Michael Finnell

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Michael Finnell is a film producer active from the 1970s to the present. He has produced several horror-comedy films, particularly with the director Joe Dante. Finnell worked for the 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 the special effects designer Chris Walas have said that Finnell's producing style was influenced by Corman, in that 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.[1]

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.


Year Title Credit
1976 Hollywood Boulevard Production assistant
Cannonball Production assistant
1977 Grand Theft Auto Production manager: second unit
1978 Starhops Production manager
Avalanche Associate producer
1979 Rock 'n' Roll High School Producer
1981 The Howling Producer
1984 Gremlins Producer[2]
1985 Explorers Executive producer
1987 Innerspace Producer
1989 The 'Burbs Producer
1990 Gremlins 2: The New Batch Producer
1991 Deceived Producer
1992 Newsies Producer
1993 Matinee Producer
1994 Milk Money Producer
1998 Small Soldiers Producer
1999 Teaching Mrs. Tingle Co-executive producer


  1. ^ DVD commentary; Steven Spielberg presents Gremlins. Special edition. Warner Home Video, 2002.
  2. ^ "Gremlins is getting the 4K Special Edition treatment thanks to Zavvi". The Digital Fix. November 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2020.

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