Skip to main content

It's a Good Life (1983)

USA, 1983 (MIFF 2010, Dante's Inferno)

Director: Joe Dante

“Something like an off-Broadway cartoon designed by Chuck Jones.” - Joe Dante

Beware of seemingly sweet kids who ask you to drive them home and then invite you in to meet their family…

Made as part of an omnibus movie version of Rod Serling's famed Twilight Zone series (Steven Spielberg, John Landis and George Miller directed the other segments) this is Dante at his purest and most brilliant. A 26-minute, pastel-coloured horror masterpiece filled with monsters and cartoons and fuelled by total creative freedom, ‘It's a Good Life' is a Richard Matheson adaptation of Jerome Bixby's short story with assistance from Chuck Jones. Look for Bill Murray in the diner scene.

D Joe Dante P Jon Davison, Michael Finnell, John Landis, Steven Spielberg S Jerome Bixby, Richard Matheson TD 35mm /1983

See also...

PIRANHA (1978)

“What about the goddamn piranhas?” ... “They are eating the guests, sir.” ... A secret government plan involving flesh-eating fish causes havoc when, from a secluded secret pool, the leathal ... More »

Lightning (1995)

“I always wanted to make a western - but when I got to do it, the western was over.” - Joe Dante ... Each episode of the Norman Jewison-produced Picture Windows series was to be inspired by a ... More »

MATINEE (1993)

“In this funny, philosophical salute to B-movies and the B-Moguls who made them, Dante looks back fondly on growing up with the apocalypse always in your mind.” - Washington Post ... Genial ... More »


“Everything in my subsequent work comes from The Movie Orgy.” - Joe Dante ... Inspired by Susan Sontag's well known essay ‘Notes on Camp', as well as the very successful rerelease of the 1943 ... More »

THE ‘BURBS (1989)

“A divine comedy full of corrosive humor… and a film that anticipates the Judd Apatow comedy brand, full of immature adults who fulfill (and enjoy) themselves through all forms of regressive ... More »


“If The ‘Burbs is a one-finger exercise on the themes of Rear Window, Innerspace is a big-budget remake of North by Northwest, with a script that is in many ways even better: certainly ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director