A long-lost film made by friends of the late George A. Romero is set to be released on Blu-ray with a new 4K restoration this month.
EFFECTS, directed and written by Dusty Nelson, is based on a novel written by William H. Mooney and stars Tom Savini, Joe Pilato, and John Harrison. The American Genre Film Archive, or AGFA, will release the lost film on Blu-ray for the first time ever on August 22.
A synopsis of EFFECTS from AGFA’s official site reads:
“Cobbled together with loose change by George Romero’s friends, EFFECTS is a mesmerizing DIY frightmare that no one talks about, but everyone should. A group of coked-up filmmakers — including Tom “DAWN OF THE DEAD” Savini, Joe “DAY OF THE DEAD“ Pilato, and John “TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE” Harrison — gather in Pittsburgh to make a slasher called DUPED: THE SNUFF MOVIE. As filming begins and “accidents” happen, it’s clear that something isn’t right. And no one can be trusted. Landing somewhere between SNUFF and a student film by John Carpenter, EFFECTS is a meta-enhanced takedown on the philosophy of horror that doubles as a sleazy and terrifying movie on its own.”
AGFA head archivist Sebastian del Castillo said the first step to EFFECTS’ rerelease was to repair the footage, as the only known intact print of the film was AFGA’s 35mm blowup of the negative. “We set the scanner to create a 4K version,” he said. Once they had the higher-quality scan, they used the DaVinci Resolve system, a color grading platform, to do a shot-by-shot color restoration to recover the color lost from the fading on the film. “Once we restored color,” Castillo said, “we sweetened the audio in Pro Tools and then did editing and resizing before exporting our final master for the Blu-ray DVD.”
Before its restoration, EFFECTS was screened for audiences at Terror Tuesday in Texas in 2015. Joe Ziemba, director of AFGA, noted how shocked viewers seemed at the sophistication of the film. “With most DIY horror, you expect Bigfoot wearing Adidas sneakers or goop-covered beasties exploding out of human abdomens,” he commented. “You don’t expect to be deeply affected by the experience.”
The Blu-ray will include special features such as short films by John Harrison and Dusty Nelson, an audio commentary track, a documentary with optional commentary, brand new cover art, and liner notes.
EFFECTS can be preordered on Amazon here.
Watch the trailer below.