A Conversation With Joe Dante

Joe Dante

For over four decades Joe Dante has been one of America’s most prolific film directors. Emerging from Roger Corman‘s cadre of talented filmmakers in the late 1970s, he quickly established himself as a versatile director who could work within several genres while oftentimes employing a regular group of returning actors from project to project.

His filmography is nothing short of amazing. Consisting of both cult and commercial hits including Piranha, Rock n’ Roll High School, The Howling, Police Squad, Gremlins, Gremlins 2, Innerspace, Looney Tunes: Back In Action and Matinee. Dante also has worked in television, directing episodes of The Twilight Zone, Amazing Stories, CSI: New York and Hawaii Five-O. He also was a Creative Consultant and director for Eerie Indiana.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:29:05+00:00 November 8th, 2012|Interviews|0 Comments

Joe Dante and a World Before Giant Insect Movies

Yes, I’m such a commentary geek that I like commentary on everything: including trailers. Here’s director Joe Dante taking us through the trailer for Them! (which we posted last year as part of 32 Days of Halloween), which was a proto-giant insect movie. Which means Dindrane probably has the poster for this up in a room somewhere–or if not, there’s your Xmas gift idea for her.

Edgar Wright, another Trailers From Hell veteran, probably can’t tackle this one since he’s, you know, doing the remake.

Anyway, keep an eye out for the hidden Mickey.

Direct link for the feedreaders.

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By | 2011-12-14T09:51:32+00:00 December 17th, 2008|Archives|0 Comments

Stuff: They Saved Hitler’s Brain: The Musical. Ohhh. Yes.

They Saved Hitler's Brain

  • I am now officially happy as hell. Jon and Al Kaplan, the batshit crazy yet brilliant duo behind Silence!, the Silence of the Lambs musical, are doing the songs and book for They Saved Hitler’s Brain, being remade as a sci-fi musical comedy. You might have noticed that any crazy musical idea I’ve mentioned Team Kaplan could handle it–and now my dream is coming true. Frea-king awesome. Source: Variety.

    Check this out:

    Direct link for the feedreaders.

    Don’t you want that head to start singing? Christ, I can’t wait.

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    By | 2017-09-24T23:10:43+00:00 October 23rd, 2008|Stuff You Need to Know|0 Comments

    Headsup: DVD Horror Thrillers To Murder For

    Demon Seed DVD cover art
    The Screwfly Solution DVD cover art

    Demon Seed. Dr. Harris (Fritz Weaver) is justly proud of his creation, the super computer Proteus IV (voiced by Robert Vaughn). However, Dr. Harris doesn’t anticipate that a learning thinking machine might develop a will of its own. What a shock. Indeed, Proteus wants to do what any life form wants to do, procreate. Of course Harris and the company who ‘owns’ Proteus aren’t anxious for Proteus to grow fruitful and multiply. But Proteus, being a million times smarter, has found a way. Dr. Harris’ wife, Susan (Julie Christie) lives in an automated house designed by the good doctor. Proteus hacks the house and turns it into a cage that Susan can only escape by becoming Proteus’ baby mama. This cult classic is a heady mix of Oedipus, Frankenstein, and exploitation cinema. Click here to buy it from Amazon.

    Masters of Horror: The Screwfly Solution. A new plague has reared it’s microscopic head. But this bug doesn’t cause nausea or a fever. No, it changes the brain chemistry of men so that, when aroused, instead of getting signals to mate, they get signals to kill. Scientists Alan Alstein (Jason Priestly) and his colleague Barney (Elliot Gould) are desperately trying to a cure or treatment. As the plague worses, Alan’s wife Anne (Kerry Norton) takes their daughter to hide but Alan, now infected, has needs he must satisfy. Can Anne survive when any man she meets, even her husband, is a potential killer. Included in the DVD is a commentary from guest director Joe Dante and writer Sam Hamm, two behind the scene featurettes, and a photo gallery. Click here to buy it from Amazon.

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    By | 2017-09-24T23:15:30+00:00 July 19th, 2008|Headsup|0 Comments

    Joe Dante vs. From Hell It Came

    If I could embed this one without commentary, it would make a great trailer bit for 32 Days of Halloween. But even though it seems it must play with commentary, that’s still worthy: Joe Dante‘s take on this killer anthropomorphic tree flick is well worth hearing.

    Sadly, this terrible gem does not appear to be available on DVD. Alas.

    Update: Thomas below points out that Monsters in Motion has it for sale in a Region 0 NTSC version. Thanks for the headsup!

    Direct link for the feedreaders.
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    By | 2009-10-20T16:32:42+00:00 October 13th, 2007|Movies|1 Comment

    Trailers From Hell: Directors vs. Classic Trailers

    Oh my, this is genius. Joe Dante has apparently taken it upon himself to bring together classic movie trailers and get directors (mostly directors, Sam Hamm is in there too and I think he’s a scribe/producer) to provide commentary over them. Sure, the length of the trailers make everything short but sweet but still–we love vintage movie trailers, so it’s cool to have a site devoted to them.

    Here’s Dante discussing the joyously bad Robot Monster:

    Direct link for the feedreaders.

    Found via Boing Boing.

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    By | 2017-09-24T23:28:21+00:00 August 13th, 2007|Movies|0 Comments