A Site Exclusive Interview with Tom Savini (Sex Machine)

Tom with Robert
--Tom (R) with Robert Rodriguez (L)

This is a short interview with Tom that I was able to conduct on 2/6/98. It's kept brief because Tom was leaving early the next day and was juggling several things at once but I think you'll find that he has some things to reveal about the film that most of us don't know! Thanks again to Tom for doing the interview!

Mark: Thanks for doing this interview, Tom!

Tom: A pleasure.

Mark: Where did you first meet Quentin and Robert?

Tom: I met Quentin at a convention and Robert at a costume fitting.

Mark: How did they end up asking you to do the film?

Tom: I was on Quentin's list and Robert just picked up on it. They didn't originally ask me to play Sex Machine.

Mark: They didn't?

Tom: No, they wanted me to play Frost but I sent an audition tape as Sex Machine.

Mark: How long did you shoot for?

Tom: 8 weeks, but they shot for 10.

Mark: Did you get involved with the make-up effects at all or were you stictly an actor?

Tom: No, I got to splash some blood around . . .

Mark: It's my understanding that you're quite good with a bullwhip and that the bullwhip stunts in the film are all performed by you. Is that true?

Tom: Yes, the whip was my idea.

Mark: So Sex Machine didn't have a whip in the original script?

Tom: Nope.

Mark: There were several takes done of a scene in which you break a bottle with your whip but the scene was cut out, were you disappointed to see this go?

Tom: Very. How did you know that?

Mark: I really love the film and also I'm a film student and film buff.

Mark: I understand that you don't like to get to messy but that the crew intentionally tried to hit you during certain scenes with the green blood that they were using.

Tom: They tried every time to hit me with the goo!

(I laugh)

Tom: Is that a shock, Mark?

Mark: The take that they used of one of the scenes even has you swearing under your breath!

Tom: Yeah!

Mark: Robert had you hold your breath for one scene didn't he?

Tom: The scene where I change into the vampire.

Mark: Thats the one!

Tom: Yeah, it was fun.

Mark: There's a scene in the film when Sex Machine is now a vampire and he back-hands Seth. On the laser disc Robert mentions that you actually hit George Clooney by mistake and George isn't acting when he goes down with punch . . .

Tom: Totally untrue!

Mark: Robert seemed to think it was quite funny.

Tom: I never touched George but it looks so good that Robert simply said I did and added sound effects. I have an e-mail from him explaining that he did it that way.

Mark: I've heard that you like to take lots of pictures and at one point Sex Machine takes a picture of one of the vampires he's just killed. It was cut from the film but was that your idea?

Tom: Totally! Robert did five takes of it. All this stuff was on the laser disc.

Mark: I thought it was a very amusing moment, it's too bad it got cut.

Tom: Yeah . . .

Mark: What other influences did you have during the production? Did any of your ideas make it to the screen?

Tom: Lots of little things, like the bullwhip.

Mark: What was the funniest thing that happened while you were on the set?

Tom: The funniest thing on any set was when I was aiming a blow gun at the wallet in the back pocket of an assistant but when I blew the dart I missed and hit him in the balls! I let him hit me in the leg to make it even but we both wound up in the hospital to get tetnius shots!

Mark: Where was that?


Mark: What about on set of From Dusk Till Dawn?

Tom: A water gun battle with George Clooney, or my ex-girlfriend coming to the set and me knocking a wall over! Or the stunt guys catching me with a stunt woman . . .

Mark: Doing what???

Tom: tsk, tsk. A gentleman doesn't speak of such things . . .

Mark: Were there any problems getting the croch gun to work for your first scene in the film?

Tom: Yeah, my left cylinder kept falling off!

Mark: I bet that didn't impress the stunt woman!

(Tom laughs)

Mark: Were you asked to be in the prequel or the sequel?

Tom: I was told I would be, but I never got called.

Mark: Any plans to work with Tarantino or Rodriguez again? I know that Robert is in pre-production on a new horror film for Dimension Films . . .

Tom: I haven't heard from Robert in a while but I'm gonna see Quentin in Boston in WAIT UNTIL DARK before it hits Broadway.

Mark: What's next for you?

Tom: I'm going to LA tommorrow for a meeting on VAMPIRATES. Bruce Campbell might be in it. He's tied up in New Zeland with Hercules and Xena so he can't make the meeting but we're pitching his agent.

Mark: Tom, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Bye!

Tom: Bye!

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