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
The time machine prop from The Time Machine (1960) can be seen behind Rand Peltzer when he's on the phone with his wife, while attending the convention. A moment later, the machine has disappeared (into the future or the past) to the astonishment of several onlookers. Also attending the convention are Steven Spielberg, Jerry Goldsmith and Robby the RobotSee more »
When Mr. Hanson is calling the gremlin to come out from under the desk, his mouth does not move with the words being said. 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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