Michael Finnell is a film producer active from the 1970s to the present. He has produced several horror-comedy films, particularly with director Joe Dante. Finnell worked for American producer Roger Corman before emerging as a producer in his own right.
His first films were Avalanche (1978) and Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979), with Corman. One of the first without Corman was the movie Airplane!, in which he was listed in the end credits as "generally in charge of a lot of things". Working with Dante, Finnell then produced the modest hit The Howling in 1981 and the blockbuster Gremlins in 1984. Dante and special effects designer Chris Walas have said Finnell's producing style was influenced by Corman. Namely, Finnell was very concerned about budgeting and wanted to make sure even cheap purchases contributed to the final film. The anecdote Walas told was of Finnell engaging in long phone calls over the purchase of a kitchen knife to be used in Gremlins.
Finnell continued to produce several of Dante's films, including Explorers (1985), The 'Burbs (1989), Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), Matinee (1993) and Small Soldiers (1998). Without Dante, Finnell's films include Milk Money (1994) and Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999). For one of his films produced without Dante, Newsies, Finnell was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Picture.
|1976||Hollywood Boulevard||production assistant|
|1977||Grand Theft Auto||production manager: second unit|
|1979||Rock 'n' Roll High School||producer|
|1990||Gremlins 2: The New Batch||producer|
|1999||Teaching Mrs. Tingle||co-executive producer|
- DVD commentary; Steven Spielberg presents Gremlins. Special edition. Warner Home Video, 2002.