Effects (1980)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  June 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 245 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 9 critic

Some crew members of a company shooting a horror film begin to suspect that the "killings" in the movie are real, and that they are actually making a "snuff" film.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Pilato ...
Dominic (as Joseph F. Pilato)
Susan Chapek ...
John Harrison ...
Lacey Bickel
Bernard McKenna ...
Rita / Mona
Lobo (as Chuck Hoyes)
Blay Bahnsen ...
Scratch (as Blay Bahnson)
Joe Wittkofski ...
TV Director
TV Sound Man
Dave Balko ...
TV Video Man (as Dave Belko)
Jackie Lahane ...
Murdered Girl (as Jackie Lehane)
Cindy Sebastian ...
Bobbi Van Eman ...
Campfire Extra
Duke Snyder ...
Campfire Extra


Horror movie about an insane film director who hopes his crowning achievement will be a "snuff" documentary about the actual demise of a film crew working on a horror-movie shoot. The director's real cast and crew aren't too pleased when they find out about his project though. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Making movies can be MURDER!


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

June 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Manipulator  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$55,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Filmed in 1978. See more »


Dom: [sees Nicky wearing an unbrella hat] Look at that guy over there. Look at that, Gene Kelly should have one of those things. I'm singin' in a bar.
Celeste: [laughs]
See more »


References Singin' in the Rain (1952) See more »


Written by John Harrison
Performed by Ron 'Byrd' Foster
See more »

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User Reviews

May go over some people's head- may be too intelligent for some fans
2 November 2005 | by (Maryland) – See all my reviews

I knew nothing about the film "Effects" going into it. I'm glad I avoided reading any reviews or summaries because in the end I walked away from it feeling like I had not watched just another 70s exploitation or slasher flick- and those are most of my collection by the way.

I have a feeling that there will be a large number of Tom Savini gore fans who will go into it expecting a slice 'em up blood fest in the tradition of Maniac or Dawn of the Dead. Instead, what you get is a film that resembles more of a drama about a group of people making a low budget horror film. It isn't really until the 3rd or 4th quarter of the film where the true horror begins; and it throws the story into a spin. This is why i'm glad I didn't research this film and spoil it. I was really impressed with the way these actor performed. This film could have easily given any "high brow" dramas a run for there money. For you Day of the Dead fans, Joe Pilato doesn't play an "out of his mind" military man in this one. Instead he plays one of the main characters, and his performance is on the mark. He is a likable guy in "Effects". That is one of the strengths of this film; there is a decent amount of character development. What may confuse people is that a few of the characters in this movie are also actors in the horror movie they are shooting. So you get sort of a duel role from the same people. So for all you pot smokers or slow people out there, this may mess with you- LOL.

All and all this is a much better film then a lot of horror fans may give it. And if it rubbed you the wrong way the first time, give it another try. If you want to watch a zombie-slasher movie with lots of blood and guts, then pick up any of the classic zombie flicks- hey Cannibal Holocaust just got re-released on DVD!

25 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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