Looks like we’ll be getting a new Joe Dante movie pretty soon. Joe Dante is the mad-genius director who brought us PIRANHA, THE HOWLING, GREMLINS, INNERSPACE, THE ‘BURBS, GREMLINS II: THE NEW BATCH [read my thoughts here!], MATINEE, and LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION, among several other demented classics. Needless to say, this is good news to round out your movie year.
Dante has spent most of the ’00s working in TV — a highlight was his Masters Of Horror episode HOMECOMING. His most recent feature, 2009’s THE HOLE, deserved better than it got. THE HOLE would have fit in snugly with the kids’ films Dante and Steven Spielberg were making back in the 1980s, and surely would have gotten more attention then. THE HOLE is fun and creepy and has a swell performance by the recently-rediscovered-by-the-mainstream Bruce Dern. It got a brief theatrical release before heading to DVD.
There’s never a time when a new Joe Dante movie isn’t huge news for genre fans. No director combines cartoonish lunacy with actual frights like he can — his films are like a delirious blend of the styles of James Whale and Chuck Jones, two acknowledged influences. Fittingly, the new movie, BURYING THE EX, is a horror-comedy. It’s about a regular guy whose controlling girlfriend dies, only to return from the grave as soon as he meets a nice new girl. (More plot details can be found here.)
BURYING THE EX was written by Alan Trezza, based on his own fifteen-minute short. It stars Anton Yelchin (the FRIGHT NIGHT remake), Ashley Greene (the TWILIGHT movies), and most encouragingly, Alexandra Daddario, the only bright spot in this year’s otherwise unfortunate TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D. [Read my review, if you dare!] The film finished shooting last week, with production costs raised in part by an online FundAnything campaign. The movie’s in the can! Of course, a film isn’t finished until it’s edited and polished. Due to the holidays, further contributions won’t be solicited until the new year, but let’s all stay tuned to see what we can do to help come 2014. If you’re anything at all like me, this is a movie you’re super-curious to see.
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