Joe Dante on

The Day Mars Invaded Earth

Released 1963
Distributor 20th Century Fox

Moody, atmospheric B picture that recalls the Val Lewton formula of getting the most out of limited means. With one location and only six main characters, it manages to wring quite a bit of creepiness out of its familiar martian doppelganger premise. A nice example of our preferred format here at TFH, black-and-white Cinemascope.

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.