Study Guide

Gremlins Director

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Joe Dante

The 2010 film Piranha 3D shocked viewers with a certain, um, appendage floating toward them in 3D. But we shouldn't have been that shocked—the film was a loose remake of the 1978 movie Piranha, one of the first films by Gremlins director Joe Dante.

Dante's original Piranha was a shameless Jaws knock-off, and we mean that in the nicest way. Spielberg took it as a compliment, because he recruited Dante to direct one of the segments in Twilight Zone: The Movie, which Spielberg produced. Dante directed the story about a telepathic kid who always gets his way.

If Dante feels like that about children, no wonder he had no problem scarring many of them for life with Gremlins, also produced by Spielberg. Dante deftly navigated the tricky line between horror and comedy, striking a sweet spot that helped the film rake in over $150 million. (Source)

Dante would continue exploring suburban paranoia in The Burbs (1989) starring Tom Hanks and Princess Leia. And he brought about two hundred more gremlins to theaters nationwide in Gremlins 2: The New Batch in 1990. No word on whether or not Dante will direct the rumored Gremlins 3. Personally we're rooting for an Eerie, Indiana reboot.

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