You’ve probably figured this out by now. I love the work of Joe Dante. Whether that be Gremlins, Innerspace or The ‘Burbs to name a few of the films he has directed. There is always a mischievousness that comes through in all of his movies and TV shows that I am drawn to. Certainly that is why back in 1989 I really wanted to see The ‘Burbs when it played at our local Drive-In.
Not only was I already a Joe Dante fan when The ‘Burbs hit theaters. Additionally I was a huge fan of both Tom Hanks as well as Bruce Dern. Hanks thanks of course to his roles in Bosom Buddies, Splash, and Dragnet. And Dern was the lead in one of my all-time favorite science fiction films, 1972’s Silent Running.
The ‘Burbs works so exceptionally well thanks to it it’s ensemble cast. Besides Hanks and Dern you have Carrie Fisher, Rick Ducommun, Corey Feldman, Wendy Schaal, Dick Miller, Gale Gordon, and Henry Gibson. All portraying suburbanites who find themselves in a bizarre mystery when new neighbors arrive on the block.
In fact I think a better description is that the film is actually a thriller/horror/comedy. Hanks’ role as Ray Peterson is an everyman. His sole wish is to be able to experience a relaxing vacation at home. Sadly, his neighbors have other plans, in particular his friend Art (Ducommun). Who has begun to believe that those new neighbors, the Klopeks, are not just strange…but murderers!
This viewpoint of the Klopeks quickly begins to spread to the rest of the neighbors. Before you can say The Monsters are Due on Maple Street, the once peaceful cul-de-sac that is Mayfield Place is turned upside down. However unlike in that famous Twilight Zone episode, the actions of the neighborhood are incredibly funny.
Personally I feel that while Dern almost steals the entire film, it is the late Ducommun that really shines. Hanks and Fisher naturally are great but their roles are mainly to provide the foils to Ducommun’s antics. Like many Dante films, the humor can cross over into the slapstick but it always feels appropriate.
With The ‘Burbs Blu-Ray collector’s edition being released by Shout! Select, you know there are special features:
- 2017 2K Scan Of The Interpositive
- Interviews With Director Joe Dante, Editor Marshall Harvey, And Director Of Photography (Additional Scenes) John Hora
- Audio Commentary With Writer Dana Olsen, Moderated By Author Calum Waddell
- There Goes The Neighborhood: The Making Of The ‘Burbs – Includes Interviews With Director Joe Dante, Actors Corey Feldman, Courtney Gaines, And Wendy Schaal, Director Of Photography Robert M. Stevens, And Production Designer James H. Spencer
- Alternate Ending
- Original Workprint From Joe Dante’s Archive (Includes Deleted And Extended Scenes)
- Behind-The-Scenes Still Gallery
- Stills And Posters Gallery
- Theatrical Trailer
Now you can visit the Shout! Factory official site and pre-order your copy of The ‘Burbs, right now. Or wait until next week when it’s released on the 20th to better stores everywhere.
Want to see what Siskel and Ebert thought about The ‘Burbs?
[Via] Oiler Fanatic 1