The year is 1995, and "Mystery Science Theater 3000" was undergoing changes. A conflict between producer Jim Mallon and show creator Joel Hodgson — largely over who was running the show and how they should go about making a "Mystery Science Theater 3000" feature film — caused the latter to leave the series halfway through its fifth season (head writer Mike Nelson would take over acting/hosting duties). Additionally, the show's lucrative contract with Comedy Central was about to run out. A man named Doug Herzog was put in control of Comedy Central, and his new vision for the network was raunchy animated programs like "South Park," and the news commentary show "The Daily Show," leaving "MST3K" looking old-fashioned and dried up in comparison.
Today, the concept of horror films containing meta elements is commonplace. Granted, there’s always been a consciousness of the genre within scary movies (think of the Hills Have Eyes poster in The Evil Dead), but titles like Scream have managed to popularize this further, to the point that projects like It: Chapter 2 will have characters trading dialogue referencing familiar elements from John Carpenter’s The Thing. Many have gone down the meta-horror route. But one of the earliest adopters of this mold is also one of its masters. Director Joe Dante has been providing cheekily self-conscious horror for his entire career and in the process has left a massive footprint on the world of cinema.
Legendary filmmaker Joe Dante is a titan in the film industry, having directed everything from Gremlins and its sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch to classics such as Piranha, The Howling, Explorers, Innerspace, The ‘Burbs, Matinee, and Small Soldiers. He even got behind the camera for segments in Twilight Zone: The Movie and Nightmare Cinema, not to mention episodes of “The Twilight Zone”, “Amazing Stories”, “Eerie, Indiana”, and even “Masters of Horror” (S1 & S2 are both now streaming on Screambox).
'Boris Karloff: The Man Behind The Monster' Documentary Trailer Revisits a Horror Icon With Guillermo Del Toro, Joe Dante & More
Shout! Studios has released the trailer for their upcoming documentary, Boris Karloff: The Man Behind The Monster. The film explores how William Henry Pratt, a half-Indian boy from Surrey, became the iconic Universal horror star Boris Karloff. Along the way, the film touches on his most iconic roles, from Frankenstein to How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Video Explores Director Joe Dante's Battle With Hollywood and His Films LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION, EXPLORERS, and GREMLINS 2
I’ve got a wonderful video essay here for you to watch today that puts a focus on director Joe Dante and his battle with Hollywood. The video comes from The Royal Ocean Film Society and it puts the spotlight on three of Dante’s films which include Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Explorers, and Gremlins 2.