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Gremlins (1984)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother Special Edition)
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> Holiday: Christmas
Overall Rating 77%
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Ranked #680
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Connections: Gremlins

Minature green monsters tear through the small town of Kingston Falls. Hijinks ensue as a mild-mannered bank teller releases these hideous loonies after gaining a new pet and violating two of three simple rules: No water (violated), no food after midnight (violated), and no bright light. Hilarious mayhem and destruction in a town straight out of Norman Rockwell. So, when your washing machine blows up or your TV goes on the fritz, before you call the repair man, turn on all the lights and look under all the beds. 'Cause you never can tell, there just might be a gremlin in your house. --IMDb
Hoyt Axton
Hoyt Axton
John Louie
John Louie
Keye Luke
Keye Luke
Don Steele
Don Steele
Susan Burgess
Susan Burgess
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Review by Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg
Added: December 20, 2007
In 1984, the MPAA was greatly influenced by two movies to create the PG-13 rating we have today. Both films straddled the line for being rated either PG or R with the content as a whole being a bit too mild for the R rating but at the same time containing scenes that were considered to be a bit too violent for children admitted under the PG rating. Those two movies are Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins.

For the pitiful unknowing, Gremlins is set during the glorious Christmas season as father/inventor Randall Peltzer is peddling his wares in Chinatown when he comes across a small shop and finds a present that he must have for his son. The present is a strange yet cute, furry little creature known as a mogwai. To his dismay, the owner tells him that it is not for sale as "with mogwai comes much responsibility." But behind his back, the owner's grandson sells it to Mr. Peltzer. The grandson also tells him that there are three rules that must be followed when caring for the mogwai: keep it out of bright light; do not get it wet; never feed it after midnight. Once he gets home, Mr. Peltzer gives the lovable mogwai to his son, Billy, as an early Christmas present and informs him of the rules to heed. Welllll... one rule is quickly broken as water is accidentally spilt onto the lil' feller, causing him to spawn five new mogwai. These mogwai end up being a very wild and rambunctious group with personalities different from that of the original. Soon enough, Billy is tricked by the rowdy gang into breaking another rule when he feeds them after midnight. This causes them to form pods and then metamorphose into ornery gremlins, of course. And as if five of these buggers together was not bad, after four of the five are eventually killed, the lead gremlin escapes from the house, breaks into the YMCA, and jumps into the swimming pool, thus spawning bunches and bunches of more gremlins which go on to terrorize and wreak havoc upon the town. With help from his girlfriend and mogwai, Billy tries to put a stop to the gremlins' mayhem.

I will say it up-front that there are some plot holes in this film, but I do not believe they hurt the movie since it all plays out like an exceptionally made B-movie. It is constructed very nicely overall, really dropping you into this little town of Kingston Falls, meeting a few different characters here and there in tiny yet lasting roles, such as the callous Mrs. Deagle who undeniably meets a well-deserved fate thanks to the gremlins. Rightfully so, most of the comedy is brought out by the hijinks of the wicked, reptilian-like creatures and done so in a cartoony, slapstick way with parody and black humor elements also present. A few parts that never fail to make me chuckle are seeing the family dog helplessly strung up by Christmas lights, the exhibitionist gremlin, and when the newly spawned group of mogwai are eating chicken. In addition to the the portions of entertainment in the funny-bone department, there are a couple of delightfully gruesome scenes as well, like the unforgettable kitchen sequence and the demise of Stripe. Truly, there are just so many fun moments to be found for the young and old alike in this family horror-comedy.

So after always hearing plenty of good choices when people mention their mandatory viewings for the coming holiday, I find that Gremlins always seems to be forgotten. With Christmas in the visible distance, I ask, do you hear what I hear? If so, then you really must pop this flick onto your TV or better have already done so in celebration.

8.5/10
bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 12/20/2007, 06:19 PM
This is one of those films where plot holes don't matter. "Gremlins" rocks because it is a 1980's film that is pure 1980's and pure entertainment. This is what happens when Joe Dante and Steven Spielberg get together. Perfecto. 10/10.
Chad #2: Chad - added 08/18/2008, 03:40 PM
I remembered this as being pretty lame from back when I saw it as a kid, but I saw it in the bargain bin and decided to give it another shot. It was actually much, much better than I remembered it being, even though there were a few moments where it got too cheesy for my liking. It seemed like 95% of the movie was shot with the 12 to 15-year-old demographic in mind, and I had no problems with that; what I did have a problem with was the scenes that attempted to appeal to the 5-year-old kids in the audience. Still, it's a great movie, and again, much better than I remember it being. 9/10.
Cryptorchild #3: Cryptorchild - added 10/22/2008, 10:24 AM
I watched this for the first time in a LONG time the other night. This movie is great and it's stood the test of time. It'll always be a classic in my book. You just can't help but to enjoy this movie. 9/10.
Tristan #4: Tristan - added 10/23/2008, 01:53 AM
Only 8.5? Please, this movie is perfect. I loved it when I was a kid, and I love it just as much now. Even the cheesier scenes geared for kids were good. This one will always be a personal favourite.

10/10
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