Joe Dante began his writing career in the sixties for Castle of Frankenstein magazine, and I think it would be safe to say that COF was quite influential on most of the writers who eventually ended up writing at Fred Clarke’s Cinefantastique magazine.
However, Dante began his actual filmmaking career in the trailer dept. of Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, where, as a trailer editor, he amassed a huge collection of previews from many classic and not so classic horror films.
Joe recently began the fabulous online site, TRAILERS FROM HELL, possibly the first site of it’s kind devoted exclusively to movie trailers, and it features all kinds of rare and unusal trailers from horror and other films, mostly from the fifties and sixties.
Joe’s latest commentary is for the trailer from The Black Sleep (above), a film that featured the stellar horror film cast of: Basil RATHBONE, Bela LUGOSI, Lon CHANEY, John CARRADINE, Akim TAMIFOFF and Tor JOHNSON.
Besides Joe’s own incisive commentaries, Trailers from Hell features commentaries from many of Joe’s filmmaker friends, including John Landis, Rick Baker, Larry Cohen, Edgar Wright and Sam Hamm. There are now almost 70 trailers online which you can view, with or without commentary.
Meanwhile, Joe Dante’s latest big screen project, is the bio-pic about the making of legendary director Roger Corman’s 1967 AIP classic The Trip, titled The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes. Apparently Joe is quite near a deal to make the film with Tim Robbins set to star as Roger Corman!
When I talked to Joe at the Trailer From Hell launch party in San Francisco in October, he noted that he felt the only way to go about casting the actors who appeared in The Trip, such as Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, would be to use unknowns. But given that this is the 40th annivesary of the making of The Trip, and more importantly, the whole acid inspired summer of love in San Francisco’s Haight-Asbury, it would be fantastic if the film got the green light before the end of the year. But as we all know, strange are the ways of Hollywood executives and their usually backward thinking.