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, for producer Steven Spielberg. His feature films include The Howling, Innerspace, Matinee, Small Soldiers, The ‘burbs and the 3-D thriller titled The Hole, first winner of the 3D Persol Award at the Venice Film Festival. His TV directing work includes:  the HBO film, The Second Civil War, the “Masters of Horrors” titles,  Homecoming and The Screwfly Solution, episodes of Eerie, Indiana , which he was in on the creation of, as well as episodes of CSI: NY, Hawaii 5-0 and Salem. His latest feature, the zom-com Burying the Ex, is currently available on VOD.