15 user 21 critic

Effects (1980)

R | | Horror, Thriller | June 1980 (USA)
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.


Dusty Nelson


William H. Mooney (novel), Dusty Nelson (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

More Like This 

Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Three children are born at the height of an eclipse of the sun. Ten years later, they begin to murder the people around them - even their family members.

Director: Ed Hunt
Stars: Lori Lethin, Melinda Cordell, Julie Brown
The Haunted (TV Movie 1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When the Smurl family moves into a duplex, they find out its haunted.

Director: Robert Mandel
Stars: Sally Kirkland, Jeffrey DeMunn, Louise Latham
The Satanist (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A young couple's marriage becomes threatened when an attractive female occultist enters their lives, enticing them into a strange world of drugs, sex, and satanic rites.

Director: Zoltan G. Spencer
Stars: Pat Barrington, Mary Bauer
Deadtectives (2018)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

DeadTectives follows a team of hapless paranormal investigators on a reality TV series who go on a quest to Mexico's most haunted house in the pursuit of better ratings. However, when the ... See full summary »

Director: Tony West
Stars: Martha Higareda, Chris Geere, Tina Ivlev
Foes (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

The tranquil life of a lighthouse keeper and his family is disrupted when a flying saucer and its alien inhabitants invade.

Director: John Coats
Stars: Macdonald Carey, Jerry Hardin, Jane Wiley
Blood Rage (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

As kids, Todd is institutionalized for a murder whilst his twin goes free. 10 years later, on Thanksgiving, Todd escapes and a killing spree begins in his neighborhood.

Director: John Grissmer
Stars: Louise Lasser, Mark Soper, Julie Gordon
The Prowler (1981)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An unknown killer, clad in World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35 year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.

Director: Joseph Zito
Stars: Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney
The Boogens (1981)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Otherworldly creatures are released from the bootleg tunnels underneath a small-town mining community, and begin chomping on the locals.

Director: James L. Conway
Stars: Rebecca Balding, Fred McCarren, Anne-Marie Martin
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

A husband is blackmailed by 3 lesbian bikers after they spot him having sex with another woman in a convertible. They then take the man's wife out for a picnic and some nude motorcycle ... See full summary »

Director: Zoltan G. Spencer
Stars: Bambi Allen, Pat Barrington, Larry Martinelli
The Ranger (2018)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Teen punks, on the run from the cops and hiding out in the woods, come up against the local authority - an unhinged park ranger with an axe to grind.

Director: Jenn Wexler
Stars: Chloë Levine, Jeremy Holm, Granit Lahu
A Job to Kill For (TV Movie 2006)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

The new head of a huge advertising company becomes fearful for her job and life itself when an overly ambitious new girl who will stop at nothing to make the company her own playground joins the firm.

Director: Bill Corcoran
Stars: Sean Young, Georgia Craig, Ari Cohen
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A group of black Vietnam vets go up against the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: Bill Berry
Stars: Roy Jefferson, Le Tari, Haskell V. Anderson III


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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

June 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Death's Director See more »

Filming Locations:

Ligonier, Pennsylvania, USA See more »


Box Office


$55,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Image Works See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Due to a distributor problem, the film never received a theatrical release or home video release. It never aired on television either. The October 2005 Synapse Films DVD release is the film's first official release anywhere in the world. Although AGFA (American Genre Film Archive) is releasing a Blu-Ray of the film mastered from a rare 35mm print that was made before the distributor backed out. See more »


Dom: [to Lacey, holds up a fake, bloody leg] Hey, uh, I'm goin' into town for a burger. You want one?
See more »


References The Fury (1978) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

I smell bad snuff-stuff
1 February 2010 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

This movie seriously had me worried that I might be autistic! Forty-five minutes into the film and there still wasn't the slightest sign of plot development and/or essence. I don't know about you, but especially when dealing with early 80's low-budget horror flicks, I like to know if it's at least going somewhere. I was slowly starting to behave like Dustin Hoffman in "Rain Man"; continuously repeating 'I need a plot … I need a plot …. I badly need a plot". "Effects" is a long, slow-moving, incoherent and visually exhausting movie and I honestly regret to say that because I'm a devoted fan of the genre and usually I really, really, really support obscure horror titles like this. Sadly, however, "Effects" is amateurish nonsense with sequences that are endlessly stretched and a story that literally never shifts into gear in spite of its great rudimentary potential. The crew of a cheap horror film, well … actually just the effects guy and the lighting girl, notice that the director is behaving very suspicious on set. They're right, too, because that sleazy bastard is actually planning to turn his little film project into a genuine snuff movie with the cast and crew members as the unaware and probably very reluctant lead players/victims. Sublime idea for a bona fide 80's shock feature, if you ask me, but the execution of the film is horrible. All of a sudden, I'm not even surprised anymore to find out this film was apparently "lost" for 20+ years. Even with Tom Savini and Joe Pilato (the latter giving a terrific performance and totally unlike the role in "Day of the Dead" that made him famous) in the cast, this is an infuriatingly lame movie. There's actually very little gore in the film and if you were, by any chance, hoping to learn some "kitchen secrets" about the special effects industry, you'll be sorely disappointed as well. "Effects" only specializes in overlong and pointless padding footage – especially the chase through the woods seems endless – and oppressed slasher ideas. Another extremely disappointing snuff-themed thriller, joining the same list as Roberta Findley's "Snuff", "Live Feed", "Snuff-Movie", "Vacancy" and Larry Cohen's "Special Effects". For good snuffies, stick to the Spanish "Thesis", the massively underrated "Mute Witness" and the legendary classic "Peeping Tom".

8 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse all our free movies and TV series

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed