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1[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/joe_d_and_gremlin_0_5667.jpg]]²->''"If you're doing a family movie, you don't want it to be stupid. Farting chihuahuas is not my idea of entertainment for kids or adults. So you try to make a movie that adults can see on one level, and kids can see on another."''²²Joseph James Dante Jr. (born November 28, 1946) is a film director known for a string of cult 1980s sci-fi/fantasy films that oftentimes ran on pure [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs crazy moon-logic]].²²Dante's work is notable for the strong affection he has for [[AuthorAppeal '40s and '50s horror movies]] (''Film/{{Matinee}}'' is a love letter to Creator/WilliamCastle, for example), and his taste for black comedy and political commentary. He first got attention for ''The Movie Orgy'', a seven-hour-long collection of weird film clips, ads and trailers that Dante still curates and screens around the United States. After a few smaller successes, he directed ''Film/{{Gremlins}}'', which launched a long, contentious relationship with Hollywood, which didn't seem to understand that Dante had [[StrawmanPolitical a few axes to grind]], especially with the political climate celebrating the '50s as a happy Golden Age and the suburbs as a great place to be. With [[Series/MastersOfHorror a few exceptions]], though, he's relatively subtle about his opinions.²²Actually probably better known to people of a certain age for ''Series/EerieIndiana'' than for his movies; he was an executive producer and directed five episodes. He also appeared AsHimself in the SeriesFinale "Reality Takes a Holiday".²²The films he directed include:²* ''Film/{{Piranha}}'' (1978)²* ''Film/TheHowling'' (1981)²* ''Film/{{Gremlins}}'' (1984)²* ''Film/{{Explorers}}'' (1985)²* ''Film/{{Innerspace}}'' (1987)²* ''Film/TheBurbs'' (1989)²* ''Film/Gremlins2TheNewBatch'' (1990)²* ''Film/{{Matinee}}'' (1993)²* ''Film/SmallSoldiers'' (1998)²* ''Film/LooneyTunesBackInAction'' (2003)²* ''Film/BuryingTheEx'' (2015)²²He also directed segments of the {{Anthology Film}}s ''Film/TwilightZoneTheMovie'' and ''Film/AmazonWomenOnTheMoon'', as well as the ''Series/MastersOfHorror'' episodes "Homecoming" and "The Screwfly Solution" and the pre-show for ''Ride/TheTwilightZoneTowerOfTerror''.²²!!Tropes present in Dante's work include:²²* AlternateCompanyEquivalent: Dante is basically Hollywood's answer to the anime and manga industry's Creator/RumikoTakahashi due to their tongue-in-the-cheek approach to their comedy-dominated science fiction/UrbanFantasy works in general.²* AuthorAppeal: Giant monster movies, Universal horror, and cartoons.²* BlackComedy²* SlidingScaleOfComedyAndHorror: Has a love for both, but his films tend to be comedy-dominated.²* WhatCouldHaveBeen: ²** After the modest American success of ''Film/Godzilla2000'', the writer of the dub teamed with Joe Dante to assemble an American produced sequel titled ''Godzilla Reborn'' that would have had Godzilla attack Hawaii and starred genre staples like Creator/BruceCampbell, Creator/ChristopherLee and Creator/LeonardNimoy.²** After directing ''Gremlins'', Joe Dante tried creating a biopic about Creator/ChuckJones entitled ''Termite Terrace'', but the executives at Warner Bros weren't interested in a drama about animators and were pushing to relaunch the characters in a more modern fashion with ''Film/SpaceJam''.²----

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