Effects (1978)

Effects (1978) DVD cover

director Dusty Nelson
viewed: 12/11/2016

Effects is a curious, ambitious meta-thriller made in 1978 but not released until 2005.  Not exactly “art house” material, Effects features embedded film-within-a-film motifs that play out as the interior film is captured by a crew, detailing a murder, playing with narrative and levels of reality.  Because beyond those two levels, there is yet another level at which a “snuff” film is being made.

For a film that never got released in its day, it’s a polished and complex work.  Sure it’s not exactly your typical slasher or thriller, but god knows the quantity of much worse films that found their way into movie houses or video players.

It features some notable character actors, including a young Tom Savini before he was entirely dedicated to visual effects.  And it stems from a Pittsburgh-oriented independent filmmaking cadre, which sounds interesting (apparently the DVD has a documentary that delves into this — wasn’t available on Fandor.  Would be interesting.)

How many other lost (or hidden) films exist out there?  Probably most won’t come to the level of quality and creativity that Effects strove for, if only partially achieved.  Definitely interesting.

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