TFH Presents

The Movies That Made Me

with your hosts Josh Olson & Joe Dante

Daniel Waters

Season 01 | Episode 08

Daniel Waters


Screenwriter Daniel Waters (Heathers, Batman Returns, Hudson Hawk) walks Josh and Joe through 10 movies that he saw at very important moments in his life. An autobiography through film.

Show Notes:

Movies Referenced In This Episode

Hudson Hawk (1991)
Demolition Man (1993)
Batman Returns (1992)
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather Part II (1974)
The Pom-Pom Girls (1976)
Psycho (1960)
Halloween (1978)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
The Bad News Bears (1976)
The Omen (1976)
Dead of Night (1945)
Devil Doll (1964)
Manhattan (1979)
Back Roads (1981)
The Last Hard Men (1976)
Damien: Omen II (1978)
The Brides of Dracula (1960)
Gorgo (1961)
The Stranglers of Bombay (1960)
Reptilicus (1961)
The Gauntlet (1977)
That’s Entertainment! (1974)
That’s Dancing! (1985)
That’s Entertainment! III (1994)
Chinatown (1974)
The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Take the Money and Run (1969)
Hitman’s Run (1999)
On The Border (1998)
Instinct To Kill (2001)
Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever (2002)
A History of Violence (2005)
The Three Musketeers (1974)
Below (2002)
Tuck Everlasting (2002)
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
Knockaround Guys (2002)
White Oleander (2002)
Swept Away (2002)
Comedian (2002)
The Banger Sisters (2002)
Heathers (1989)
Shag (1989)
Logan’s Run (1976)
Walkabout (1973)
Killer Snakes (1974)
McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971) 
Breaking Away (1979)
Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981)
Dead Calm (1989)
The Dish (2001)
Breathless (1960)
Two Or Three Things I Know About Her (1967)
La Chinoise (1967)
Weekend (1967)
Nostalghia (1983)
Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
Bang The Drum Slowly (1973)
The Tin Drum (1979)
The Dead Pool (1988)
Die Hard (1988)
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
The Matrix (1999)
Waterworld (1995)
Ishtar (1987)
Psycho (1998)
Quatermass and the Pit (1967)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Phase IV (1974)
The Searching Eye (1964)
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Lolita (1962)
Treasure Island (1950)
Being There (1979)
Star Wars (1977)
Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)
Jaws (1975)
The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox (1976)
Harry and Walter Go To New York (1976)
Dirty Dingus Magee (1970)
The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (1975)
They Only Kill Their Masters (1972)
The Culpepper Cattle Co. (1972)
Cheyenne Social Club (1970)
Zandy’s Bride (1974)
Mean Girls (2004)
Fame (1980)
The Hunger (1983)
Thunderball (1965)
You Only Live Twice (1967)
Live and Let Die (1973)
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Other Notable Items

South 31 Drive-In, Indiana
Starlite Drive-In, Indiana
Mystery Science Theatre 3000 TV show (1988-1999, 2017- )
The Omen novelization by David Seltzer (1976)
David Hemmings
David Warner
Boris Karloff
“Copacabana (At The Copa)” by Barry Manilow
Damien: Omen II novelization by Joseph Howard and Michael Hodges (1978)
Monarch Books
Dean Owen’s Monarch Books novelizations of Brides of Dracula, Reptilicus, Carson Bingham’s Monarch novelization of Gorgo, Stuart James’s Monarch novelization of The Stranglers of Bombay 
Harold Robbins
The Gauntlet novelization by Michael Butler and Dennis Shryack (1977)
Pat Hingle
Gremlins novelization by George Gipe (1984)
Blow Out novelization by William Harrison (1981)
National Lampoon’s Animal House Book (1978)
Garrison Keiler
Richard Lester
Walter Hill
Paramount Pictures
Phoebe Cates
Sammy Davis Jr.
Jenny Agutter
Michael York
Farah Fawcett
Sam Neill
September 11th, 2001
November 8th, 2016
McGill University
Jean-Luc Godard
Andrei Tarkovsky
Francis Ford Coppola
The New Beverly Cinema
Malcolm McDowell
Werner Herzog
Volker Schlöndorff
Guns ‘N’ Roses, “Welcome to the Jungle”
Alan Rickman
Bruce Willis
Mannix TV show (1967-1975)
The Ramones
Mel Torme
Uriah Heap
Keanu Reeves
Joe Brown’s Washington Post rave review for Hudson Hawk
Janet Maslin’s New York Times not-quite-rave review for Hudson Hawk
Psycho novel by Robert Bloch (1959)
Julianne Moore
Saul Bass
Sue Lyon
James Mason
Peter Sellers
Lolita novel by Vladimir Nabokov (1955)
Stanley Kubrick
Gene Hackman
Jaws novel by Peter Benchley (1974)
Mark Waters
Nastassja Kinsky
Roger Moore

This list is also available on Letterboxd.

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About the Podcast

Filmmakers and entertainers discuss the movies that inspired them. Hosted by Oscar nominated screenwriter and TFH Guru Josh Olson and TFH Fearless Leader Joe Dante.

The Movies That Made Me is recorded live in Hollywood and engineered by film composer Don Barrett.

About The Hosts

Josh Olson was the only student in his second grade class to see The House That Dripped Blood. Many years later, he wrote and directed the no-budget horror film, INFESTED, a brutal assault on The Big Chill, with zombies. He went on to write the screenplay for A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE and was nominated for the WGA, BAFTA and Academy Awards for Best Screenplay. He kept losing to Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, but that’s okay.

He has written features and TV shows with Harlan Ellison, Walter Hill, Slash, Willie Nelson, and Mick Jagger. His Village Voice essay “I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script” became an internet phenomenon, getting upwards of five million hits.

The ten-part audio drama BRONZEVILLE which he wrote, starring Laurence Fishburne, Larenz Tate, Tracee Ellis Ross, Omari Harwicke and Tika Sumpter was a popular and critical hit, and is currently being developed for TV. He and John Brancato (THE GAME) recently wrote and sold the feature spec TRIGGER WARNING, which is being produced by Thunder Road.

Joe Dante is a director known for his satirical blend of horror and comedy viewed through the lens of grounded, relatable American life. his career in film began as a movie critic at age 12. A few years later, he conspired with Jon Davison to produce The Movie Orgy, an experimental exploration of ‘50s pop culture that metamorphosed into a hit phenomenon bringing Dante to college campus showings nationwide.

Soon after, he followed Jon to Hollywood where he edited trailers for producer Roger Corman before co-directing his first feature, Hollywood Boulevard. His first solo film, Piranha, successfully kickstarted his legendary career with titles like The Howling, Gremlins, The ‘Burbs, Innerspace, and more.

Joe’s dedication to preserving the history of cinema and his near encyclopedic knowledge of movies led to the creation of Trailers From Hell, a web series offering viewers a brief history lesson of movies discussed through their respective trailers.