Tom Savini as “Sex Machine”, whip-snapping biker
Mexico, Summer 1995
Film: From Dusk till Dawn
Release Date: January 17, 1996
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Costume Designer: Graciela Mazón
Though it may be a few days late to celebrate Halloween, it’s always the right time to celebrate Tom Savini, my fellow Pittsburgher who turns 76 tomorrow!
Born November 3, 1946, Savini grew up in the Bloomfield neighborhood and served in the Vietnam War before following his cinematic passion to become an iconic figure in horror movies, working extensively on both sides of the lens as a prosthetic makeup artist, stunt performer, actor, and director. (Non-horror fans may recognize Savini as the beleaguered shop teacher Mr. Callahan in the Pittsburgh-filmed The Perks of Being a Wallflower.)
Perhaps best known for his six (to date) collaborations with George A. Romero, Savini memorably appeared in From Dusk till Dawn, perhaps one of his earliest prominent roles in which he was solely credited as an actor. Savini co-stars as “Sex Machine”, a biker who becomes one of only a half-dozen initial survivors after the vampiric employees of a rowdy bar in the Mexican desert turn on its customers. Continue reading
Tim Roth as Freddie Newandyke, aka “Mr. Orange”, member of an armed robbery crew with a deep secret
Los Angeles, Summer 1992
Film: Reservoir Dogs
Release Date: October 9, 1992
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Betsy Heimann
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
This month marks the 30th anniversary since the wide release of Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino’s influential debut that introduced many of the director’s own cinematic trademarks and has been described as one of the greatest independent films of all time.
As we’ve come to expect from QT, Reservoir Dogs pays homage to classic noir and crime films, including Kansas City Confidential (1952), The Big Combo (1955), and—most specifically—The Killing (1956), with a plot centered around a gang of tough guys hired for a what should be a straightforward diamond heist… only to be stymied when it becomes evident that a member of their crew is an informant. Continue reading
Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine, charismatic country-rock star
Los Angeles, Spring 2017
Film: A Star is Born
Release Date: October 5, 2018
Director: Bradley Cooper
Costume Designer: Erin Benach
My friend @thestyleisnotenough recently recommended writing about Bradley Cooper’s style in his directorial debut A Star is Born, in which he starred as Jackson Maine, a rock star with an outlaw country image that belies his self-esteem and substance abuse issues. Continue reading
Robert De Niro as Jack Walsh, tough bounty hunter
New York to Los Angeles, Fall 1987
Film: Midnight Run
Release Date: July 20, 1988
Director: Martin Brest
Costume Designer: Gloria Gresham
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
“This is an easy gig, it’s a midnight run for chrissakes!”
Bounty hunter Jack Walsh has withstood plenty of action and abuse tracking down fugitives for bail bondsman Eddie Moscone (Joe Pantoliano), but the inherent danger of bringing in Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas (Charles Grodin), an accountant in the crosshairs of the Mafia, has Jack demanding $100,000 for the job. A pro, Jack has an easy enough time finding the Duke in New York, but bringing him back to L.A. and his hundred-grand payday brings a fresh set of challenges between the Duke’s reluctance to fly, the interference of the FBI, a rival bounty hunter sabotaging him at each step, and—oh!—a couple of deadly doofuses sent by the mob to whack the Duke… and anyone who gets in their way.