Screaming Mad George

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Screaming Mad George
Screaming Mad George at his restrospective art show.png
Screaming Mad George in 2019.
Joji Tani

1956 (age 64–65)[1]
Osaka, Japan
OccupationSpecial effects artist, film director
Notable work
Society, The Guyver

Joji Tani (Japanese: 谷譲治, Hepburn: Tani Jōji), known as Screaming Mad George, is a special effects artist, film director, and former musician. He was born in Osaka, Japan, and emigrated to the United States, where he has become known for his surreal, gory special effects. He has collaborated with director and producer Brian Yuzna on many films.


Born Joji Tani[2] in Osaka, Japan, he took the first name George in order to stand out. Upon emigrating to the United States, where he graduated from the School of Visual Arts, he changed his name to Screaming Mad George in order to distinguish himself among the other Georges in an Anglophone country. The moniker was influenced by his love for Mad Magazine and Screamin' Jay Hawkins.[3]


George began as a punk rock musician[3] and played with the late 1970s band The Mad.[4] His gory music videos led to a job in the film industry, where he worked on special make-up effects.[3] His early work includes effects on Big Trouble in Little China (1986),[5] Predator (1987),[6] A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987),[5] the cockroach scene in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988),[6] and Arena (1989).[7] In 1989 he returned to his home country of Japan to direct the special effects for Tokyo: The Last War, a big budget follow up to the dark fantasy blockbuster Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis.[8] In 1989 he also began a long-term collaboration with director Brian Yuzna with Society.[5] In a negative review, Variety called the film's SFX-laden climax "sickening",[9] and the Austin Chronicle called the effects "cheesy".[10] In more positive reviews, the Los Angeles Times called George the real star of the film,[11] and Empire wrote, "Yuzna and his veteran special effects man Screaming Mad George serve up this literal slime with such verve, wit and overall verbal and visual flair that the movie also stands as one of the very finest of teen comedies."[12]

In a 1990 follow-up with Yuzna, George provided special effects for Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation (1990) that Variety called "imaginative" and "just what modern horror fans crave".[13] In 1991, he made his directorial debut with The Guyver, which he co-directed with Steve Wang. Yuzna produced the film. In America, the film was recut by New Line to remove some of the humor and focus more on action.[14] Entertainment Weekly rated the film "C" and said that while the effects were good, the film was too clichéd.[15] The Los Angeles Times called his creature effects in Freaked (1993) "terrific",[16] and Ain't It Cool News said that George's work was the best reason to watch the film.[17] In 1993, he returned to music releasing the album Transmutation under Extasy Records with a group called Screaming Mad George & Psychosis.

Witney Seibold of CraveOnline wrote of Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995), "Any character that this film has is due to [George]."[18] Stuart Gordon chose George to perform special effects in Space Truckers (1996) based on his previous work and his ability to speak Japanese, as creature designer Hajime Sorayama wanted to be involved in the film's production.[19] Variety was warm toward his effects in Tales from the Hood (1995)[20] and Progeny (1998).[21] He teamed up again with Yuzna in Faust: Love of the Damned (2000) and Beyond Re-Animator (2003).[5]


Year Organization Award For Result Ref
1994 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films Best Make-up Freaked Nominated [22]
2001 DVD Exclusive Awards Best Visual Effects Faust: Love of the Damned Nominated [23]


Makeup and special effects[edit]


Video game work[edit]



  • Eyeball (1978, The Mad)
  • Fried Egg (1980, The Mad)
  • Transmutation (1993, Screaming Mad George & Psychosis)



  1. ^ "Screaming Mad George". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 2012-07-15. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  2. ^ Room 2010, p. 194.
  3. ^ a b c Riddle, Perry C. (1985-10-29). "Reflections : 'I may look lie a weirdo, but once you talk to me you know I'm just really normal'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  4. ^ Bush, Steven (2010). American Hardcore: A Tribal History. Feral House. p. 137. ISBN 9781932595987.
  5. ^ a b c d Paszylk 2009, p. 188.
  6. ^ a b Bibbiani, William; Seibold, Witney (2012-03-13). "B-Movies Extended: Five Unsung Heroes of Hollywood". CraveOnline. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  7. ^ Weldon, Michael (1996). The Psychotronic Video Guide To Film. Macmillan Publishers. pp. 26–27. ISBN 9780312131494.
  8. ^ Harper 2008, p. 48
  9. ^ "Review: 'Society'". Variety. 1989. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  10. ^ Savlov, Marc (1992-07-24). "Society". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  11. ^ Wilmington, Michael (1992-02-28). "MOVIE REVIEW : Shocker-Satire 'Society' Takes Raunchy Look at Upper Class". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  12. ^ Tunney, Tom. "Society". Empire. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  13. ^ Prouty 1994, January 15, 1991.
  14. ^ Fischer 2011, p. 662.
  15. ^ Kenny, Glenn (1992-10-30). "The Guyver". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  16. ^ Willman, Chris (1993-10-04). "MOVIE REVIEW : 'Freaked': Potty-Level Humor Mixed With Terrific Effects". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  17. ^ Knowles, Harry (2013-08-06). "Harry's 32nd PICKS & PEEKS of 2013: Oblivion, 3 Disneys, FREAKED, SWAMP THING, BSG, OB1, ACTION JACKSON & more!". Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  18. ^ Seibold, Whitney (2012-06-15). "The Series Project: Children of the Corn". CraveOnline. Retrieved 2015-09-21.
  19. ^ Fischer 2011, p. 258.
  20. ^ Leydon, Joe (1995-05-24). "Review: 'Tales from the Hood'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  21. ^ Young, Deborah (1998-06-15). "Review: 'Progeny'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  22. ^ Tyner, Adam (2005-06-28). "Freaked". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  23. ^ Hettrick, Scott (2001-09-23). "More than awards for vid nods". Variety. Retrieved 2015-03-10.


External links[edit]