Joe Dante on

Hand of Death

Released 1962
Distributor Twentieth Century Fox

John Agar plays a careless scientist whose experiments with nerve gas backfire, turning him into a lumbering beast whose touch can kill. Floyd Crosby’s widescreen cinematography lifts Gene Nelson’s 60 minute programmer about as high as it can go, though the sight of the creature stalking suburbia in a trench coat and fedora is memorable. Makeup artist Bob Mark appears to have based the design for Agar’s monster on The Thing, the crater-faced member of The Fantastic Four.

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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 BatchInnerspace and Small Soldiers for producer Steven Spielberg. His feature films include The HowlingPiranhaMatineeThe ‘burbs , Looney Tunes Back in ActionThe 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 SquadAmazing Stories, the HBO film The Second Civil War, the Masters of Horror titles Homecoming and The Screwfly Solution, and episodes of Eerie, IndianaCSI: NYHawaii 5-0Witches of East EndLegends of Tomorrow and Salem. His most recent big screen credit is an episode of the anthology film Nightmare Cinema. Joe is also the frequent co-host of Trailers From Hell’s official podcast, The Movies That Made Me, available everywhere podcasts are streamed and downloaded!