Joe Dante on

The Sadist

Released 1963
Distributor Fairway International Pictures

It took decades for this sleaze classic to be appreciated. It provided Vilmos Zsigmond with his first solo d.p. credit (as William Zsigmond), and it looks terrific. Grinning lunatic Arch Hall Jr. terrorizes three teachers in a desert junk yard for 94 real-time minutes in a little-seen but powerfully intense mini-budget drive-in staple. Hall even resembles Charles Starkweather, whose real-life teenage killing spree also inspired Badlands in 1973.

About Joe Dante

Joe Dante is a lifelong film buff who turned his obsession into a career. He got his start cutting trailers for Roger Corman and later directed the hit movie Gremlins, as well as Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Innerspace and Small Soldiers for producer Steven Spielberg. His feature films include The Howling, Piranha, Matinee, The ‘burbs , Looney Tunes Back in Action, The Hole (first winner of the 3D Persol Award at the Venice Film Festival) and the zom-com Burying the Ex. His TV directing work includes: Police Squad, Amazing Stories, the HBO film The Second Civil War, the Masters of Horror titles Homecoming and The Screwfly Solution, and episodes of Eerie, Indiana, CSI: NY, Hawaii 5-0, Witches of East End, Legends of Tomorrow and Salem. His latest big screen credit is an episode of the upcoming Nightmare Cinema.