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Gremlins (1984)

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

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7 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Randall Peltzer
... Chinese Boy
... Grandfather (Mr. Wing)
... Rockin' Ricky Rialto (voice)
Susan Burgess ... Little Girl
... Sheriff Frank
Arnie Moore ... Alex
... Pete Fountaine
... Mr. Anderson
... Billy Peltzer
... Murray Futterman
... Kate Beringer
... Ruby Deagle
... Man on Street (as Don Elson)
... Mrs. Joe Harris
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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 James Craver

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:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

8 June 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gremlini  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mushroom, the dog actor who played Billy's dog, Barney, also played Lance Henriksen's dog in the cult horror movie Pumpkinhead (1988). See more »

Goofs

As Mr Hanson inserts the hypodermic into the mogwais paw the blood spurts into the syringe behind the plunger before the plunger is pulled to withdraw the blood. See more »

Quotes

Chinese Boy: Look Mister, there are some rules that you've got to follow.
Billy Peltzer: Yeah, what kind of rules?
Chinese Boy: First of all, keep him out of the light, he hates bright light, especially sunlight, it'll kill him. Second, don't give him any water, not even to drink. But the most important rule, the rule you can never forget, no matter how much he cries, no matter how much he begs, never feed him after midnight.
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

Referenced in The Great Mouse Detective (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Gremlins...Mega-Madness
Performed by Michael Sembello
Words and Music by Michael Sembello, Mark Hudson and Don Freeman
Produced by Michael Sembello and Mark Hudson
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not Underrated, Just Underdeveloped
10 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

It's strange how some films become not just successful, but hugely successful. Revisiting this movie recently, it's apparent that not only is it obviously dated two decades later, but it's very much a film which is remembered as being better than it is.

It requires an obvious suspension of disbelief to accept the very arbitrary rules of keeping a Mogwai (WHY does feeding it after midnight turn it into a Gremlin?) That's par for the course for a blockbuster, and not a problem in itself. The Mogwai's mechanical movement can't help but make it look fake, but we can overlook that too. The real disappointment here is that the script, having crawled somewhat in the first half, falls away in the second, almost as if the Gremlins themselves had gotten to it in their chaotic manner. Sure, we see scenes of havoc, but to what ultimate purpose? The movie got a PG rating, but the Gremlins display the kind of behavior you wouldn't want kids to associate with, especially in the rowdy bar scene, during which Phobe Cates is behind the bar, inexplicably serving them drinks when most people would have high-tailed it out of there as soon as the little devils showed up.

The film also struggles to maintain a consistent tone. Yes, it's a comedy foremost, but with some horror thrown in. The comedy doesn't entirely work, even and especially in the scenes where the monsters run amok, and the film's lack of real tension undermines any attempt at a darker quality. It is not aided in the least by the totally nondescript Zach Galligan in the leading role. He is so bland that if he didn't keep moving you would lose him in the wallpaper. Hoyt Axton is also ineffective in a stiff, monotone performance as the hapless inventor father, whereas Francis Lee McCain gets to add some beef to her role as typical American Housewife with one of the movie's best scenes as she defends her house, most notably the kitchen, from the Gremlins. Cates and Reinhold are pedestrian in their supporting roles. The writing is such that the characters pretty much sidle up to an underwhelming resolution, putting the cap on a movie that, like one of Peltzer's inventions, promises much but soon goes haywire.


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