Oh, Joe Dante. There are few people to whom, I love to listen to more than I love listening to this guy. His stories inspirational and just damned interesting. On the latest episode of Post Mortem, Mick Garris sits down with Dante for a chat.
Over the course of the chat, they discuss Dante’s early background in cartoons and what lead him to becoming the filmmaker that we love today.
While discussing ‘The Howling,’ Dante reveals a interesting tidbit about the iconic werewolf film.
“Werewolf movies were on a downslope. The last werewolf movie (at the time) was “The Boy Who Cried Werewolf,” then there was a movie called “The Beast Must Die,” which was a complete flop… What was big then, was slasher movies. So we sold the whole campaign on making it look like it was a slasher movie. We hid the supernatural element.” Dante explains.
For me, ‘The Howling’ is one of my favorite werewolf films and 80’s horror films in general. I can’t imagine being around back then and going into this movie not knowing what to expect. That had to have been a one of a kind experience. By the time I watched it, I had waited for VHS and had already known it was a werewolf film.
The closest I have come to that kind of experience, is when “From Dusk Till Dawn” opened in cinema. I went in thinking it was a straight up crime film and then the vampires started attacking George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino.
You have to admire the hell out of Dante for reinventing a wheel to spite the wheel. We need more of this in todays cinema trends. Not just reinvention but complete, surprise, reinvention.
The entire chat is worth a listen and will only take up a half hour of your day. While you are there make sure to check out previous episodes of Post Mortem, featuring John Landis, Tobe Hooper and other horror icons.