7.2/10
169,017
259 user 211 critic

Gremlins (1984)

Trailer
2:05 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.

Director:

Joe Dante

Writer:

Chris Columbus
Reviews
Popularity
1,166 ( 279)
7 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The Gremlins are back, and this time, they've taken control of a New York media mogul's high-tech skyscraper.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, John Glover
Ghostbusters (1984)
Action | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver
Action | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The discovery of a massive river of ectoplasm and a resurgence of spectral activity allows the staff of Ghostbusters to revive the business.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver
Beetlejuice (1988)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A recently-deceased husband and wife commission a bizarre demon to drive an obnoxious family out of their home.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton
Batman (1989)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger
Action | Crime | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When a corrupt businessman and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman can stop them, while the Catwoman has her own agenda.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of 3 people with the culprit being the legendary apparition, the Headless Horseman.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson
Mars Attacks! (1996)
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Earth is invaded by Martians with unbeatable weapons and a cruel sense of humor.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker
Superman II (1980)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Superman agrees to sacrifice his powers to start a relationship with Lois Lane, unaware that three Kryptonian criminals he inadvertently released are conquering Earth.

Directors: Richard Lester, Richard Donner
Stars: Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder
Superman (1978)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An alien orphan is sent from his dying planet to Earth, where he grows up to become his adoptive home's first and greatest superhero.

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The monstrous spirit of a slain janitor seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund
Poltergeist (1982)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke, Craig T. Nelson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hoyt Axton ... Randall Peltzer
John Louie ... Chinese Boy
Keye Luke ... Grandfather (Mr. Wing)
Don Steele ... Rockin' Ricky Rialto (voice)
Susan Burgess Susan Burgess ... Little Girl
Scott Brady ... Sheriff Frank
Arnie Moore Arnie Moore ... Alex
Corey Feldman ... Pete Fountaine
Harry Carey Jr. ... Mr. Anderson
Zach Galligan ... Billy Peltzer
Dick Miller ... Murray Futterman
Phoebe Cates ... Kate Beringer
Polly Holliday ... Ruby Deagle
Donald Elson ... Man on Street (as Don Elson)
Belinda Balaski ... Mrs. Joe Harris
Edit

Storyline

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 ahmetkozan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You can't get burned seeing 'Gremlins'! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

8 June 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gremlini See more »

Filming Locations:

Universal City, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,511,000, 10 June 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$148,170,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Though he followed the basic outline of the script, Hoyt Axton is said to have improvised nearly all his lines. See more »

Goofs

In Dorry's Tavern, when Kate turns the ceiling fan on that one Gremlin is hanging on to, in the close up shots, the ceiling fan is turning counter-clockwise, but when Kate jumps over the bar set to attack more of the Gremlins with the camera flash, the ceiling fan is turning clockwise. See more »

Quotes

Randall Peltzer: Well, that's the story. So if your air conditioner goes on the fritz or your washing machine blows up or your video recorder conks out; before you call the repairman turn on all the lights, check all the closets and cupboards, look under all the beds, 'cause you never can tell there just might be a gremlin in your house.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the closing credits, once the theme has ended, you can hear the sounds of gremlins laughing. See more »

Connections

Features Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Do You Hear What I Hear?
Written by Noel Regney (uncredited) and Gloria Shayne (uncredited)
Performed by Johnny Mathis
Provided courtesy of CBS Records
Written by Noel Regney (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
It Came From The Eighties
31 March 2015 | by slokesSee all my reviews

The sort of film where a good idea suffers from a patchy script and a lot of revisions, "Gremlins" reflects the time when it was made. The 1980s were a decade of goofy gimmick movies, and "Gremlins" offers exactly that.

While scouring Chinatown to sell one of his many inventions, Randall Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) is introduced to a cute, furry critter called a "Mogwai." He names it "Gizmo" and brings it home as a pet for his son Billy (Zach Galligan). Gizmo requires special handling: no bright light, no water, and no feeding after midnight. After getting wet, Gizmo produces replicant Mogwai. "This could really be the big one," Randall says happily. He is soon proved tragically correct.

When it was released in the summer of 1984, "Gremlins" was a marvel of cinematic wizardry on account of the animatronic puppets that make up the title characters. Much of the talk around the film centered on a sequence in the Peltzer kitchen where Billy's mother (Frances Lee McCain) has to fend off various attacks from the nasty gremlins, and in doing so contributed to the creation of a new MPAA- rating, PG-13.

It's a brilliant sequence, the one moment in the film where the special effects (designed by future Oscar winner Chris Walas), the story (by Chris Columbus) and a human performance deliver on the payoff "Gremlins" promises. McCain is so intense yet so funny you can get as much from watching her face as you do from the carnage on the countertops around her. It's one of the great moments of 1980s cinema.

The rest of the time, "Gremlins" is a tonally imbalanced, under- funny concept film that doesn't do much more than flog merchandise in the guise of a story. Conceived as a straight horror film, "Gremlins" went through various changes after producer Steven Spielberg took hold of the project, so that when it finally was released, it became a scare comedy without the jokes.

Entire plot lines were dropped, but the film is so ineptly constructed that their beginnings remain. We are introduced to Billy's interest in comics, a local pub under threat of condemnation, a poor mother trying to find a way to feed her children for Christmas, an obnoxious co-worker of Billy's played by Judge Reinhold, and other things, all of which vanish when the gremlins take over the second half. None are addressed again; Reinhold, the biggest male name in the cast, disappears entirely once the gremlins attack.

Director Joe Dante does what he can to make the filler interesting. I like the Reinhold character's come-on to Billy's girlfriend Kate (Phoebe Cates), inviting her to his apartment with the tagline: "I'm talking cable." It's a very 1980s experience in that and other ways, such as when the gremlins don leg warmers and start flashdancing. But for too long a time, "Gremlins" seems to be in a holding pattern, doing nothing much at all except presenting these red- herring story lines that never get resolved while the monsters themselves wait in the wings.

It's a very goofy film. One secondary character has a consuming hatred for all foreign things, which he talks about non-stop. A science teacher runs late-night tests on a caged gremlin in a middle-school laboratory. Both father and son Peltzer are walking Murphy's Laws, where anything that can go wrong does. Once they run amok, the gremlins often wear fitted caps and coats, as if they happened upon the little people's section of L. L. Bean.

"Gremlins" kicks into a higher gear with that attack, though it never again achieves anything like the sustained brilliance of the kitchen battle with Mrs. Peltzer. The film posits at one point that the gremlins are subtle creatures who creep into machinery and make the resulting carnage seem like an accident. This would have made for an intriguing idea, but Dante and Spielberg never do anything with it. They are making a gimmick movie, and striving for audience impact in the cheapest way possible.

It's fun for young people, I suppose, and those who first saw it when they were children. Give me the sequel instead, where the comedy is much stronger and the story more engaging.


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 259 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed