A few weeks ago, Tony Visco handed me a blast from our Alma mater’s past — The Philadelphia College of Art’s yearbook from 1968!This collection of film makers had special significance to me because I recognized one of the graduates immediately!
It’s Joe Dante! He directed the Gremlins movies, the best part of The Twilight Zone movie, and my favorite werewolf movie The Howling among many others. I had convinced two fellow freshmen to come out with me to watch a double bill of The Howling and another wolf-themed movie Wolfen at one of the grindhouse movie theaters operating on Chestnut Street a few blocks from The Philadelphia College of Art. I think it was all of our first experiences with a movie theater in the big city, and the crowd was pretty boisterous. I stuck around for both films while my buddies ditched the second feature finding the audience scarier than the movie! Fortunately Dante’s movie was first so they got to experience a cinematic triumph by one of our alumni!
This group with their exploitation movie posters and comic book tee-shirts look like the most fun group of graduates I posted thus far. It doesn’t look like they wasted a lot of time expounding on French cinema or watching a print of Potemkin over and over again.
Dante eventually went to work for Roger Corman cutting together exploitation trailers and eventually ended up directing. Judging from this photo, he was always aimed in that direction.