A group of sexy teens embark on one last outing together before going their separate ways. Little do they know that dwelling in the lush forest they have chosen to set up camp is a beast so... See full summary »
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. Written by
Gremlins (1984) has several things in common with It's a Wonderful Life (1946) e.g. the two towns have similar names, Kingston Falls and Bedford Falls; Christmas settings; a bank; characters with the name Billy; artwork; George Bailey and Billy Peltzer living with their parents; Murray Futterman's World War 2 stories and the war breaks out during the other film; both Billy and George have a dog; both towns have a heartless miser that try to control everything, Mrs Deagle and Mr Potter; the Baileys run a family business, while Pete Fountaine sells Christmas trees for his father; the door on George's car sticks while Billy's VW is also temperamental; Mrs Deagle hassles the Peltzers while Mr Potter harangues the Baileys; the reporters that try to take George's picture, and Mrs Peltzer taking Gizmo's picture and Kate stunning the Gremlins with a flashcube; Mr Potter and Mrs Deagle both like to foreclose on things; both towns have a bar, Martini's and Dorry's Pub; there are snowploughs in Bedford Falls while Mr Futterman owns one; both George and Billy receive personal calls at the bank; snow in both films; Christmas carols in both films; the broken window at the YMCA and George and Mary breaking the windows of the Granville house; both films have a swimming pool and people/Gremlins fall into them; sheriffs in both films; Christmas cards and It's a Wonderful Life (1946) started as a Christmas card; Mrs Deagle uses a chairlift while Mr Potter is a paraplegic; George feels trapped in Bedford Falls while Kate is trapped in Dorry's Pub; Dorry's packed with Gremlins and Martini's packed with customers; cash registers in both films; both towns have a cinema and a main street; the Gremlin attack takes place on Christmas Eve and the latter half of It's a Wonderful Life (1946) is on Christmas Eve; reporters in both films; Rand's money and the money that Uncle Billy misplaces, etc. See more »
Just before Pete cuts the line of Christmas lights, the Sheriff closes the window of the police car (in order to keep a gremlin out). The window is alternately open/closed in subsequent shots. See more »
A perennial Christmas favourite, Joe Dante's monster movie is a kid's film for grown ups, made when children's cinema still had real bite. Watched today, twenty-six years after it was first released, it still holds a great deal of charm for the adult viewer who grew up in the '80s. As with most of Dante's movie, a lot of the fun alone comes from the director's clear affection for the genre, watching for all the gags and references that are surely to come, such as the scene involving the classic Time Machine.
As for the rest of the movie...the depiction of small town and family life is very well realised. There's a cosy feel to film's first half. Zach Galligan is a charming hero, and Phoebe Cates the fitting object of his affection. Dick Miller, a genre standby since the '50s, has a nice role to sink his teeth into, and it's also great to see Keye Luke in a pivotal role. The supporting characters, particularly Hoyt Axton as the inventor-father, are well drawn. When the gremlins and their brand of anarchy take over, I was less impressed. The film descends into silliness I could have done without, but then picks up for a climax in which Gizmo shows his true colours, so it's not all bad. I found the sequel, GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH, to be equally fun.
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