Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini (2015) Movie Review ‘Essential Viewing for the Horror Community’

Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini – Essential Viewing for the Horror Community


Director: Jason Baker

Plot: A documentary about the life of Tom Savini. The film covers his early days in Pittsburgh, and his rise to stardom as Hollywood’s most sought after special effects wizard.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini starts as we start to learn how Tom Savini the youngest of a big family, would get inspiration from his siblings, where he first found his passion for cinema and horror.

We get to see the life of Tom, from his military services, his family problems, but most importantly for the fans, how he used his abilities to create new designs in horror to become the icon of the special effects world in horror.

Thoughts on Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini

ThoughtsSmoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini is the documentary looking through the life and career of the incredible iconic figure in film Tom Savini. The documentary will focus on the linear look at his career, with some of the biggest names from that world, Tony Todd, Bill Moseley and Robert Rodriguez. Each person that Tom has met in life will have stories that showed the enjoyment of working with him and away from the film industry, we get to see the family man he is, with his children being the most important parts of his life. This is the type of documentary that might well feel like a show reel of Tom’s career, but it shows that you can a career you love in a world that can be cruel and hard.

Final Thoughts Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini is one of the most interesting career driven documentary of a horror icon.

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – S – Satanic Panic (2019) Movie Review

Director: Chelsea Stardust

Writer: Grady Hendrix (Screenplay) Grady Hendrix, Ted Geoghegan (Story)

Starring: Rebecca Romijn, Arden Myrin, Hayley Griffith, Ruby Modine, AJ Bowen, Jordan Ladd, Jerry O’Connell

Plot: A pizza delivery girl at the end of her financial rope has to fight for her life – and her tips – when her last order of the night turns out to be high society Satanists in need of a virgin sacrifice.

Tagline – Sacrifices must be made

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Horror

Story: Satanic Panic starts as Sam (Griffith) takes a new job as a pizza delivery girl, she gets to meet the colourful characters while delivering pizza, with one of her final drops being at Danica Ross (Romijn) residence, the same night she is looking to do a satanic ritual.

Sam becomes the target of their sacrifice, as they need a virgin to complete the ritual, only Sam is joined by Judi (Modine), Danica’s daughter in an attempt to escape the ritual.

Thoughts on Satanic Panic

Characters – Sam is a pizza delivery girl on her first day of the job, she is trying to learn how the system works with tips, which sees her unwittingly walk into a satanic ritual, where she must try and escape the followers trying to use her as the sacrifice for their devil. Danica Ross is the leader of the satanic cult, she does everything to make followers happy, which will include giving up her own daughter if that makes the devil happy, she remains calm even if things don’t go as followed. Judi is the daughter of Danica who is also being prepared for sacrifice, she will help guide Sam through trying to stay ahead of the worshippers, using her knowledge of the cult to hopefully lead them to freedom.

PerformancesHayley Griffith does well in the leading role of this film, with her performance showing us the pure confusion about being thrown into this world. Rebecca Romijn as the leader of the cult is great to watch, filling the screen with the pure confidence required in the film. Ruby Modine completes the main cast with a performance that does fill in most of the gaps for the audience.

StoryThe story here follows an innocent pizza delivery girl that gets caught up in the middle of a night involving a satanic cult, that want to make her their latest victim in their attempt to summon a demon. The story shows how somebody’s life (Sam’s) can be turned upside down in one night, when they need to learn how to survive a cult in a big city that are worshipping the devil, showing us how the cult will do anything to get what they want, with their early stage magic. The story plays out over one night, which does show us just how the battle to survive will unfold, with just one main option to survive and will break some of the more traditional ideas of the cult movies, adding in plenty of over the top ritual ideas for kills.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in the film comes from seeing how different character act through the night, be it Sam’s fighting back or the cult members reactions to certain things that happen, this does hold back the pure horror side of the film, with most horror moments looking to end in a laugh more than anything else.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us just how the world is unfolding, we start in the everyday neighbourhoods, where Sam is working, but when she ends up in the high society end of town, that is where everything takes place for the chaos side of things.

Scene of the Movie – Drowning

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough horror involved.

Final Thoughts This is a fun horror that gets plenty of laughs, while not capturing enough scares, we have a strong cast who each get their moment to standout through the film.

Overall: Enjoyable Horror Comedy.

I Am Belmaya (2021) Movie Review ‘Important Documentary’

I Am Belmaya – Important Documentary


Director: Sue Carpenter, Belmaya Nepali

Plot: Silenced and subjugated all her life, an educated young Dalit woman in Nepal takes up the movie camera to tell her story.

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: I Am Belmaya starts as we get to learn about Belmaya’s early life, from the girls home, where she was first given a camera to operate, falling in love with photography and filmmaking. Belmaya finds herself trapped in a world where these dreams are frowned upon, where she is married with a child, not in a position to be able to walk away or risk getting herself an education.

We see over the 14-years of Belmaya, what she fought for, continuing making movies to highlight the struggles women would have in Nepal due to previous beliefs and lack of opportunities.

Thoughts on I Am Belmaya

ThoughtsI Am Belmaya is a documentary that highlights the lack of opportunities being offered to women in Nepal, as we follow one woman record her struggles to follow her dream of being a filmmaker, getting trapped in the world of an abusive marriage. This isn’t just a film, it is campaign to help raise awareness of troubles that women have been through for years about just wanting a chance to enter a film. This doesn’t just show how Belmaya fought for her chance, it will also show her success, the boundaries she has broken down along the way. This is an important documentary, which will continue to show the changes the world is adapt to, with this needing to make it happen quicker.

Final Thoughts I Am Belmaya is a very important documentary that will show the changes happening.

I AM BELMAYA is now in cinemas and on demand at Curzon Home Cinema and BFI Player.