Joe Dante photo

Gender: Male

Birth Place: Morristown, New Jersey, USA

Joseph Dante Jr. was born on November 28, 1946 in Morristown, New Jersey, USA and was raised in Parsippany, NJ. He is an American film director, producer, editor, actor, writer and crew member. His father wrote some books on the instructions of playing golf, and he was a professional golf player. Two of his father’s books are Four Magic Moves to Winning Golf, and Stop that Slice. His alternate name is Giuseppe Dantini. He is a protege of former Roger Corman and Steven Spielberg also helped him. He is famous for movies listed below and Masters of Horror (Homecoming), Amazing Stories and the remake of Hawaii Five-O.

Joe Dante had polio when he was seven years old that almost crippled him. He then decided to start drawing and to become a cartoonist rather than being athletic like his parents. He graduated from high school and then went to Philadelphia College of Art. He contributed to Castle of Frankenstein and Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines as a teenager with writings of all kind. He worked for Film Bulletin newspaper as a film critic after graduating Philadelphia College of Art and later became the managing editor of Film Bulletin. He then worked for Roger Corman's New World Pictures as a trailer editor in 1974. He co-directed Hollywood Boulevard with Allan Arkush in 1976 with a budget of about $60,000.

He made one of the company's biggest hits, Piranha in 1977 which was distributed to the world by United Artists. He worked with Steven Spielberg on Twilight Zone and Amblin Productions for Warner Bros. Gremlins (1984). Gremlins became a hit that grossed over $200 million worldwide with its comedic elements and fantastical storyline.

He likes to have the screenwriters on set, but the studios do not normally have the writers stay on set. Joe always casts the writer in a small part of the production so they can be on set.

- The Hole 3D won its inaugural Best 3D Film Award when it premiered at the 2009 Venice Film Festival.
- Nominated by Cable Ace for his direction of Showtime's Runaway Daughters (1994) and HBO's The Second Civil War (1997).

Some directors that Joe Dante said influenced him were Roger Corman, Chuck Jones, James Whale, Frank Tashlin, and Jean Cocteau. He often draws reference to science fiction films from the 1950s because he is a fan of them. He always refers to Warner Brothers cartoons in his movies and always cast Dick Miller as a cameo or main actor. He frequently hires composer Jerry Goldsmith and cast Kevin McCarthy, Ron Perlman, William Schallert and Robert Picardo in most of his movies.

Some movies Joe Dante is famous for are:

1978 - Piranha
1981 - The Howling
1984 - Gremlins
1985 - Explorers
1987 - Innerspace
1989 - The 'Burbs
1990 - Gremlins 2: The New Batch
1993 - Matinee
1997 - The Second Civil War
1998 - Small Soldiers
2003 - Looney Tunes: Back in Action

Some of Joe Dante's favorite movies are:

1935 - The Bride of Frankenstein
1942 - To Be or Not to Be
1955 - The Night of the Hunter
1958 - Touch of Evil
1968 - Once Upon a Time in the West


“What I like in movies especially are movies that do things that you can't do in real life and show you things that you can't see by walking out in the street. And there have been a lot of great movies that show you real life as it is lived and should be lived. But my favorite kind of movies are the ones that show you things that you can't see anywhere but in the movies. And this picture? Believe me, you'll never see this stuff except in the movies”

“We did all kinds of things in trailers to help sell films. We had a famous exploding helicopter shot from one of those Filipino productions that we'd cut in every time a trailer was too dull because that was always exciting“

Director Joe Dante Movies / Films:

Burying the Ex (2014) "Witches of East End" (2013) The Hole (2009) aka The Hole 3D (2009) "Masters of Horror" (2005) "Night Visions" (2001) aka Night Terrors (2001) Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) aka Gremlins 2 (1990) The 'Burbs (1989) aka Life in the Burbs (1989) Innerspace (1987) "Amazing Stories" (1985) aka Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories (1985) Gremlins (1984) Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) aka It's a Good Life, Kick the Can, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (1983) The Howling (1981) Piranha (1978)

Reviewed Movies Directed by Joe Dante

  • Burying the Ex (2014)

    Burying the Ex 2014

    Burying the Ex (2014) is an American comedy horror movie that did not fail from delivering humor and some pretty good crude jokes. Director Joe Dante (Gremlins (1984), Small Soldiers (1998), Gremlins…

  • The Hole (2009)

    The Hole 2009

    The Hole (2009) is an adventure horror fantasy thriller movie that was more than I expected it to be. I would recommend this movie to horror fans to watch to watch with their family. I personally enjoyed…

  • Gremlins 2 - The New Batch (1990)

    Gremlins 2 - The New Batch 1990

    Gremlins 2 - The New Batch (1990) is a grueling 1h 46-minute American fantasy comedy horror film that is the sequel to Gremlins (1984) and was shot in several locations in California, USA and New York,…

  • The 'Burbs (1989)

    The 'Burbs 1989

    The Burbs (1989) is an American black comedy mystery movie that was entertaining throughout with its crude humor. Director Joe Dante (Gremlins (1984), Small Soldiers (1998), Gremlins 2: The New Batch…

  • Innerspace (1987)

    Innerspace 1987

    A devil-may-care test pilot volunteers to be shrunk and injected in to a rabbit as part of a top secret experiment. When industrial spies steal one of the two microchips needed to reverse the process,…

  • Gremlins (1984)

    Gremlins 1984

    Gremlins (1984) is a 1h 46-min American comedy horror fantasy that was shot at 4000 Warner Boulevard, Burbank, California, USA; 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California, USA and other locations…

  • Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

    Twilight Zone: The Movie 1983

    Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) is an American fantasy sci-fi horror anthology movie. It is a theatrical version of TV series: The Twilight Zone (1959–1964) that was created by Rod Serling. Twilight…

  • Howling (1981)

    Howling 1981

    The Howling (1981) is an American horror cult classic movie that was based on Gary Brandner novel of the same name. Director Joe Dante (Gremlins (1984), Small Soldiers (1998), Gremlins 2: The New Batch…

  • Piranha (1978)

    Piranha 1978

    David (Roger Richman) and Barbara (Janie Squire) are two young backpackers who happen upon a military post that seems to be abandoned. They discover a large man-made reservoir and decide to go skinny…