Gremlins (1984)

   
Directed by: Joe Dante

Written by:
Chris Columbus

Starring:

Zach Galligan .... Billy Peltzer
Phoebe Cates .... Kate Beringer
Hoyt Axton .... Randall Peltzer
Frances Lee McCain .... Lynn Peltzer
Polly Holliday .... Ruby Deagle
Glynn Turman .... Roy Hanson
Corey Feldman .... Pete Fountain
Dick Miller .... Murray Futterman

Special Appearances:

Judge Reinhold .... Gerald Hopkins

Nicky Katt .... Schoolchild

Release Date:
Theatrical: June 8, 1984

*Images courtesy at: www.outnow.ch

 

Rating:

 

An inventor named Randall Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) who can't seem to get his stuff to work goes to a Chinese antique store and spots a create named Gizmo and has to have it for his son for a Christmas present but is warned not to put water or feed him after midnight and keep him away from heat or bright lights.
Randall's son Billy (Zach Galligan) is extremely happy with his present but accidentally a childhood neighbor named Pete Fountain (Corey Feldman) spilt water on Gizmo as he is cloned into other creatures that are not so friendly and seem to cause trouble.
Both Billy and his father thinks that the cloning is wonderful as they try to breed them to make money but the head creature named Stripe takes the clock cord out of the wall before the hand strikes midnight in order to tempt Billy to feed them and then when he does they are cocooned and suddenly hatch as deadly Gremlins who take over the town by raising hell killing the residents, partying and creating vandalism.
Stripe also breeds more Gremlins by jumping into a swimming pool at a Rec Centre to create a whole army.

 

The film shows off to an interesting start with a businessman named Randall Peltzer offering his inventions that go wrong in which this offers some fine tastes to add in the comedy along with the horror story here. Also it looks neat that the critter Gizmo is revealed which looks cute hearing him sing. Also nice one liners with someone warning him what not to do especially on the dangers of feeding Gizmo after midnight which leaves a good impression here.
A nice funny scene with a greedy character named Ruby Deagle having a selfish attitude when someone asked her for a donation in which this almost was done in a total Scrooge type of fashion but with a female instead as it looked impressive as well as well put in for the story too making you think that she will be a perfect victim when the terror happens here. Plus there's a good laughing scene when she demands Randall's son Billy for his pet dog after causing trouble on her property causing destruction in which the dog leaps out and jumps on her with her freaking out while this little pet was acting harmless. Good timing for the comedy here indeed.
More nice writing wit an assistant employee of Billy's named Gerald Hopkins running into him at a bar and giving him a rough time by acting cocky which reminds you of those idiotic types that you have to work with on how this was put in.
Plus a nice discouraging moment when Billy's young friend Pete Fountain accidentally knocks over some water and it spills on Gizmo as this definetely leaves an impression that something bad is going to happen in which there's neat effects with furrballs popping out of Gizmo's back and we spot them forming into other types of critters like Gizmo but yet they seem to look a bit more evil.
Also there's a moment when Pete was going to touch one of them and you have a deep sinking feeling that one of them will bite and that's just what happens which was also nicely put in having a dreadful feeling that these critters are soon to be gremlins for sure.
It looks cute when we spot them playing a Donkey Kong pocket video game and going at it bringing back the memories of 80's video games along with a nice one liner on Billy telling his Dad that one of them with a big stripe on his head seems to be the leader of the pack in which we all remember him being the deadly one while continuing watching the story as well as discussions with the fans talking about it who saw this flick.
Also we spot them feasting on some friend chicken and the clock says half hour to midnight yet you think that there's some catch here since these obnoxious group of animals have some sort of a deadly plan in which tyou can tell on how they react towards one another. Meanwhile a nice shot on Billy untying his dog with outdoor Xmas lights which we can hint who did this too. Another good one to spot knowing that these cute little beasts are total troublemakers planning for more recklessness to come along the way.
The next day looked dark exposing some sort of dark eggs in which this reminded me of Alien on how this was all displayed on those critters causing trouble making you think that when they're hatched the terror is about to happen. It gives you a creepy sinking feeling without a doubt.
We spot a science teacher in a dark classroom trying to offer his gremlin a candy bar in which he reaches his hand down below where this thing is hiding which is spooky enough having a feeling that he will get hurt but this was nicely shot on his hand reaching under.
It's also creepy with the Billy's Mom trying to be cautious while grabbing a knife to try and search what she hears inside the house as well as Billy calling her up to tell her to get out of the house which leaves another chill down your spine for sure. Then the action stirs up which looks great to watch with her trying to battle these creepy monsters revealing themselves as they looked ugly big time as wellas classic moments we all remember with her blowing some of them up in a microwave or grinding one of them. This was all done in great style.
The dark comedy comes into the story too to try and make up the scary moments here with the cold hearted Ruby spotting Gremlins singing carols on her front step or the leader Stripe running over a house with a bulldozer which gave me some chuckles as the timing looked perfect showing troublemakers gone wrong big time.
Some neat dark special effects when we spot Stripe jumping into a pool at the YMCA with lighting and bubbling effects on the pool which also looks frighteningly entertaining knowing that this creature will breed with more gramlins making the story become more suspenseful. A perfect touch indeed to this plotline.
Then it lightens up more with the dark comedy spotting gremlins acting reckless and drunk at a bar and playing cards as well as getting deminding towards Billy's girlfriend Kate Beringer who was a bartender for more drinks. Ya had to laugh while spotting this moment in which this looked silly but in a good way and entertaining too.
Then there's the classic battle in a store in which we even spot Stripe trying to attack Billy with a chainsaw which works in well since it's a tradition in a horror flick to use something like this as well as Gizmo using a toy car to try and be heroic on battling this troublemaker. Nice special effects on what happens to Stripe in the final battle here.
The ending is a bit sad though and quite touching too. It might make you want to cry but yet it seems necessary after all the terrors that has happened in the story.
Bottom line is that this is a real 80's classic for teenagers as it blends well with both dark comedy and horror together with some good laughs too.
Imagine you have a cute little creature but have to be very careful what you do else it can have evil clones and this is just what happens.
It also brings the imagination of having a major troublemaker making your life a living hell but these creatures take your life too but love to have a wild time by doing it which makes you laugh as well as being frightened. However you could tell it was a set at Universal Studios when there's snow in which it looks obviously fake but back then it looked pretty good.
The film was produced by Steven Spielberg as every film he touches turns to gold. Check this out as it's alot of fun to watch with a great story and performance which inspired films like Critters, Ghoulies and Munchies.

The acting is terrifically performed as Zach Galligan (Billy Peltzer) does a great job as an outgoing teen in the film showing nice characteristics to his as well as bringing on alot of great emotions and spunk into what he does in the story. He brings off a ton of great charisma and energy too which is another great plus for him. There's a great effect with him by talking to his onscreen Mom on the phone telling her to get out of the house which leaves a perfect horror effect on how he says this to her which shows good serious emotions. He's a true character actor without a doubt.
Phoebe Cates
(Kate Beringer) performs nicely as well and always enjoyed her work in shows since I spotted her in Fast Times at Ridgemont High as she is good with her energy and emotions too. Plus she shows some nice stressful energy in many scene's of the story as well as really getting into what she does here.
Does a great job acting stressed out at a bar and really showing great anxiety with everything going on when Gremlins are invading it. Offers nice disturbed and upsetting actions with a past life that she dicusses and gets into it a great deal.
Hoyt Axton
(Randall Peltzer) stole the film with his performance bringing total with and charm to his role as a terrible inventor and family man. He knew his craft terrifically well. Plus he also shows a great likeable attitude into what he does. I always enjoyed his performances in the shows that I've seen him in and really shows it here too. There's great energy with him offering money during the first bit of his performance and acting anxious and excited which was done at a great pace here. Bless his soul.
Frances Lee McCain (Lynn Peltzer) does great with her tough and frightened attitude in her role as the housewife who can really go far if anyone saw her in this film. She certainly shows the great vengeful aggression in what she does plus is believeable as someone with a good hearted and open minded attitude in her actions too. She does well with her anxious reactions after what she spots as well as showing great energy trying to fight back as she does well with her blocking and how she was directed into doing all of this. A nice menacing expression on her holding a spray can against another Gremlin. We have some great blocking with her by chopping a head off a Gremlin with the head landing in a fireplace. She does well reacting to a Gremlin attacking her with terror.
Polly Holliday
(Ruby Deagle) played the nice comedic nasty neighbor in the film in which she made a nice nasty female Scrooge type of character. She knew how to show some wicked actions to her part inside out. I found her to be very witty and can make you laugh in a good way with how she performed in her supporting role and lived to play it too. A natural ham she was. We have a funny discussion towards her fellow actor acting threatening at a bank with her hissing anger which was impressive. She shows great reactions when a dog attacks her.
Corey Feldman (Pete Fountain) knew his stuff perfectly well as a mischievious little kid and shows alot of good spunk into his part of the film by having a believeable innocent and curious attitude in whatever he does throughout his performance. Does well by spending time with Gizmo as he was believeable as a happy and friendly kid with a pet. He was perfectly charming with his personality.
Dick Miller
(Murray Futterman) really knew how to portray a drunk in the film as he will be well remembered even if he didn't have alot of scene's in the film. He was another ham in his role and was great by being silly and energetic throughout his performance. Reacts well to being in terror near the end of his performance.
Judge Reinhold
(Gerald Hopkins) only had a small role in the film but does well with his work as a stuck up assistant employer at a bank as it makes you think of someone you hated to work for.
He shows alot of witty behavior and got into this part big time. Showed off a great snotty attitude towards his fellow actor at a bar. I was never disappointed in what I saw him in either and he gives the film a nice touch.

A Gremlin is grinded in some sort of a grinder spinning around with green Gremlin blood. splattering around.
A Gremlin explodes in a microwave.
A Gremlin's head is chopped off and landed in a fireplace.
A Gremlin melts from heat.

We have some excellent orchestral violin and synthesizer action music for the film making each scene very strong and necessary for the plotlines all composed by Jerry Goldsmith. There's especially a great funky keyboard playing for the theme song which was used in parts of the movie as well as the ending of it which is very catchy on what the plot was.

Ruby Deagle: Mrs Harris, what are you trying to tell me?
Mrs. Joe Harris: I'm afraid none of us can pay for two weeks. Couldn't you just get Mr.Corben to just give us a little more time?
Ruby Deagle: Mrs Harris, the bank and I have the same purpose in life - to make money. Not to support a lot of... deadbeats!
Mrs. Joe Harris: Mrs Deagle! It's Christmas!
Ruby Deagle: Well, now you know what to ask Santa for, don't you?

Ruby Deagle: I want your dog.
Billy Peltzer: Barney?
Ruby Deagle: Give him to me. I'll take him to the kennel, they'll put him to sleep. It will be quick and painless compared to what I would do to him.
Billy Peltzer: What could you do?
Ruby Deagle: I'll catch the beast myself. He'll get what he deserves, a slow painful death.Maybe I'll put him in my spin-drier on high heat.
Mr. Anderson: That would do it all right!
[Barney then jumps from the bank counter and smashes Mrs Deagle's snowman head and starts barking at her]

Mr. Corben: What is that dog doing in here?
Gerald: Peltzer, this is a bank, not a pet-store.
Mr. Corben: Very good, Gerald.
Gerald: Thank you, Mr. Corben.

Gerald: If it isn't Captain Clip-On. Guess who almost signed for unemployment today?
Billy Peltzer: I give up.
Gerald: You... But Mr. Corben had second thoughts. He gets so sentimental around the holidays.
Billy Peltzer: Imagine that.
Gerald: If it was up to me, I would have fired you in a second.
Billy Peltzer: Well, a merry Christmas to you too.

[repeated line]
Gizmo: Bright light. Bright light.

Pete: One, two, three, four, five new ones. NOW can I have one?
Billy Peltzer: I don't know, Pete.
Pete: Hey, look! That one's got a cute little stripe on its head. Hey, cutie.
[Pete attempts to pet the baby mogwai, who, in response, snarls and attempts to bite Pete]

Lynn Peltzer: [shocked to see eggs in Billy's basement] What are they?
Billy Peltzer: They're the Mogwai... I guess.
Lynn Peltzer: Did you give them water?
Billy Peltzer: No.
Lynn Peltzer: Did you feed them after midnight?
Billy Peltzer: Well, I gave them some chicken
[realises about his clock]
Billy Peltzer: No, wait, I made sure
[goes over to his clock and founds out that his clock has been ripped off it's cords]
Billy Peltzer: Mom, what's going on here?

Gizmo: Uh oh.

Lynn Peltzer: Get Out Of My Kitchen!

Murry Futterman, Billy's neighbor: [drunk, looking inside his car] Gremlins...
Murry Futterman, Billy's neighbor: [turning to Billy and Kate] You got-you gotta watch out for them forgeiners cuz they plant gremlins in their machinery.
[he climbs inside the car]
Murry Futterman, Billy's neighbor: It's the same gremlins that brought down our planes in the big one.
Kate: [laughing] The big one...
Murry Futterman, Billy's neighbor: [turning round] that's right! World war two.
[he puts his hand to his head]
Murry Futterman, Billy's neighbor: Good old WWII.
Murry Futterman, Billy's neighbor: [Murray tries to start his car] Y'know their still shippin them over here. They put em in cars, they put em in yer tv. They put em in stereos and those little radios you stick in your ears. They even put em in watches, they have teeny gremlins for our watches!

Kate: Now I have another reason to hate Christmas.
Billy Peltzer: What are you talking about?
Kate: The worst thing that ever happened to me was on Christmas. Oh, God. It was so horrible. It was Christmas Eve. I was 9 years old. Me and Mom were decorating the tree, waiting for Dad to come home from work. A couple hours went by. Dad wasn't home. So Mom called the office. No answer. Christmas Day came and went, and still nothing. So the police began a search. Four or five days went by. Neither one of us could eat or sleep. Everything was falling apart. It was snowing outside. The house was freezing, so I went to try to light up the fire. That's when I noticed the smell. The firemen came and broke through the chimney top. And me and Mom were expecting them to pull out a dead cat or a bird. And instead they pulled out my father. He was dressed in a Santa Claus suit. He'd been climbing down the chimney... his arms loaded with presents. He was gonna surprise us. He slipped and broke his neck. He died instantly. And that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus.

Kate: What're they doing?
Billy Peltzer: They're watching Snow White. And they love it.

[Concession Stand at Movie Theater, Stripe pears his head inside the empty popcorn bin, sniffing around]
Stripe: Yum?
[looks across the street and sees the candy store]
Stripe: AH. Yum. Yum.

[at start of film, Mr. Peltzer is willing to pay $200 for Mogwai]
Grandfather: I'm sorry. Mogwai not for sale.
Randall Peltzer: Why not? You said everything in your grandfather's store was for sale.
Grandfather: With Mogwai, comes much responsibility. I cannot sell him at any price.
[at end of film after tons of mayhem errupted and is being shown on the news]
Grandfather: I warned you. With mogwai comes much responsibility. But you didn't listen.
[gestures at television]
Grandfather: And you see what happens.
Randall Peltzer: I'm sorry. I didn't mean it...
Grandfather: You do with mogwai what your society... has done with all of nature's gifts. You do not understand.
[entire Peltzer family is speechless with guilt]
Grandfather: You are not ready.

Gizmo: Bye Billy.