They used to kill that dog. In the original version, they ate him.
February 19, 2015 1:54 PM   Subscribe

"You need to know who Billy Wilder was. You need to know the names of people who are no longer alive. Because it’s very important—it’s what our history is made of. You need to see the movies the way they were—with the racism, the violence, and the censorship. All the things that let you see what the movie past had been so you understand where we are! But really nobody’s interested in that right now. Their interests are so bifurcated." - An interview with Joe Dante (Part 1, Part 2)
posted by brundlefly (18 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
When we were storyboarding it, we hadn’t decided what process we were going to use to make the gremlins happen. At one point we thought we could use monkeys. We put a monkey in a mask, which was a bad idea because he ran all over the room and shat on everything.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:59 PM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


I haven't watched Gremlins for ages. Time for a re-watch. Great interview! Thanks.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 6:05 PM on February 19, 2015


John Sayles wrote fucking Pirhana Holy shit
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:24 PM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


"The junk has won."
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:21 PM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here is my mandatory endorsement of Matinee:

Fucking watch Matinee. Such a sweet and subversive love letter to horror and SF. John Goodman is amazing in it.
posted by brundlefly at 9:35 PM on February 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yep, came here to plug "Matinee" as well. Goodman is an approximation of William Castle, and the whole thing is set during the Cuban Missile Crisis. A wonderful "slice of life" movie, with some absolutely pitch-perfect homages to 50's and 60's sci-fi schlock.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:51 AM on February 20, 2015


I look at Dante's filmography and see that I've seen quite a number of his movies and have enjoyed a great majority of those. Interesting that I knew he directed Gremlins and a bit in the Twilight Zone movie and Matinee, but didn't connect that he'd directed Interspace or The 'Burbs or The Howling, all movies I quite liked. And certainly NEVER realized he directed two, TWO!!! of the six episodes of Police Squad!.

This interview was excellent. I have to say, mr hippybear has a real thing for Turner Classic Movies, and I find myself more often than not just turning that on if I need some background chatter in the room, and delight not only in revisiting old favorites but being exposed to new material I'd never encountered before. They have a truly deep library, and while they have their favorites they keep showing over and over (not a bad thing), they regularly pull out something that hasn't been seen since its release. It's fun, and yes, movie literacy is important. I agree with Mr. Dante about that.

Thanks for posting this!
posted by hippybear at 12:55 AM on February 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


A wonderful "slice of life" movie, with some absolutely pitch-perfect homages to 50's and 60's sci-fi schlock.

"She-Gator, Gator Gal... Gal-i-gator!"
posted by brundlefly at 3:42 AM on February 20, 2015 [3 favorites]


John Sayles wrote fucking Pirhana Holy shit
And James Cameron directed Piranha 2.

I thought the stuff he had to say about movie literacy was interesting. It never occurred to me, somehow, the difference between having old movies on all the time in pre-cable days and having almost everything available now, and that difference simply overwhelming people. As a movie nut, I think the increase in availability has just been terrific. I wish he had talked about that issue more.
posted by heatvision at 3:58 AM on February 20, 2015


Can we, just for a moment, reflect on the fact that Gremlins 2 is all kinds of hell yes awesome, to this day? Rewatched it last month just for a refresher course, and it continues to delight.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:41 AM on February 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


Can we, just for a moment, reflect on the fact that Gremlins 2 is all kinds of hell yes awesome, to this day?

Saw Gremlins 2 in the local non-chain movie theater in my hometown which was notorious for having projector problems. The moment in the film when the movie breaks was done so perfectly that two or three of us in the theater saw it start and were out of our seats starting up toward the lobby to bitch at the theater management about how YET ANOTHER movie had broken during a screening. And then the gremlin shadows and laughing started on the screen and we realized it was part of the movie, and it was so fucking brilliant.

Then the home video version came out and they actually changed that scene to make it appropriate for the era of VHS and a videotape fucking up.

Did they redo it yet again for DVD or other releases? I don't think so. Shame, they should have.
posted by hippybear at 9:59 AM on February 20, 2015


I have it on Blu and the VHS version of that scene is an extra. Also, the novelization has it's own variation!
posted by brundlefly at 10:28 AM on February 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


cybercoitus interruptus: "I haven't watched Gremlins for ages. Time for a re-watch. Great interview! Thanks."

Same here, even if I did think Gremlins II vastly underappreciated.
posted by Samizdata at 6:09 PM on February 20, 2015


Don't forget Tim Burton's Ed Wood. The original master of I'll-see-it-when-I-believe-it.
posted by lon_star at 10:34 PM on February 20, 2015


Can we, just for a moment, reflect on the fact that Gremlins 2 is all kinds of hell yes awesome, to this day?

There's the scene where Marla puts her foot in Billy's crotch and later gets stuck in a spider web and then there's the lady gremlin and i was only ten but somehow all of this was very formative to my ideas about what sexuality was and is, like i still think of Gremlins 2 as an overwhelmingly sexual movie whenever i remember it

it's been pretty fine for my life but it's weird to think that maybe some kid today is going to have that with Spongebob or the Lego Movie
posted by Greg Nog at 6:55 AM on February 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


Marla. Holy moly, Marla...

"Can I get some help here, please? I'm trapped in some sort of adhesive, polymer material and I'm on deadline!"
posted by brundlefly at 8:07 AM on February 21, 2015


Also, the novelization has it's own variation!

The 80s were a period of awesome movie novelizations. I distinctly remember the book companion for The Terminator as an outstanding example of this, but there were many others. My high school library would get movie novelizations pretty quickly after they were published, so I ended up reading a lot of such things. It's always a grab bag when it comes to quality, but I remember many of the books being equal to or better than the movies, when they were obviously written from the screenplay.

I haven't read a movie novelization for decades, so I have no idea if they continue to be that great.

Thanks for posting that. I'd never seen that particular passage before, and it's awesome!
posted by hippybear at 8:17 AM on February 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I haven't read a movie novelization for decades, so I have no idea if they continue to be that great.

A fun game to play is trying to find movie novelizations that *aren't* written by Alan Dean Foster.
posted by FatherDagon at 6:31 PM on February 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


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