to give him a handshake, he acted like his jacket was taking up both hands and looked at me crazy. You know why I think he agreed to take the photo, because he didn’t want to look like an ass in front of Pinhead. He said nothing, grabbed Pinhead and headed towards the back of the bar. Hiding in their corner, I was thinking, I was really proud to meet Pinhead…..My overall opinion on Tom, he is a dick but still lives on as a legend and master in my opinion. Can we deny that? Furthermore, I will never be excited to approach him or see him in person, but I’ll always know his name. Maybe he’s a germaphobe with hands. Nah!

  38. July 30, 2010 9:03 pm

    marc

    I’ve had BOTH experiences with Tom. In fact many. First time was great. Next time sucked. Time after that sucked. Time after that sucked worse. The last time was in a restaurant in Sherman oaks, and he was sweet as apple pie. Whatever, I don’t worship the guy. I used to, but as with most celebs my admiration only goes as far as the big screen. Or small screen where Tom is concerned.

  39. August 4, 2010 4:50 pm

    Marissa Mischief

    I met Tom at Rock and Shock last year, I was interested in his make up course at DEC. I honestly don’t think that conventions are his thing. I can’t blame the guy. He sits there and watches hordes of people swarm to actors who are famous for the roles they play, yet no one cares about his work. Without Tom or artists like Tom these characters wouldn’t exist. I talked to him briefly about the course (I wish I had more to say) and he seemed neutral. He wasn’t intrigued or annoyed, just kind of there.

  40. August 6, 2010 9:58 am

    Sean O'Connell

    I met Tom about 20 years ago while doing makeup at a haunted Theme park Mass. While his reaction was not as bad as what Byran got. I would have to at least say it was pretty damn chilly to neutral. Damn disappointing.

  41. August 11, 2010 10:26 am

    Loosey Lipsitz

    Members of my family grew up with him in Pgh. He ain’t nuttin but a big nose from Bloomfield. And there are art school grads (and students) who are 10 times more talented and clever than he is but will never get anywhere near the attention or the income that he has gotten. He just got lucky.

  42. September 19, 2010 5:07 pm

    Andy C

    I did the convention circuit for ten years and had plenty of interaction with tons of celebs including Savini and Bruce Campbell and can say that one of the big issues is that the whole scene has went from a situation of meeting fans to a huge business. A lot of the “positive” stories you year about these guys are from 15 years ago or more when autographs cost $5 and these guys where there as a lark and consistently working. Now autographs can cost $50 and this has become their JOB and acting/effects/directing only occasionally happens so they are more often than not sitting at conventions bitter, pissed off and looking at fans as meal tickets and not as the people who put them there in the first place.

    Savini actually was really nice to my group of friends one year, even participating in our gag video of him challenging our friend to push ups. But in the later years he was grumpy and stand offish and made lots of people mad. I met Campbell at a local outdoor theater he did and he was sweet as could be. The next year he came back and was a complete dick. It is the cult of celebrity + using the fans to make your money that does it I think.

  43. September 22, 2010 12:23 pm

    Mike from Bflo

    I’ve seen and talked to him a few times at various cons over the years: Monster Bash, Horrorfind, Festival of Fear and Cinema Wasteland. I can honestly say Savini is hot and cold. Once he was super nice. So go figure.

    That said I agree with the post above that states that this meeting celebrity thing has become too much like a business. It seems to be the main stream of income for these people.

    And Honestly I’m fine with that.

    But for $20 or $30 dollars a signature these has-beens need to learn customer service! Smile, shake hands and be pleasant. Listen to the gushing and then go home with a wad of cash. If they don’t want to be nice then don’t do the show.

    Which may be the easiest job in the world BTW.

  44. September 22, 2010 2:11 pm

    Bryan White

    To be fair to a lot of these con celebs, I meet far more good ones than bad ones. Most of them understand what they’re doing and seem to enjoy meeting the fans. But a bunch of them seem to hit the scene with this attitude like “I used to be an actor/director/special effects guy and now I’m reduced to this.” And they have a shitty attitude about it.

  45. September 23, 2010 1:27 pm

    Katie

    I had to comment on Michael Berryman being rude, I met him at one of the collectormanias in milton keynes (I forget which one) He was one of the nicest people I met, told me some stories of when he was filming the hills have eyes, and they would go in costume to the local drive in and scare the teenagers. Perhaps he was just having an off day.

    Have to agree with Tom Savini, I once sent him a very polite and not overly long email, telling him what an influence he’d been on me, and got a reply simply saying “thanks”
    One word, guess it was polite, but I was gutted and it left an imprint on me ever since. I don’t know if they realise that we all remember that one time we met them and feel differently about them forever after.
    It’s gutting if they’re your hero.
    If you meet the nice ones it fully makes up for it, Doug Bradley from Hellraiser was my first ever autograph and he was absolutely lovely, sensible enough to use gold pen on a black background (I have so many autographs that are worthless as they have used black pen on a black background, WHY do they do it?)

  46. September 23, 2010 4:53 pm

    Mike from Bflo

    …you know I work in an industry (pro-sports) where some people maintain “celebrity.” I can honestly say that they have expectations and when they’re not met they can get awkward, grumpy and give major “Tude”

    What these people fail to realize is that besides the fact they mistreat the very people who originally gave them their status they also simply refuse to entertain the idea that they’re VERY LUCKY!

    They could have been one sports, movie, or TV series misstep away from attaining nothing.

    I think all this kvetching about celebrity appearances is good! Because they do become aware that they are earning a bad rap.

  47. November 15, 2010 6:32 am

    Vin Broccoli

    Googled “Tom Savini is an asshole” and came here. Quite interesting…

  48. November 15, 2010 9:19 am

    Bryan White

    I guess the natural follow up to this comment is why did you Google that term?

  49. November 16, 2010 11:02 am

    Logan F

    Interestingly enough, like the previous poster, I came upon this discussion by typing in “Tom Savini is an asshole” as well.

    I was trying to find any remnants of the now cancelled Fangoria Radio Show. In doing so, I came to find out that Savini was on the show somewhat often.

    That got me thinking, that I remembered hearing from somewhere that Savini was a giant asshole.

    I felt the need to pursue this thought.

  50. December 30, 2010 11:14 pm

    Pete

    I’ve been to enough conventions and had enough run ins with Mr. Savini to form the impression that’s he’s pretty much a douchebag, talented, but a douchebag all the same. If you’re going to sell me something, show some common courtesy at least. If he wasn’t a dickhead, would this thread even exist?

  51. January 8, 2011 6:59 pm

    Matt

    This was quite some years ago but the experience lives on. The memories came flooding back to me when I read this blog. Tom Savini not sure what to say, I was let down very hard on this guy. I even used to frequent his web page and weekly chats he held. He seemed like a great guy and we even had some laughs over the chat. But the one and only time I met him I brought my Savini makeup books along for him to sign. he signed the first one which was obviously dog eared from tears of pouring over and dreaming of creating great monsters like Savini did. His sequel book was in less wear phase almost new. He tried to almost charge me for it a second time as a purchase from his table. I told him who I was on the chat and he just seemed at that point to disconnect all contact. This guy was my hero and was the reason I wanted to get into makeup and to be treated like that was more than disappointing. I didn’t get quite the harshness most people have described from him but this guy was a hero of mine who became low on my list of people to care about after the treatment I got. I have had the opportunity to meet some of the IMHO greatest horror film makers and industry professionals and Savini stands out as the most disappointing of my experiences.

    At the same convention the king of the Zombies Mr. George A. Romero was there and he treated us like gold. Myself and my girlfriend were so nuts about seeing him and he was the greatest person on a convention I have met. he even came by and talked to us both after as we were sitting at some tables having a drink. He was cordial and obviously loved his fans, he gave more than was expected and will forever be remembered for his kindness. I also met Bruce Campbell and for some reason he I was really star struck so much so I could barely speak, He signed his book if chins could kill and was a tremendously nice guy to me. Upon second meeting of Mr. Romero I was going to school in California and Diary of the dead had it’s premier there. Teachers and students alike went it from my makeup academy and went in full zombie gear. Mr. Romero stood like a grinning child and laughed and shook people’s hands as well as took pictures with my schools mates and teachers he is quite the gentleman who more than made up for any experience I had with the less than pleasant Mr. Savini.I have also had the chance as a result of my makeup training attended IMATS in California where I met another great hero Mr, Dick Smith. My life has been amazing in that I have gotten to meet some of the my most admired celebrity and film artists. Mr. Smith lead a round table discussion Q&A along with some other name makeup artist from the industry. Mr. Smith looked at me as a peer to the group and didn’t underestimate me or condescend to me at all. This man is a makeup god and for him to treat me as a peer far outweighs and overshadows any negative experiences I gained from meeting Mr. Savini.

    Sorry for the extended length post but it was nice to go back and revisit all these memories especially when it means the good has far outweighed the bad experience I had….

  52. January 8, 2011 7:03 pm

    Matt

    This was quite some years ago but the experience lives on. The memories came flooding back to me when I read this blog. Tom Savini not sure what to say, I was let down very hard on this guy. I even used to frequent his web page and weekly chats he held. He seemed like a great guy and we even had some laughs over the chat. But the one and only time I met him I brought my Savini makeup books along for him to sign. he signed the first one which was obviously dog eared from tears of pouring over and dreaming of creating great monsters like Savini did. His sequel book was in less wear phase almost new. He tried to almost charge me for it a second time as a purchase from his table. I told him who I was on the chat and he just seemed at that point to disconnect all contact. This guy was my hero and was the reason I wanted to get into makeup and to be treated like that was more than disappointing. I didn’t get quite the harshness most people have described from him but this guy was a hero of mine who became low on my list of people to care about after the treatment I got. I have had the opportunity to meet some of the IMHO greatest horror film makers and industry professionals and Savini stands out as the most disappointing of my experiences.

    At the same convention the king of the Zombies Mr. George A. Romero was there and he treated us like gold. Myself and my girlfriend were so nuts about seeing him and he was the greatest person on a convention I have met. he even came by and talked to us both after as we were sitting at some tables having a drink. He was cordial and obviously loved his fans, he gave more than was expected and will forever be remembered for his kindness. I also met Bruce Campbell and for some reason he I was really star struck so much so I could barely speak, He signed his book if chins could kill and was a tremendously nice guy to me. Upon second meeting of Mr. Romero I was going to school in California and Diary of the dead had it’s premier there. Teachers and students alike went it from my makeup academy and went in full zombie gear. Mr. Romero stood like a grinning child and laughed and shook people’s hands as well as took pictures with my schools mates and teachers he is quite the gentleman who more than made up for any experience I had with the less than pleasant Mr. Savini.I have also had the chance as a result of my makeup training attended IMATS in California where I met another great hero Mr, Dick Smith. My life has been amazing in that I have gotten to meet some of the my most admired celebrity and film artists. Mr. Smith lead a round table discussion Q&A along with some other name makeup artist from the industry. Mr. Smith looked at me as a peer to the group and didn’t underestimate me or condescend to me at all. This man is a makeup god and for him to treat me as a peer far outweighs and overshadows any negative experiences I gained from meeting Mr. Savini.

    Sorry for the extended length post but it was nice to go back and revisit all these memories especially when it means the good has far outweighed the bad experience I had….

    http://www.makeupmag.com/featured/id/252/ This was the Convention Mr. Smith was at great part is mates from school made it in the review issue of the magazine and I can be seen talking on the convention floor in a peripheral shot with some friends.

  53. February 18, 2011 2:08 am

    Matthew

    I was at my first convention about 3 years ago and was pretty excited. I was excited to meet Tom Savini thinking he was going to be a cool guy. I was wrong. Before meeting him, I walked into the Celebrity Room and saw Greg Nicotero so I decided to talk to him first. Greg was a good guy, talked for a while about random stuff, seemed like he was actually interested to meet his fans and was very humble. There weren’t many people in the room at the time, so most of the celebrities were just standing around chatting with each other. Greg had brought up that he was interested to see this movie coming out (at the time) Mirrors. I suddenly realized that Tom had crept up behind us and was listening to the conversation. All of a sudden he started running his mouth about how Mirrors looked like garbage and basically insinuated that Greg was stupid for being interested, then he walked away while Greg was shaking his head in disgust. Greg was awesome, Savini sucked. The next day a friend of mine that loves comics was asking Savini about the episode he did on The Simpsons and nothing related to his fx work, Ha, this infuriated Savini and my friend ended up getting his look of death the rest of the convention that you spoke of. The last things I’ll mention were just odd to witness is… (1)Tom was in the dealers room and bought a bootleg version of “The Dark Night” before it was in theaters. (2)The following year after this convention, Tom Savini bought himself a dealers table in the Dealers Room to sign and sell autographs while all the other celebrities stayed in the Celebrity Room. Just odd. Maybe Tom is a cool guy, I imagined he was back in the day, but he was just annoying the times I met him. Remember though…Greg Nicotero was awesome, look forward to meeting him if you get a chance.

  54. February 19, 2011 3:07 am

    Kay

    Ha. I also got here by typing “Tom Savini is a dick” on Google search. I started that search after reading some not so happy reviews on IMDB from fans. My God. He’s become a living legend in Asshole. Shouldn’t he get some kind of award for that?

  55. March 9, 2011 1:22 pm

    M

    To the girls..the reason why tom is nice to you is because you have tits and a hole. I went to the savini school as well and believe me the only reason he’s being nice now is because your putting money in his pocket. Wait until you get out of school. He will treat you how he treats everyone else even if you mention you’re a graduate. Oh and good luck trying to find a job. I think there was one person in my graduating class that “made it” anywhere but mommy and daddy had paid his way to support him while he was looking for jobs. The majority of us had to move back home or struggle to pay back that joke of a school.

    Would you say that I’m bitter? Of course. If someone took $50k from you and still treated you like garbage after the fact wouldn’t you be?

    Oh, and to add..people that have worked with him can’t stand him. Ahem..george romero.

  56. March 23, 2011 5:36 pm

    Flying Dove

    I’ve met Tom Savini several times over the years at Horrorfind and MonsterMania. Some times he was very friendly and other times he was quiet. He’s an artist and an icon. Cool stare or not, I like him.

  57. April 16, 2011 6:59 am

    SaviniBabyKiller

    The guy andy hit it on the head: “I did the convention circuit for ten years and had plenty of interaction with tons of celebs including Savini and Bruce Campbell and can say that one of the big issues is that the whole scene has went from a situation of meeting fans to a huge business. A lot of the “positive” stories you year about these guys are from 15 years ago or more when autographs cost $5 and these guys where there as a lark and consistently working. Now autographs can cost $50 and this has become their JOB…”

    Also, Savini was a HUGE pothead, at least five years ago. Tell him you got weed.

  58. April 16, 2011 7:25 am

    Bryan White

    Ha! I’ll give that shot if I have another try.

  59. April 20, 2011 4:48 am

    Rick

    If you got tits and a hole in front Savini will love you! But if you got a pair of harries forget about it, you got nothing coming from him. Plane and simple. However I still like him for who he was.

  60. June 30, 2011 3:42 am

    pgh drunk ass

    That assclown pothead tom was riding his chopper thru lawrenceville while smokin a joint and nearly ran me over and had the nerve to call me a dickhead if I c him again I’m kickin his ass that washed up greaseball.

  61. September 4, 2011 12:44 pm

    Jaryd

    How funny. I got here also by typing “tom savini is an asshole” on google.com

  62. September 7, 2011 3:34 am

    James

    Well, this sucks. He’s going to be at Texas Frightmare Weekend in the spring. I have been planning to get an autograph, but if he’s acting like a dick that weekend I’ll skip it. The current cost of autographs (which were once free) sucks enough without getting an attitude from the signer.

  63. September 7, 2011 8:23 am

    Bryan White

    My advice is to hang back from his table and see how it’s going. Savini’s behavior seems to run hot or cold and he’s been at a couple of shows that I’ve been to recently where he’s either been a tremendous douche or he behaves himself.

  64. September 8, 2011 2:10 am

    Michael

    I met him years ago. He was a dickhead. I was really let down by my encounter with him. He signed my maniac poster, but tried to charge my 9 year old cousin 45 bucks for a signed DOTD flat with his signature on it. My cousin did not have that sort of money, so he asked Tom if he would sign his convention flyer. Tom said “sure, 15 bucks”. I wished I would have not met him and would have just let him remain “the awesome dude i would give my liver to meet” in my mind, rather than realizing he is a jerk off.

  65. September 10, 2011 11:07 pm

    Sean O'Connell

    Yeah I have met him and he seems just on the side of getting pissed off. The KNB guys were lots more fun to talk too (back in the late 80′s).

  66. September 17, 2011 5:15 pm

    Inca

    I met Savini and Romero at a con. Savini had an attitude. Romero was a aweetheart.

  67. October 3, 2011 7:26 pm

    Sara

    I’ve met Tom a few times in recent years, most recently of which was just this August. He’s always been very nice and friendly and interested in whatever you have to tell him. I’m not making this up or anything, it’s the honest truth about my experience with him. He’s always been genuinely nice to everyone the times I’ve seen/been around him.

  68. October 3, 2011 9:59 pm

    Bryan White

    I don’t doubt it for a second, actually. Since I posted this article, I’ve heard from a lot of people who have had overwhelmingly positive experiences meeting Tom and they’re shocked to hear that he was a dick to anyone. I guess it all depends on the day.

  69. October 18, 2011 5:22 pm

    bev

    I grew up on taylor st in Bloomfield with Tom. Great guy back then and a greater guy now. You all suck.

  70. October 18, 2011 7:22 pm

    Bryan White

    Oh, you grew up with Tom Savini? Good for you! That means you’re probably a fucking asshole, too.

  71. October 23, 2011 8:46 pm

    Mellzah

    I just met Tom and had the same goddamn experience after paying for an autograph. (http://www.mellzah.com/?p=5892)
    I guess I’m glad I’m not the only one, but it’s still disappointing to be treated so badly by someone I respected so highly.

  72. October 24, 2011 11:01 am

    bev

    Oh poor bryan white…sounds just a bit jealous. Don’t have friends?

  73. November 16, 2011 1:55 am

    Dustin

    Tom WAS a great guy when I meet him at horror hound weekend 2011 in Cincinnati I bought a few thing and took a few pics ,I said my name was Dustin and as soon as I said it it got real loud and he thought I said Justin and I said my name is Dustin with a D and he said I’m sorry Dustin so he gave me a new 1 with my name and he was still cool not mad at all and befor I left I came back to say see ya later and he said see ya Dustin I was a little worried case of all the bad stories but he was awsome to me and I’m a huge fan

  74. December 7, 2011 4:55 pm

    LC

    I’ve met and seen (and talked to) Tom at least a dozen times and he was never anything but great…he’s always been one of the few people that was great no matter if I bought something or not. I have gotten my picture and autographs free too (as long as it’s your own item) the first time was in 1993 and the last time being 2010…he’s been wonderful to my kids and husband as well.

    Bruce Campbell on the other hand was a humungous pr*ck! The first time I met him was in 1993 and he was ok (using that word loosely), but every time after that all he was interested in was money…if you weren’t buying something, he was a douche bag.

    Maybe you just caught Tom on a bad day or something.

  75. December 20, 2011 9:19 pm

    Austin

    I’ve known Tom for years. He was a nice guy until he’s divorce for his first wife. I was at a show in NYC around the time of this and he was not happy at all. We talked and said I had to leave, He replied “I wish I was.”
    THen in 2000 He helped me propose to my wife by setting it up at his table, very nice. THenlateky he’s been having attitude. YOu talk to him and in the middle of a conversation he turns his back on you!

    But this year at SCREAMFEST in Orlando was the end! He was there as a visitor and as he entered the room, everyone started saying hi to him. He ignored everyone saying “I’m not really here” > I heard someone(A celebrity next to Kane Hodder’s table (A very close friend of mine) Say,”Tom you can’t take a minute to say hello!” I think he lost alot of Fans that day> I lost all respect for him. Considering I was right infront of him with my wife and son and said hello to him three times as he ignored us. All he had to do was wave, It’s simple raise and hand and giggle it in the air.

  76. January 9, 2012 12:49 pm

    Jason

    I went to Savini’s school too, the first time I met him was actually awesome! I was at a local restaurant with another student. While at the table I turned and saw Tom at a table having a meeting. I about lost it I was and still am a uber geek for his work. so my friend introduced us because I couldn’t speak. Tom stopped what he was doing and talked to us and even invited us to hang out where he and another teacher were sculpting a body prop. I got to hang out with him for about a week while he worked. During this time he was very cool as nice as can be. I felt very fortunate to have had that experience. To all who had a bad experience with him I feel bad , but like stated before he is human and has good days and bad days.

  77. January 13, 2012 12:17 pm

    Vanguard

    We were lucky enough to have Tom Savini do a special Q&A night at The Vanguard, Sydney Australia. With a sell out crowd of 150 people. Tom was nothing but a complete gentleman. He was everything and more and it was a fantastic night. Tom answered all questions from fans and stayed on stage for two hours and let every fan ask their questions. After the Q&A Tom mingled with the crowd signing items and taking photos. I believe every person left that night with the highest praise for the icon of horror that is Tom Savini. All hail the king of horror!!!!!

  78. January 20, 2012 12:52 am

    Professor Hubert Farnsworth

    Ha! All I googled was “Tom Savini” and this was the 4th result. I have never met him, but I was fortunate enough to meet Rob Bottin once, who is absolutely fantastic.

    My experiences with Bruce Campbell are better than most related on here, and although he can be brash I’ve never seen him be an asshole to anyone. I think the people who said actors get cranky when they aren’t working are spot-on. When I met Bruce on his first book tour back in 01 or 02 and (briefly) leaving Comic-Con in 09, he was perfectly friendly and sociable.

  79. April 17, 2012 12:46 am

    CreepShow

    Tom Savini is a brilliant effects & makeup artist, he is up there talent wise with a Rick Baker & the Greats. Artists, innovators & people of high intellect are often times moody & emotional…he’s as human as everyone else, conventions probably boring to him too. If he was rude its probably because you’re personal hygene sucks, just like the goth vampire outfit you probably wore to meet a Horror Film Legend. I’m sure Tom Savini gives both time & respect to his fan…when that respect is deserved. Tom’s whole persona is a little Dark & Tough Guy anyway…figure it out! Tom is a Total Pimp of Horror…& That is That!

  80. May 8, 2012 1:10 am

    JonOfTheShred

    I’ve never met him, but being both a huge fan of horror movies (especially ones using actual FX, not just CGI which should be used more sparingly) if I ever end up at a convention I’ll DEFINITELY go OUT OF MY WAY to get an autograph. I’ll open with….

    “Dude, I fucking LOVED your work on The Ring!”

  81. May 29, 2012 4:04 pm

    sarah

    i live in tom savini’s neighborhood, he is super nice. he came into a shop i worked at a few months ago. he was polite and kind. i am a fan, my brother is his biggest fan. so after i introduced myself, i did say, “i know you probably get this all the time, but my brother is a huge fan, may i please have your autograph for him, we love your work.” my bro make amateur horror shorts….not only did he say yes, but he said, would you like a photo of us to go with it. DUH!!! so he let me get my phone out and my boss took 1, tom said, “do you want 1 more in case that one wasn’t good!” i said, yes, thank you. he put his arm around me, we took another. he and i chatted for about 30 min, he was very nice. he told me about currently shooting the new machete and what not. maybe he was having a great day but i have nothing but good things to say. he also picks up a little boy (son?) at my son’s elementary school in his bmw. so we see him sometimes. always nice.

    sarah

  82. May 29, 2012 4:06 pm

    sarah

    and my brother about lost it when i texted him the photos and mailed him the autograph!!! so i am glad i got the chance to meet him.

  83. August 21, 2012 3:23 pm

    Tina

    Wow, this thread has been going for awhile. I met him a couple of years ago at a horror con and same story as a lot of you. No line, took my son over to meet him and get an autographed picture, told him we were great fans, only to get the queer stare, pay for the picture and have him turn his back to us and we were dismissed. I was actually embarassed. I can say that everyone I’ve ever met, Bruce Campbell included, has been nothing but great at the five horror cons I’ve gone to, but I’ll never ever attempt to talk to Tom again. Love George Romero, what a sweetie and many others and would love to meet Nicotero. I bet it really pisses Tom off that he’s doing so well.

  84. September 9, 2012 10:45 pm

    John

    I am thinking that he has changed since the last time I met him. I went to the Art Institute in Pittsburgh, back when he was on the board of directors for the Industrial Design and Technology course. Him being involved with the school is one reason why I chose to go there. It would be 10 years or so before he opened up his own school, which is still in operation.

    During my time in Pittsburgh (a too brief two years) I met Tom several times, and each time he was nice as pie. While at the school a friend of mine, Matt, somehow became sort of an assistant for Tom. One day Matt asked me if I would like to go with him to Tom’s studio. I did not hesitate at all to say ‘yes’!

    When we got there Matt introduced me to Tom and he was so warm and welcoming. He took me on a tour of his studio where he showed me just about every prop that he made. It was all there, all the stuff I saw and admired as a kid. Fluffy was there, he let me touch it! Several of Jason’s masks were there, a full size Jason as well. Several zombie parts from Dawn and Day of the Dead. Many many items. He let me take pictures, and just allowed me to revel in the awesomeness of the situation. We were there for about three hours. While him and Matt talked shop, he allowed me to walk around on my own. How trustworthy was that of him! It was an incredible experience, one I will not forget.

    A year or so later I was walking around the Ross Park Mall doing my usual laserdisc and movie soundtrack purchasing, and low and behold here comes Tom walking into the mall entrance. I approached him and introduced myself to him. As I was telling him about him allowing me to walk around his studio he said “Oh yeah, you were the guy with Matt”! He remembered me! He then shook my hand and said “Cool”! We chatted for a few minutes and then, trying to be polite, said “I don’t want to hold you up, I’ll let you go”. He said “You’re not holding me up, if you want to chat that will be fine”. I actually had somewhere I needed to be, so I had to leave.

    Flash forward to Dragon-Con in Atlanta, I think in 1999 or 2000, I saw his booth and approached him. I again recounted my story, and again, he remembered me. This time after we chatted and I got my autographs and pictures, he gave me his card with his personal information on it. Tom and I kept in touch several times through the years, but I have not talked to him for a long time.

    While I do believe these stories, he can be a bit intimidating with his looks, I just want to chime in and stick up for the guy.

  85. November 11, 2012 11:56 pm

    Mike

    In the late 1990′s I was on my lunch break and was startled to nearly bump into Tom on the sidewalk. When realized who he was, I said “Oh, hi Tom!”. He paused and looked at me like he was embarrassed that he didn’t remember my name so I let him off the hook by explaining that we’d never met but I remembered his face from an interview I’d seen on TV. Since I wasn’t a true fan and had no real clue about anything he’d done besides the local news interview I’d seen, I commented on how he must have a lot of people that he didn’t know starting conversations with him. He ended up standing on the sidewalk, chatting with me (a non-fan) for over 20 minutes about living in Pittsburgh and other unimportant stuff.

    My impression of him was that he was a typical Pittsburgh guy who would rather talk about anything besides what he does for a living. It sounds as though he dislikes the convention scene and has little in more than disdain for the bulk of his fans. If people continue to pay $20 for his autograph, no matter how he treats them, I’m sure he’ll keep showing up. I know if I could go to work and get paid whether I was friendly or not, I’d spend at least half the time being a dick. I’d also guarantee I’d be a much nicer person to anyone at the bar on the way home. Cut the guy some slack folks, he’s the monster you helped create.

  86. November 14, 2012 2:29 pm

    MikeS

    I think a lot of folks read into his looks a bit too much. I’m not suggesting he’s the perfect conversationalist, or or whatever, but my experiences with him were always positive.

    I’m sure he has “off” days, or shows up at cons and does nothing but stare into space with an empty table in-front of him for hours, and it reflects in his attitude sometimes. When I met him, it was at an empty table, so I used that as an opening topic of conversation with him. I can’t recall precisely what I said, but it was along the lines of “This is when it get’s hard to look forward to the next one, isn’t it?”

    I got “the look” at first, but recognized it as being somewhat lost in thought. Some folks look mean as hell when they’re thinking about something. Michael Ironsides comes to mind.

    In any event, what followed was a pretty insightful look at the fans from the other side of that table. To him, they’re all strangers potentially getting ready to profess their love and life-altering admiration for him, when from his perspective all he’s really done is had some fun doing what he knows how to do.

    It’s awkward to react to that without being very fake, humble, or seemingly arrogant.

    Some fans don’t really know what he’s done, and/or attribute films to him that he wasn’t involved with. Those are like landmines in the conversation, as he doesn’t want someone to feel bad for their mistake, but wants to also clarify, rather than claim work that wasn’t his. Other fans know intricate details of bits and pieces of his life, typically part of the story, and he’s forced to make assumptions about what they know, or whether the source of the info is anti-Savini rhetoric or not.

    He was quick to clarify that not all folks were like that, but that by-and-large a good portion of them are. He claims to try to come across the table to meet people halfway, and give them the experience he feels a fan is looking for, but sometimes it’s just not possible.

    Usually, the roadblock to that is that the fan has reached the table with what’s apparently a predetermined plan to blurt out something that you just can’t lead a conversation with.

    A lot of times it’s the same few questions, and those can be frustrating, because he’s certain that if you know about him, you likely already know the answers to the question and are putting up a false front trying to force a conversation that may seem fresh to you, but which really don’t have a direction to naturally progress into.

    He supports fandom and conventions, and can remember being a fan wanting to meet the greats himself. He’s never lost touch with that, which is why he continues to do the convention circuits, even with a table that doesn’t stay busy or full. He prefers it that way, because it gives a fan a chance to get in there, and interact in a meaningful way, rather than the usual experience of “gimme $5, I’ll smile, sign, and wave up the next guy with money.”

    At that point, he seemed to want to remind me of the fact that I was at his table and partially blocking the door for other fans that might wander up. I don’t know if he did that intentionally, or if it was just a thought I had at that time.

    He only had a few videos left on the table, and I told him to keep mine because I already had one.. I just felt it proper to pay for his time and it’s all he had for sale. I suggested he push it across the table as a freebie to some young kid at some point.. and explained that as a fan myself, I think that sort of interaction could really make someone’s day.

    Dunno’ if he did that or not, but I like to think he did.

    It’s funny though, some of what he said reminded me of why some guys can’t get dates and stuff. A lot of them, AS STRANGERS, do stuff like whistle or stare, make catcalls, or lead with garbage like ‘Hi, I just wanted you to know you’ve got a killer body and are really sexy,’ leaving no room for a real response, and no way for a conversation to grow… just an indication that a stranger has decided they are horny, and that you’ll “do” for what they had in-mind. It becomes sort of gruesome when you look at it from that perspective.

    The “sex” thing of course is not ALWAYS the initial intent, but if you do the math, like a lot of women do, it’s where all of that is leading.

  87. December 23, 2012 2:39 pm

    Tom Savini

    Whoa…I\’ve never seen so many lies about me in one place. I can\’t say I know what peoples motives are for doing it..but I can say from my experiences that one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to try to please everyone. Look…I am nice to everyone. I take pleaseure in being nice. It\’s something I learned from George Clooney on FROM DUSK TILL DAWN. I loved the way he made people feel by being so nice to everyone. I told him recently what an infuennce he was on me making me realize it doesn\’t take a lot of effort to be nice. I don\’t do conventions for the money though some of you have painted a picture of me as some greedy has been. I do it to hang with old freinds I only see at these things, and to meet the fans. I never would even charge for autographs until I was forced to by the people who run these things so as not to cause friction with the celebs who do..AND…I never charged what some of the liars here said i did, but only the accepted $20., and sometimes if I thought if they couldn\’t afford it…. signed on the sly for them. I am not \”bitter\” about anything, especially my career which is going very well beiing in three movies this year..PERKS OF A WALLFLOWER….DJANGO UNCHAINED…and MACHETE KILLS. I am sorry the people who put me down here might have an effect on the people who like me but as I said…you can\’t please everyone, especially the ones with motives that are all thier own, and any intelligent person can see as pure jealousy that someone, some fan like me, has reached the heights that they know they will never see. This hurts some people and turns them into the hate full souls they have become and don\’t realize that people can see that so clearly here about them. I am glad I am liked and respected….and beieve me I can see at conventions that people who read this shit here….EXPECT…me to be nasty…and when I am not….they are dissapointed…like they are not getting the show they want. So…if you meet me and you have read what I have written here…say so…don\’t be afraid because the face I was born with lookls like a villain…and I promise you…if you get to know me…you\’ll see, like the people who DO know me…..I am a pussycat. Now…do I sound like the monster….the \”Dick\”…..that these jealouse lamebrains say I am????

  88. January 1, 2013 11:29 pm

    terry owen

    No, Savini…you are not a monster! I do know this man and he is a wonderful man. i would fight anyone that dare insult him in my presence…that would be a show. I encourage all to stop an say Hi to him at the conventions, that is why he is there.2012 was an amazing year for him an i believe 2013 might be even better.

  89. February 21, 2013 1:56 am

    Vino Veritas

    CMU must be one hell of a deficient university if that’s what passes for literacy amongst their alumni. Your sycophantic Wikipedia page led me to believe you were a veritable scholar, Tom. But then, according to Wikipedia, you’re all things to all people! If you aren’t insecure about your achievements, why do you have to remind everyone IN CAPITALS about the films you’ve had bit parts in recently? Or why tell us about the famous and talented people you’ve made acquaintance with? You certainly like to pose in photos with actual stars, and seem to enjoy riding a kind of wave of association as much as you can without being too obvious. You were at the right place at the right time with the right people, and yet you didn’t conquer the world like you thought you would. So you make do with what little you actually have. Make it look as good as possible. The same way you get hair transplants, ‘roid up and get a tan. Getting the foot in the door is one thing, real longevity requires more. More than you’ve ever had. Which is why you’re a kitsch celebrity with a small cult following, either adolescent or adolescent in mind.
    You are right, some people are jealous that you’ve reached the ‘heights’ in your career that you have. It’s because your work is pedestrian at best, and substandard when compared to others in the business. It pisses people off when this happens, as often as it does. They realize that social skills create the networks which grant success to mediocrity, and wonder how you could have those social skills when you seem like a gruff little baboon to them. They think you must have gleaned something out of those Dale Carnegie books that they overlooked! ;) There are so many fans of your work who are hopelessly dreaming about finding a way out of the proverbial ‘shit’, and to them, you are one of them. An example of how you can get somewhere in the world with nothing but mediocrity, a basic drive to achieve something and some good connections to open the doors.
    Me, I dislike you for other reasons. I despise your whole industry. You profit from polluting minds, filling them with misanthropy and a desire to be witnesses to suffering for no greater purpose than entertainment. Your work has very likely been in some part responsible for real acts of violence. You normalize cruelty and barbarism, eroding empathy and promoting desensitization to extreme violence and pathological behavior. Nothing you’ve done has even a speck of artistic merit and none of it shows even the slightest sense of responsibility. You are an assassin of beauty, human expression and a wrench in the works of social evolution.

    Just go away, and take your slimy little career with you. Terry Owen too. Just so you have at least one dribbling, sour cabbage smelling fool around to praise you and do some grammatically incorrect interwebez sword rattling when his hero’s precious honor is sullied.

  90. March 16, 2013 12:23 am

    Terry Owen

    Dear Vino Veritas
    Tom Savini did not write the Wikipedia page and to my knowledge, I am not sure he has ever read it. The Wikipedia page chronicles his career in the mainly horror genre as a special effects artist, stunt man, actor and director. I don’t believe the page leads anyone to believe anything but that he has had a long and ongoing career in horror films and is well respected in that field for his groundbreaking achievements. Is he a CGI Master? No. Is he currently working on Special FX for The Walking Dead? No. His protege’ Greg Nicotera is working on The Walking Dead. As any great master an teacher should do, Savini has passed the torch to a new generation that has built upon his work an other artist like him.
    Tom Savini is 66 years old an in amazing shape, he has continued to stay in great physical condition and has always been very athletic. He is Italian an that “tan” is pretty much permanent. There is an advertisement for hair transplants on youtube featuring Savini and he admits – he is a client. I am sorry that i can’t comment on any steroid use, other than I highly doubt that you have a bases for that claim.
    Your diatribe is highly entertaining, but if you can be so totally off on your appraisal of me, one wonders how much you really know about Tom Savini and your qualifications to judge his career. He was at the right place at the right time, and being good at what he did, word spread an his career took off.
    Now, for Terry Owen, the dribbling, sour cabbage smelling fool, praising Savini and rattling that interwebez sword when “his” hero’s precious honor is sullied.
    I am a women…I love taking showers and vanilla is my favorite fragrance. I do know Savini an I probably know more than he thinks i know an less than I think I know. I have taken the time to look at him as a real person an I found someone that i like. Not perfect, sort of a ham, but not an asshole an not a dick. I don’t put him on a pedestal, but consider him as human as we all are. All I am saying is…when you see him at a convention, say Hi, give him an opportunity to prove or disprove these allegations- but remember he is just him and he is not going to pretend to be someone else.
    your opinion of the horror genre, I respect that. I am actually not a fan of slasher movies an gore fest.

  91. March 24, 2013 8:20 pm

    RealityCheck

    Any of you fuckwits taken the time to revisit the opening of all your stories? The part where you specify that no one else is lining up to see him? Maybe he’s sick of only seeing one person at every convention who recognises him after having worked his balls off creating some of their favourite movies for most of his fucking life.

  92. April 3, 2013 3:12 am

    Psy-Ko

    I was too scared to meet Savini when I saw him. He shot those dagger eyes at me and I put my $$ back in my pocket and scurried away. Maybe I’ll try again someday, maybe not.

    What I really wanted to comment on though was the very first commenter, the one who wrote the book called “Found” Dude I just watched the movie a couple weeks ago and loved it! I think it’s the best movie I’ve seen in a good long while! I only got it on a recommendation from a friend so was pleasantly surprised. And even more surprised to see you as a commenter in this article I stumbled across on google while looking for something completely different!

  93. April 21, 2013 11:03 pm

    Talia

    Sometimes people just have bad days. I just saw Tom Savini at FanExpo in Vancouver today and he was a perfectly nice, normal guy. He even told a story about how he had accidentally insulted a fan and then spent the rest of the day looking for her to give her a free photo.

  94. April 22, 2013 2:19 am

    kelli

    I am going to texas frightmare weekend this yr. Im gonna get something signed by him hope it goes well. He was there last year but I didnt stop by his table.

  95. May 5, 2013 4:24 pm

    Andelas

    This is an old thread but wanted to weigh in in.
    My girlfriend and I just returned from the Texas Frightmare Festival. Tom Savini was one of the guys I was most interested in seeing there. (As Norman Reedus almost caused a riot by cancelling!) Tom’s table was right next to Danny Trejo’s table and Trejo had a line as long as the eye could see the entire time. I actually stepped out of Trejo’s line and walked right to Tom since he had no one at his table.
    He comes across as slightly annoyed with the whole affair but could not have been nicer to my girlfriend and I. He took pictures with each of us and I politely thanked him and we left.
    I could see where he could come across as a jerk but I am glad that we had a very pleasant experience with him. I would rather see his work over any CGI crap any day!

  96. May 8, 2013 6:23 pm

    Emm

    I was also at Texas Frightmare Weekend and Tom Savini was the highlight of the trip. I thought the line for Danny Trejo was the line for Tom Savini! I couldn’t believe no one was waiting to meet him. He seemed slightly annoyed but carried a conversation with me, I went to his panel on the last day, which made the whole trip! He received a standing ovation afterwards. It’s frustrating to see someone as iconic as Tom being overshadowed by Jon Bernthal (Shane on Walking Dead) and Danny Trejo at these conventions.

  97. May 11, 2013 4:52 pm

    Terry Owen

    Savini is so good with the Q & A sessions, he really loves an audience and he has plenty of entertaining stories to tell. watch the Q & A from Spooky Empire- Orlando 2012, we all had a great time with him that day.

  98. June 1, 2013 4:29 pm

    gary

    I met him and he was the nicest guy I ever met. Bent over backwards for me. Signed everything I had for free and gave me his personal address where I sent him all my collectibles and he signed them ll and mailed them all back to me. You must have the wrong guy.

  99. July 2, 2013 8:28 pm

    Steve

    I can relate. Met Tom @ Texas Frightmare 2012, and while he was signing my “Friday The 13th” one-sheet, my friend tried to chat him up about “The Burning”, joking with him and asking why he didn’t have the DVD sale at his table. Tom just stared at him, mumbled something, and stood up for my photo with him. I’m surprised that wasn’t too much for him, and he even managed to crack a smile. But regardless, he was the ONLY person I’ve EVER met at a con that didn’t fully engage himself with you, laughing, talking, reminiscing about their roles, etc. He’s lucky I didn’t just take my poster and spit in his general direction, because, while I love the original “Friday The 13th”, I could have gone without his signature on my one-sheet if it meant not dealing with his attitude.

    And in reference to what someone said above, I don’t care how many times you’ve answered the same question, there’s no excuse for being rude and having attitude, especially to the very people that made you the two-bit celebrity you are. Without them, you wouldn’t have been one at all, but just a lonely soul playing with play-dough and your sister’s makeup.

    If it happens again at a con, I’m afraid I won’t be so polite this time. Someone needs to set him in his place, seriously.

  100. July 3, 2013 11:04 am

    Nate

    He was great when I met him! Love him and his work on “Friday The 13th”!

  101. July 3, 2013 11:10 am

    Steven B

    Mr. Savini is great, and has agreed to do an interview for my book in regards to “Friday The 13th”! I cannot speak for anyone else, but he has been nothing but awesome to me.

  102. July 4, 2013 3:58 am

    Oh You Know

    I also stumbled on this while trying to figure out why Tom Savini was doing all this crap with Tarantino and started to wonder where all the dish was from people who knew about his MAC cosmetics partnership. Then I remembered that it was Rick Baker and not Tom Savini. I hope Rick is nicer.

    http://www.beautyalmanac.com/article/Rick-Baker-for-MAC-Cosmetics-Fall-2013-Collection/1205

  103. July 8, 2013 7:02 pm

    quoth09

    Tom talked about this blog/post at Frightmare 2013 this last May here in Dallas. I searched for what he said, which was “If you go to Google and you put my name in, the 4th line down: Tom Savini is a dick”
    However, what he talks about (which had to do with some girl, and was in reference to a prior year at Frightmare), has absolutely NOTHING to do with the story this article talks about.
    He addresses this at 21:30 of my video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHh8-5wpPYg
    Which leads me to believe he has not read this page, was mistaken, or something similar. Either way, interesting read and reference.

  104. August 6, 2013 12:49 am

    Rob Zilla

    I met Tom 3 times at Texas Frightmare and he’s been super nice to me every time. When I gave him a bag of rubber bands to shoot Ari Lehman with, he gave me free stuff.

  105. October 13, 2013 7:13 pm

    Brian in Boston

    I ran into him on a street corner in NYC a few years back. Told him I was a fan and shook his hand. He was as nice as could be. Seemed pleasant…a nice memory.

  106. October 13, 2013 8:18 pm

    Scott

    “Maybe I caught Tom on a bad day, I don’t really know nor will I ever,but…”

    But that’s not going to stop you from pretending that you do know is it? LOL. Wow.

    “I’m not being a dick”

    Yes, yes you are…in addition to being a whining little bitch. Cheers.

  107. October 13, 2013 8:23 pm

    Scott

    Steve: “He’s lucky I didn’t just take my poster and spit in his general direction”

    Aww, poor baby. Savini didn’t buddy up to you like you’ve always imagined he would and now you want to attack him with your spittle? All I see is a bunch of butt hurt little fanboys with worse attitudes than the artists you cry about. Go bite your pillow.

  108. October 13, 2013 9:04 pm

    Scott

    Bryan White
    “Oh, you grew up with Tom Savini? Good for you! That means you’re probably a fucking asshole, too.”

    Jesus H Christ. It’s beyond evident who the real prick is. Holy shit you’re a pathetic piece of work.

  109. October 14, 2013 10:12 am

    Bryan White

    Scott. Tom checks this article and comments from time to time. I’m sure he’ll be just tickled that you’re here defending his good name. You guys can be bros and hang out.

  110. October 16, 2013 4:58 pm

    B.C.

    Last Christmas my cousin gave me a picture autographed to me by Mr. Savini I am a huge fan but don’t do the convention thing. He paid to get an autograph and told him about me and he signed an extra one personally with the most awesome signiture iv’e seen. I have it framed on my wall next to my computer. Tom is the Bomb! what a bunch of whiny dorks!

    Dawn of the Dead rules!!!!!!

  111. October 17, 2013 3:19 pm

    A.S.G.

    I know this is an old thread but I just happened to come across this by accident really & wanted to share my experiences which were good.

    I have met Tom Savini a few times (some at horror cons & where I work) and he has always been really cool. Last time I saw him he told me how he was just at the college I work at & I told him I had no idea cause they didnt let the employees know via email like they usually do; he was very talkative & down to earth.

    Ive also met Bruce Campbell several time and he has always been funny & nothing but nice to my husband & I. The one time we brought our extra items to sign, he signed them for free.

    I guess everyone has good & bad days, you know?

  112. October 31, 2013 3:05 pm

    Spooky Empire Ultimate Halloween Weekend 2013 | The Sundries of Life's Experience

    […] I can’t think of anyone else who it might be from the movie.) Tom Savini had a table and he’s not a dick.  Others who were there included Doug Bradley (Pinhead- Hellraiser) Dee Snider, Peter Criss (KISS) […]

  113. February 18, 2014 4:37 am

    Jon

    I thought i’d chime in here. I met Tom a few weeks back. He was sitting at his fanless booth, as per other comments here. At a festival, of course… But, no bad experience. I was looking at his stack of movies, stuff he’s been in, and I was talking to my girlfriend about how my Dad and I watched a lot of Tom’s movies together – and how horror was kind of a bonding thing for us. Tom said he appreciated hearing that and we talked a bit, about this and that, not anything so much horror, business or movie related and at the end he shook my hand , smiled and was pleasant. All I can say is, if this guy does this every weekend going on… 20 years now ? or whatever. I’d be pissed off too, for sure. You have to remember he doesn’t really owe anyone anything. He talks about the same movies, the same roles, the same stuff perpetually in an endless loop. He’s pretty much Bill Murray from groundhog day only in real life at this point. I’m glad my experience wasn’t shitty !

  114. March 1, 2014 7:25 pm

    Retro LadyLand

    I’ve interviewed loads of cool stars in the past year, including lots of horror stars and found them all to be brilliant. Also, Bruce Campbell even retweeted my interview with his Evil Dead co star, Betsy Baker.
    I really want to interview Tom Savini… I really hope he’s not a dick… http://www.retroladyland.co.uk

  115. April 25, 2014 6:33 am

    Joe Bryant

    I have always been a big fan on toms work, and the 1990 version of night of the living dead is hands down my favorite zombie movie ever made. I live in orlando and keep missing the spooky empire horror-con down here, but when I do make it look forward to meeting mr. Savini first and formost. And to those of you with so much hateful shit to say, perhaps your parents should have taught you a little more respect.

  116. June 17, 2014 12:14 am

    james

    the video up top is my meet and greet with him https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oplZweTi7Hw&feature=youtu.be

  117. June 21, 2014 9:16 am

    Bryan White

    Ehhhhhh…. Maybe. He seemed to at least tolerate you. He was more than happy to take your cash. By comparison to my, and some of the other encounters in this thread, that was downright pleasant.

  118. June 24, 2014 10:09 pm

    Karen K

    Ok I have heard more than enough negative comments about Tom Savini! Stop it already! I have met and had pics taken with Tom and we talked easily about different things. He might be a little shy. Ever think of that? It might be awkward for him to talk to folks sometimes. Just never know. He is an amazingingly talented man who doesnt deserve to be bashed by a bunch of assholes!! He will be just fine if everyone doesnt like him. He has enough true fans who absolutely love him and his work. Some folks are just jealous .

  119. June 24, 2014 10:18 pm

    Karen K

    Ok Lets just stop saying mean things about the great Tom Savini! My husband son and I have met him and had pics taken and talked about lots of stuff. Very nice guy and maybe he is just a little shy. He doesnt deserve to be bashed by fools such as yourself. I look forward to seeing him again and Im confident he wil be his nice approachable self. Maybe some of you folks just dont know how to act around someone as great as he is. If you dont like him stay away from him. He has more than enough loyal fans so you sure wont be missed. Run along now!!


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