Joe Dante!!

Which director made the best films, made the best visuals, or smelled the best? This is the forum to find out.

Joe Dante!!

Postby magicmonkey on Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:18 am

Oh my. Check out the link below. I know not many directors are as politically condeming and overt as Dante, but here he seems to have excelled himself. He always seems to have been boiling with critique in other films, but here he looks as though he's blown his load. I CANNOT WAIT. Yeah I know its part of the Master of Horror t.v thing, but this article treats it as film and so will I (mods)?.

Up the Dante

You just can't beat a bit of comedy badmouthing.
Last edited by magicmonkey on Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Brocktune on Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:25 am

i cant wait to see this. hopefully, it will be huge, so dante can finally work on the long awaited, much anticipated gremlins 3.
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Postby magicmonkey on Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:35 am

Dante is the king of cheese, he must have also helped school Kirsten Dunst into the foxy "go get 'em tiger" of Raimi's Spiderman through her performance in Toy Soldiers as a Led Zep listening, motorbike (pillian) riding hot girl who discovers and loves the geek. God bless.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:13 am

Okay I am glad you brought this up... but remember as we discuss this, lets keep the politics not so heated. Capish?!?!

Sounds very interesting though, but your comment, "...I know not many directors are as politically condeming and overt as Dante..." is a little out there. Dante seems to be one of those guys that showed a lot of promise in his early years, but seriously, most of his work stinks. Looney Toons? Small Soldiers? And don't get me started on the unadulterated shit that was Matinee.
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:21 am

Hey! I thought Small Soldiers was funny.

That bit when they're watching the hostage video, and one of the good guys says "what else is on?" - that's a comedy classic!

OK, there may not be anything else good in the whole film, but that one line is gold dust!
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:21 am

I couldn't get very far into it. Sorry.
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:28 am

LOL - don't apologise, Burlmeister!


The following statement was made under duress, and does not accurately reflect the writer's opinions. Nor is it true:

Let's face it, 95% of Dante's output is total crapola

btw - you may wanna check the Your Links thread in about 3 minutes.......
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:29 am

Oooh goodie. You finally found that Ned Beatty Porn you've been teasing me with!
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Postby magicmonkey on Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:46 am

Ha, yeah, I agree Dante can be a bit of an aquired taste in a schlocky filmy way. Small soldiers was enjoyable though, Denis Leary was great as the big corporate boss running the Toy factory.

His films touch some great subject matters and yes the performances in his movie are quite characatured, but at the end of the day he's just looking out for the little guy. He's a big liberal against the big corporates and he shows it. This time it looks as though he's really upping the game. But, as I put in my original post to keep things less political, its all comedy badmouthing in a fine South Park stylee.
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Postby magicmonkey on Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:49 am

As for his films being Crapola, try watching them a bit more closely and listen to what the guy is saying.
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Postby thomasgaffney on Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:51 am

It sounds to me like he's saying, "Hi! I'm Joe Dante! My films are CRAP!"
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:54 am

IMPAMPILASH
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Postby magicmonkey on Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:19 am

thomasgaffney wrote:It sounds to me like he's saying, "Hi! I'm Joe Dante! My films are CRAP!"


Ha. True, but he's not terrible and his hearts in the right place. Come on! Gremlins was great.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:22 am

Hey I will be the first to admit my love for Gremlins, Innerspace and Gremlins II... but that's it.
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:29 am

burlivesleftnut wrote:IMPAMPILASH


Seconded

Don't get me wrond Monkey, I love Gremlins as much as the next guy - I just think Dante's time was really the 80s - if you look at his output over the last 15 years, Small Soldiers is the only thing he did which I rate.

And if you want to, you can see deeper meanings in almost any film you care to scrutinise, whether it's there or not (see my "Pulp Fiction" theory).

I don't think, for example, Innerspace, is making any particularly profound points about society - just a few tired points about big corporations, and the ultimate cliché: "It's what's inside that counts".

Still, that line in Small Soldiers is a great line, many of my friends still drop it into conversation today.
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Postby magicmonkey on Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:30 am

Come on Burl surely I can tease out the love in you for the Explorers, the Howling and Piranha? Come on let it out.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:32 am

Oh fuck I forgot about Explorers. That movie rocked my nuts until they actually get on the ship... Although the dad alien was strangely hot.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:38 am

I don't know who this Joe Dante is, or what he stands for, but let me add that at the time of viewing I did enjoy Small Soldiers, though I have no interest whatsoever in rewatching it.
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Postby vicious_bastard on Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:39 am

Innerspace must be due a sequel/remake. I loved that as a kid - I wanted to be Tuck Pendleton SO badly. Actually, I still do. More power to Martin Short - he's still alive right? Where did he go? An underground bunker with Chevy Chase?
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Postby Pacino86845 on Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:40 am

vicious_bastard wrote:More power to Martin Short - he's still alive right?

Yes, but he's shrinking exponentially.
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Postby magicmonkey on Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:41 am

ThisIsTheGirl wrote:
burlivesleftnut wrote:IMPAMPILASH


Seconded

Don't get me wrond Monkey, I love Gremlins as much as the next guy - I just think Dante's time was really the 80s - if you look at his output over the last 15 years, Small Soldiers is the only thing he did which I rate.

And if you want to, you can see deeper meanings in almost any film you care to scrutinise, whether it's there or not (see my "Pulp Fiction" theory).

I don't think, for example, Innerspace, is making any particularly profound points about society - just a few tired points about big corporations, and the ultimate cliché: "It's what's inside that counts".

Still, that line in Small Soldiers is a great line, many of my friends still drop it into conversation today.


Ok, I agree, perhaps his time has passed, this latest piece tho, I am very excited about. I remember seeing a made for t.v film of his about a family travelling across American to stop their son signing up for the army, and I think this maybe in that madcap vein but on a larger more ridiculous scale. And his deeper meanings of corporations and whats inside that counts and the questioning of authority, although seemingly glib, he gives good representations of the American working class, not as something thats just dumb and gungho but as something that can stand up for itself in a Bruce Springsteen, Bill Hicks kinda way. Social empowerment and all that. Also, don't forget and look past the fact that Piranha was written by none other than John Sayles. The guys no Ken Loach, but he's mainstream and puts his points across.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:43 am

I am stoked about this Homecoming bit too, magicmonkey. I have to wait for DVD though.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:19 am

Im a big fan of 70s-80s early 90s Joe Dante (Hollywood Blvd, The Howling, Twilight Zone segment, Gremlins 1 and 2, Innerspace, The Burbs, Matinee) but I have to say his later efforts like Small Soldiers and Looney Toons BIA werent really too interesting to me.

What I like alot about Joe is that he is a huge film/cartoon geek and his earlier movies were like these crazy celebrations of pop culture, (much like Tarantino's are), so I really loved them. Id really like to see all the Masters of Horror films, Ill def get the box set when it comes out.
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Postby John-Locke on Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:19 pm

I like Joe Dante, you guys are giving him a hard time, yeah sure he's had a few projects of late that may have been unwise career choices but I wouldn't write him off yet. Jopefully workig on Masters of Horror has made him passionate about cinema again, I can't wait to see the results.

BTW I like Small Soldiers, the good guy toys voiced by Spinal Tap are fucking brilliant and had me in stitches, it's a kids film at the end of the day what do you expect, life changing deep philosophical sub-contexts or a bit of fun for shit & giggles.
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Postby Headgeek on Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:43 pm

I fucking love SMALL SOLDIERS - The crazy psychotic barbies, the team of voices put together for the soldiers, the role reversal of monsters good, soldiers bad, Kirsten Dunst. Sure it's a thematic rip-off of GREMLINS, but shit them soldiers were mean little fucks - and I don't know about you, but autonomic toys that move around and have a mind of their own have ALWAYS fucking given me the heebie jeebies.

As for LOONEY TUNES BACK IN ACTION - if you read AICN at all - you'd know what happened in that film. The film was cast, written and in production - before they brought on Joe Dante. Joe - loving the Looney Tunes was trying to save the film, but... all the animated parts of the film were preconceived and animated by a functional retard that didn't know anything about the fucking Looney Tunes. Dante was completely fucked on that film by Lorenzo DiBonaventura - who sabotaged every attempt that Dante had, by signing marketing and merchandizing tie-ins that they forced him to place into the film. That there are "moments" in that film that are entertaining is at the genius of Dante. And there are several.

If you didn't like MATINEE - then I weep for you. The film is a love song to the era of the late fifties FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND reader and the WILLIAM CASTLE films and the nightmare of "the bomb". It's a small film shot with love 100%.

And if you don't like THE 'BURBS, GREMLINS 1&2, EXPLORERS, THE HOWLING, PIRANHA and his other work - I weep for you.

Joe Dante makes films for those film lovers that never stop loving films, that are adults that never became grumpy cynical old farts, but remembered being a kid fascinated with things that go bump in the night.
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Postby John-Locke on Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:47 pm

Well said Hairy, lets face the cynical bastards head on, we can take them.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Thu Dec 01, 2005 3:03 pm

I'd like to reiterate, before JL goes around with that cricket bat, that I too enjoyed Small Soldiers, as per my above post.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Dec 01, 2005 3:04 pm

I didn't, and it has nothing to do with me being cynical. It just wasn't a very interesting movie.
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Postby John-Locke on Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:33 pm

Did you watch it all Burl? The second & third acts are much better than the first suggests.

Anyway as I know and you know, you are completely entitled to your opinion, I just wouldn't like to see all you guys not giving the man a chance.
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:39 pm

I didn't say I wasn't going to ever watch any of his films again... ahem. But it's I have not been impressed with his output. Honestly Matinee was so bad it HURT to watch. You know how hard it is for me to watch ANYTHING with John Goodman and not love it?!?/

Anyway to get back on point. I will gladly watch this Masters of Horror thing first chance I get.
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Postby Ribbons on Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:41 pm

Me too, but I'm in burl's boat with the no-Showtime thing.
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Thu Dec 01, 2005 5:01 pm

HAha! Well said, Burl. And I say that as someone who respectfully disagrees with you about Small Soldiers (a little bit, anyway).

Anybody who has had the misfortune of disturbing me during one of my Transformers Series 1 & 2 marathons will know that I'm pretty well in touch with my inner child, which is probably why I do love Gremlins 1 & 2, Piranha and to a lesser extent Small Soldiers - I just think that there was something about the 80s which brought out the very best in Dante.

Although, looking at his filmography, I fucked up by saying that his output was 95% crapola - so I will make amends for that
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Postby magicmonkey on Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:59 am

Not homecoming related but Quints got a review on the main site of another director collab he's partaken in.

Quint wrote:Quint sees TRAPPED ASHES, an anthology horror flick! Dante! Hellman! Cunningham! Russell! Gaeta!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with another review from my American Film Market sneakings, this time a horror movie with a lot of veteran talent associated with it.

TRAPPED ASHES is a very TALES FROM THE CRYPT-ish type set-up, but I mean that in reference to the '70s TALES FROM THE CRYPT film, where we have a group of people gathered at one place telling horrible stories from their lives. These stories are filmed by different directors and what drew me to this screening were the directors attached. We have Joe Dante, Monte Hellman, Sean S. Cunningham, Ken Russell and John Gaeta.

The cast wasn't amazingly impressive on first glance, but then some terribly cool people showed up, like Henry Gibson, Dick "I'm So Damn Awesome" Miller and John Saxon.

Gibson plays an elderly tour guide at a fictional movie studio who leads a tour around the backlot, leading eventually to the giant house of horrors on the lot. Think of it like the PSYCHO house on the Universal tour, except this house was used in the filming of a notoriously horrific film directed not by a charming chubby Englishman, but by a mysterious man rumored to delve into immoral and occult activities... on his very sets, no less.

A group of strangers with VIP tour passes show up and end up getting trapped in this house.

Let me say upfront that this movie is not to be taken seriously. For example, the very first story is told by an actress who started getting passed over for younger roles. She decides she's not getting roles because her boobs aren't as perky as they once were. Damn boobs! So she went to get a boob job. The doctor tells her that the dangers of boob jobs all involve the implants and that HE has a unique method to sidestep those. If doctors can transplant organs from the deceased, why not boobs?

Yes, so the first story revolves around an actress with blood-sucking titties. No shit.

There's a story, told by John Saxon's character, that has the character of "Stanley" who is a great director, a thinly veiled nod to Kubrick, involving two good friends working in Hollywood and a mysterious woman that appears in their lives. Another story focuses on a husband and wife who run into some demonic shit when vacationing in Japan... this segment had the freakiest scene with the wife having some incredibly disgusting sex with a corpse. Not real necrophilia, of course, but disturbing nonetheless. The last was a story of an unlikely pair of twins... I won't say more than that, but you have to know that it won't be what's expected...

This movie was a lot more fun than I expected. Like I said above, you can't really take it seriously, but you can certainly have fun with it. It's like a Troma movie with higher production value and a slightly more serious tone... in the episodes not involving blood-sucking titties that is.

It's a bit ridiculous, but I personally really enjoyed seeing John Saxon, Dick Miller (although he says not one word) and Henry Gibson getting some screen-time. For the base enjoyments, there's lots of gore and tons of titties.

I have more reviews from the American Film Market coming up... Keep your eyes on the site, squirts!

-Quint
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Postby Leckomaniac on Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:06 am

Joe Dante was the special guest at the Music Box Theatre's 24-Hour Horror movie mar-a-thon this past October. He was an amazing guy and talked at length about Homecoming and how he views film as an excellent medium for social change.

After the Q & A he signed autographs and screened Homecoming and Pirhanas. Such an amazing experience. He couldn't have been nicer.
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Postby magicmonkey on Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:12 am

He da man! Except if your name is Burl that is...
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Postby Doc Holliday on Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:59 am

Even if you don't like the majority of his work, he's the one man that keeps food on Roberto Picardo's plate - and for that I thank him.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:58 am

I would a just a like a to point out a the fact that a the MagicMonkey, he took a the time to search a for a the proper thread inna which a to place his comments, eh? He dinna just a go anna start a the new thread. That's a why a we gotta the goddamn search function, no?

Notice a the dates onna the thread... the last a post before his, she was a the December of a the 2005!

Granted, he is a the mod anna so's he's a gotta to set a the good example, but I just a wanna to remind alla you putzes of a just a how good a the example, she was!
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Postby magicmonkey on Mon Mar 19, 2007 12:22 pm

Again, for the Dante lovers, or those folk that really ought to be won over... Here's a lil vid interview, and quite possibly the first time i've seen him in the flesh;

Kung-fu cinema

Also, it appears that Piranha is playing on the rolling roadshow this year.

Fish i was there

Any chance you gonna make it to this Bob?
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Gremlins 3?

Postby Slushofield on Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:04 pm

Has there been any new information on this recently? It's been about year since we last heard any updates! It's a film that clearly needs to happen.

Anyone know anything?
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Re: Gremlins 3?

Postby Raziel on Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:09 pm

Joe Dante has commented before that they deliberately put as many ideas as possible into Gremlins 2 because he had no intention of doing a third one. Don't think he's too keen.
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Re: Joe Dante!!

Postby magicmonkey on Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:36 am

... inna to this thread.
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Re: Joe Dante!!

Postby instant_karma on Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:44 am

Given the current trend for franchise re-boots that we're currently going through, I think a remake of Gremlins is much more likely than a third movie.
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Re: Joe Dante!!

Postby travis-dane on Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:52 pm

instant_karma wrote:Given the current trend for franchise re-boots that we're currently going through, I think a remake of Gremlins is much more likely than a third movie.


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Re: Joe Dante!!

Postby magicmonkey on Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:00 pm

travis-dane wrote:
instant_karma wrote:Given the current trend for franchise re-boots that we're currently going through, I think a remake of Gremlins is much more likely than a third movie.


NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111!!!!!!!!!!!111!!!!!!!!111!


Haha, interesting point. Gremlins is a fun movie and altho I realise that a remake would be totally unholy... I think it could be fun if done right. I'm just trying to imagine the fun that Gremlins could have on our slightly more advanced society.. perhaps Gremlin hackers would be the way ahead. I'm now gonna have to track down a copy of Gremlins 2 and sit and watch it with my stuffed "made in China" Gremlin toy. Awesome.
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Re: Joe Dante!!

Postby Al Shut on Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:43 pm

I'm wondering how big the difference between a third part a remake would be.
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Re: Joe Dante!!

Postby Fievel on Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:47 pm

The word "remake" wouldn't even have to be used.
The concept of Mogwai/Gremlins could be completely unrelated to the incidents in 1984/1989.

Although, Zach Galaghan could use a cameo.
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Re: Joe Dante!!

Postby DerLanghaarige on Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:07 am

Holy shit! We have a Joe Dante thread!? And nobody mentioned Trailers From Hell yet?
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Re: Joe Dante!!

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:53 pm

Zach Galligan could probably use your spare change.
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Re: Joe Dante!!

Postby magicmonkey on Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:22 am

Dante Interview on the main site. Gots me excited, shame not much is spilt about "The Hole", but it is a fun read.
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Re: Gremlins III: So Epic It's Unfilmable

Postby TheButcher on Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:55 am

Steven Walker wrote:For some reason I cannot stop thinking about this. Imagine a Gremlins III told entirely from Gizmo's point of view and spanning centuries, something like The Red Violin. It would begin in ancient china were the Mogwai are created as a curse upon humanity by Monks who believe we are becoming too dependent on our technology. The monks protect the precious creatures through the centuries, waiting for the right moment to punish us for our reliance on electronics. The bulk of the plot would be set in a future where automation is ubiquitous and people would not know how to function without it. The monks would release the Gremlins into a major city right before it is hit by a hurricane. This, of course, creates a global epidemic out of the Gremlins. After watching one city after another fall, Gizmo realizes his only choice is to become a Gremlin himself. As an uber-badass Gremlin, Gizmo creates armor and weaponry using the very technology the Gremlins were meant to destroy. Meanwhile the evil Gremlins have discovered that if they cannibalize each other, they grow larger. So now you have man-sized Gremlins, then Dinosaur-sized gremlins until finally its Super Gizmo and the military vs Godzilla Gremlins. It would end with the Gremlins managing to destroy most of the major power sources on earth, effectively setting us back to the stone age. With nothing left to destroy, they would stop their rampage and die peacefully, allowing humanity to live and slowly rebuild.


I think I hurt myself coming up with that.


[Script To Scream]: Gerald Dies And Gizmo Becomes A Butterfly In ‘Gremlins’!
EvanDickson wrote:A film lives many lives before it ever hits the screen. The script is usually revised multiple times before a single foot of film is exposed (or the digital equivalent thereof). I’m not just talking about smaller stuff like dialogue polishes and the addition or deletion of scenes. Many times the core story is reworked in profound ways. Sometimes it’s downright shocking how different the final film can be from the initial drafts.

In this new (semi-regular) feature for Bloody-Disgusting, I’m going to take a look at some early drafts of scripts for horror films that you may have already seen and discuss the differences, whether they took a turn for the worse, better or just different. There are also a handful of scripts for sequels and remakes that never happened that are worth checking out – just to see what might have been.

These aren’t script reviews, and only rarely will I be breaking the stories down on a beat-by-beat basis. I’m just going to point out some cool, interesting and/or disastrous choices that happened along the way. Each installment will be different, and each installment will be fun. I’ll also be including sample pages (when available)* so you don’t have to take my word for it!

*This applies only to older and previously released films that are already part of the culture. We’re not in the business of leaking or sabotaging projects in development.

First up is Joe Dante’s Gremlins, written by Chris Columbus. Hit the jump to check it out! For years people have talked about how dark Chris Columbus’ first draft of Gremlins was. Many of us have heard the story in which, after the kitchen confrontation scene, Billy arrives home to find his mom’s severed head tumbling down the stairs.

The version I have (Seventh Draft – February 18th, 1983) doesn’t contain that scene – Mrs. Peltzer lives. Suffice to say that brutally killing Mrs. Pelter wasn’t an idea that was going to stay around for more than a pass or two, especially considering that this is an Amblin film. However, some of that darkness is still very much on the page. For instance, it’s very clearly spelled out that The Futtermans die. Even though the film alludes to their demise (and Gremlins 2 obviously retcons their survival), it’s never explicitly stated*. It is here. It’s only a minor deviation (if you can even call it that) but it’s an interesting one.

*EDIT – Reader Adam Harmless has correctly pointed out that they are declared on the radio as surviving in the film. I can’t believe I forgot about that!

One of the huge differences in this draft is the character of Gerald, the douchey Junior Vice President of the bank where Billy works. In the film he’s an enjoyably smug dick played by Judge Reinhold at the top of his affable game. His character is there to provide a counterpoint to Billy’s current path in life, something that’s accomplished handily in the first act. After that, he more or less disappears.

In the February 18th, 1983 draft he has a much bigger role and a more completely developed arc. Not only does he join Kate and Billy in their plan to blow up the Gremlins as they watch Snow White…

… he also gets the monologue. You know what I’m talking about. That amazingly black lump of coal that someway found its way into a PG Christmas movie. In the film, it’s a revelatory moment for Phoebe Cates’ character. But in this script, it’s all Gerald.

In this draft, the speech provides a sense of damage and some motivation for Gerald’s overall profit driven and Grinch-like perspective. It’s much easier to understand why the banker is such a jerk around the holidays if he had to smell his dad rotting in the chimney as a result of playing Santa.

I think the decision to give this speech to Cates in the film (and basically excise Gerald) is a wise one. From the beginning moments we’re rooting for Kate and Billy to end up together, and the personal nature of her disclosing this information to him (along with them taking on the Gremlins sans Gerald) ratchets up the intimacy factor.

So Columbus redeems Gerald a bit, and then he kills him.

Another huge change occurs at the end, in which Gizmo DIES and is reincarnated as glowing butterfly-like creature.

This is a cool effect, but it undercuts one of the major themes of Dante’s film. That American society is too clumsy, irresponsible and exploitative to properly interact with anything delicate or beautiful. In short, “this is why we can’t have nice things”. Because we make them ugly.

This theme is largely diminished, at least as overt text, in the earlier iteration of the story. Here, he simply just flies away.

All in all, I think the February 18th, 1983 draft is a fascinating look at the development mechanics of the project. But personally I prefer the final film that we all know and love.
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