Film Junk Premium Podcast #42: Joe Dante

Our latest premium podcast is a fond look back at the ’80s and one of the directors that helped define it with a decade of mostly family-friendly genre films: Joe Dante. Our discussion starts with his werewolf film The Howling before moving on to the Spielberg-produced blockbuster Gremlins, followed by the underrated sci-fi adventure Innerspace, cult classic horror-comedy The ‘Burbs and, last but not least, the completely unhinged sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch. Along the way we cover essential topics such as the feasibility of the Gremlins rules, the common trope of scatterbrained inventors in ’80s movies, political undertones in Dante’s films and the recurring cast members he frequently works with. Are Gremlins from Earth or do they have alien DNA? Is Corey Feldman a national treasure or just an annoying lame-o? Does every Joe Dante movie have a connection to Superman 3? With this month’s premium podcast comes much responsibility and we cannot sell it at any price… except maybe a minimum donation of $1. Grab it now via the link below!

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This series of premium podcasts was created to help support the regular weekly Film Junk Podcast. Head on over to Bandcamp and download full episodes for a minimum donation of just $1. As always, let us know if you experience any technical difficulties or if you have any other suggestions for future specials. Thanks for your support!

  • Jasper

    Thanks, guys! Looking forward to this treat!

  • Tommy

    I’m sure I saw a scene in Innerspace where the evil lady is on the phone and she moves the robot guy’s arm down from the side of the screen, then you hear a buzzing noise like she’s using it as a vibrator. My iTunes rental ran out, so I can’t check again, but am I crazy? Did you guys miss that?
    In case you saved it for a top 5, I’m leaving the show paused at The Burbs till I rewatch it.

  • Tommy
  • Rolf

    Hope Jays sarcasm doesn’t ruin this for me… also the Row Three guys had to be on that show for THE BURBS. Gonna get me some sardines now…

  • devolutionary

    Jay “Tati” Cheel was diggin’ pretty deep with the references between Innerspace and Richard Lester’s Superman 3 lol. I feel like Jay’s Tatu’d Tati this week (including the regular episode).

    Hilarious premium all around, especially for Innerspace and Gremlins 2. The Burbs is nearly my favourite Dante film with the exception of the last part of the final act.

    It appears that Robert Piccardo’s gold tooth was merely a sight gag (Almond Roca candy wrapper) so you may have spotted a gaffe Jay! Good job.
    5th paragraph down.

  • Sam

    The Burbs would also have to be my favorite Joe Dante movie as well.

    As far as Frank’s assessment about the end of The Howling and that being where Joe Dante found his footing for comedy, Frank would have to really see both Hollywood Boulevard and Piranha. Not great films, but his sense of humor and style was very present from the beginning. The Howling is a bit of an outlier in tone as it’s more serious than the rest of his movies.

  • devolutionary

    For the Howling, I’m sure many listeners would be delighted to know that Rob Bottin used condoms as air bladders (new I assume) to mimic the werewolf bubbling transformation effects. From the behind-the-scenes, they initially wanted to make a more elaborate final animated werewolf sequence but due to budgeting and contrasting designs, cropped it down to an unfortunate blip which makes it even more obvious.

  • Without Matinee this whole endeavor is a complete sham. Much like Jay’s latest bout with bowel cancer.

  • Tim

    Mr. Gamble, would you care to elaborate on the ominous anal cancer resurgence? As you know this CLASSIC! Cheel-trait always brings a great deal of joy to the Junkers.

  • BigDaddy

    I’m confused about Jay’s Star Rating System. Are you giving Interspace an objective 5/5 because you like it? I thought the star rating should reflect the quality of the film. “I just love Interspace so I’m going to give it five out of five.”

    I doubt the general critic consensus would rate Interspace as a classic or even a great movie from 1987.

  • schizopolis

    Like Frank, I had a problem with Phoebe Cates serving the Gremlins and not leaving the bar. But then you contrast that with Billy’s mom refusing to leave her house and fighting the Gremlins in her kitchen, the two scenes are connected and have some meaning.