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Gremlins

theatrical poster by John Alvin[1]
Directed by Joe Dante
Produced by Steven Spielberg (exec.)
Michael Finnell
Written by Chris Columbus
Starring Zach Galligan
Phoebe Cates
Hoyt Axton
Frances Lee McCain
Dick Miller
Polly Holliday
Judge Reinhold
Keye Luke
Roger Garth
Corey Feldman
John Louie
Michael Winslow
Ben Develing
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography John Hora
Editing by Tina Hirsch
Studio Amblin Entertainment
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) June 8, 1984
August 30, 1985 (re-release)
Running time 106 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $11,000,000
Gross revenue $153,083,102
Followed by Gremlins 2: The New Batch

Gremlins is an American comedy horror film directed by Joe Dante and released in 1984 by Warner Bros. It is about a young man who receives a strange creature (called a mogwai) named Gizmo as a pet, which then spawns other creatures who transform into small, destructive, evil monsters. This story was continued with a sequel, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, released in 1990. Unlike the lighter sequel, the original Gremlins opts for more black comedy, which is balanced against a Christmas-time setting. Both films were the center of large merchandising campaigns.

Steven Spielberg was the film's executive producer, with the screenplay written by Chris Columbus. The film stars Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates, with Tom Petty providing the voice of Gizmo. The actors had to work alongside numerous puppets, as puppetry was the main form of special effects used to portray Gizmo and the gremlins.

Gremlins was a commercial success and received positive feedback from critics. However, the film has also been heavily criticized for some of its more violent sequences. Critics alleged these scenes made the film inappropriate for younger audiences who could be admitted into theatres under its PG rating. In response to this and to similar complaints about other films, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) reformed its rating system within two months of its release.

In this film, the Amblin Entertainment logo makes its first on-screen appearance, displayed as "An Amblin Entertainment Presentation" as part of the end credits in place of the original logo.

Contents

Plot

Randall Peltzer (Axton) is an inventor of modest abilities and questionable success. From the fictional community of Kingston Falls, he travels to Chinatown in Manhattan to sell his inventions and pick up a present for his son, Billy. A young Chinese boy (Louie) there takes Randall to his grandfather's small shop, where Randall takes interest in a small cute furry creature called a mogwai (which in Cantonese translates literally as "monster"). Mr. Wing (Luke), the Chinese boy's grandfather and owner of the shop, refuses to sell the mogwai, even when Randall offers $200 for it. This is money that the Wing family desperately needs, however, so Wing's grandson secretly sells the mogwai to Randall. Though the creature seems innocent enough, the grandson warns Randall that he must not let the mogwai near bright light, especially sunlight, which can kill the mogwai; must not allow water to touch the mogwai (water causes reproduction roughly equivalent to one new mogwai per drop); and, most importantly, must never, ever feed it after midnight (which triggers its metamorphosis into a beast called a gremlin). Although he is told the rules, he remains unaware of the consequences.

Randall names the creature "Gizmo" and brings him home to his son Billy. Billy (Galligan) has taken up a job at the bank to provide money for his parents, with whom he lives. He has a dog called Barney whose mischief makes him and Billy the targets of harassment by Ruby Deagle (Holliday), an elderly woman wielding much financial influence. Billy's coworker and love interest Kate Beringer (Cates), a local bartender, sees directly the misery in the town caused by Mrs. Deagle's business practices.

Billy is fascinated with Gizmo, who is highly intelligent, can hum a tune, and proves to be a very gentle and well-behaved creature. Unfortunately, Billy's friend, Pete Fountaine (Feldman), accidentally spills water on Gizmo. This causes Gizmo to go into convulsions and instantly multiply, spawning five new mogwai by a process that appears painful to him. These new mogwai are much more aggressive than Gizmo. They are led by the mogwai Stripe, who has a white mohawk hairstyle. Billy later brings one to Pete's science teacher Roy Hanson (Glynn Turman), and adds a drop of water to it to create another one. Roy aggravates the mogwai by sticking a needle in it for a blood test. Ignoring Billy's cautions, Roy leaves food out, which the mogwai promptly steals and eats after midnight.

Eventually, the new mogwai trick Billy into feeding them after midnight by stopping his alarm clock. All the creatures, except Gizmo, who refused to accept the food, soon form cocoons around themselves. While Billy is at the bank, the cocoons hatch, and the mogwai emerge, having transformed into "gremlins". In this form, they possess fangs, claws, red eyes, and dark green reptilian skin, and are extremely reckless. Billy travels to the school to talk to Mr. Hanson, only to find him killed by the gremlin at the school. Billy is injured and races to warn his mother (McCain), who is now alone with the gremlins, and comes into conflict with them. She manages to kill three, using household tools as weapons. While she is being strangled by a surviving gremlin, Billy arrives and saves her by lopping its head off it into the living room fireplace with an ornamental sword. The only remaining gremlin in the house is Stripe, who escapes. Billy follows him to the local YMCA, but the creature escapes once more by jumping into a swimming pool. Realizing what is about to occur, Billy flees, while Stripe multiplies into a multitude of gremlins.

Billy then takes Gizmo to the police station, in an effort to warn the townsfolk. The policemen ignore them to investigate a series of bizarre accidents, which Billy insists are the work of the gremlins. Meanwhile, Stripe and his gremlin army attack the town, assaulting the population. Only one fighting back is Pete who manages to defend himself through his bedroom window from them all, including at one point cutting the christmas lights some of the gremilns were trying to climb. Billy then rushes to Dorry's Tavern to rescue Kate, who has been bartending that night. The gremlins have taken over the tavern, are behaving in an exceedingly vulgar fashion, and force Kate to serve them. She eventually discovers they are frightened by light when she attempts to light one's cigarette. She then knocks down several through flash photography, and is later reunited with Billy. The two seek shelter in the bank while the gremlins wreak havoc upon Kingston Falls. Notably, the creatures kill Mrs. Deagle by supercharging her stairlift into a deadly catapult that launches her through a window, and almost kill Billy's neighbors, the Futtermans, by driving a snowplow through their house. And Kate tells Billy and Gizmo that her fears of Christmas culminated as a child when her father was accidentally killed trying to sneak down the chimney as Santa Claus. When Billy, Kate, and Gizmo reemerge, they find that the gremlins are gone from the streets and are happily watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in a local theater. Billy manages to blow up the theater, whereupon all the gremlins burn to death except Stripe, who had left briefly to obtain candy.

Billy pursues Stripe through a department store, but Stripe escapes and reaches a water fountain, hoping to reproduce once again. By this time it is morning, and Gizmo, having escaped with the help of Billy and Kate, opens a window blind and exposes Stripe to sunlight before he can spawn new gremlins. Screeching and groaning in agony, Stripe perishes, slowly melting into a puddle of green ooze.

At the end of the film, Mr. Wing returns to collect Gizmo to prevent any recurrence of trouble. After giving back the $200 that Randall paid, Mr. Wing observes that while Western society is not ready to properly care for a mogwai, Billy may one day be so. Randall, in a narration, ends the story warning the audience to take precautions in the case of any machinery failure in their homes—because a gremlin just might be present.

Production

Background

Gremlins was produced during a time when combining horror with comedy became increasingly popular. The film Ghostbusters, released on the same weekend as Gremlins, and later Beetlejuice (1988), The 'Burbs (1989), and other such films, were part of this growing trend. The new genre seemed to emphasize sudden shifts between humorous and horrific scenes, and/or drawing laughs with plot elements that have been traditionally used to scare. The comic strip The Far Side indicated this was a broader cultural phenomenon. However, this drew from older precedent, such as the film Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) and the 1960s TV series, The Addams Family and The Munsters.[2]

The notion of gremlins was first conceived during World War II, when mechanical failures in aircraft were jokingly blamed on the small monsters. Gremlins entered popular culture as children's author Roald Dahl published a book called The Gremlins in 1943 based on the mischievous creatures.[3] Dante had read The Gremlins and claimed this book was of some influence to his film. Dahl's story is referenced in the film when the character Mr. Futterman, played by Dick Miller, drunkenly warns Billy and Kate of foreign technology sabotaged by gremlins: "It's the same gremlins that brought down our planes in the big one... That's right, World War II."[4]

Falling Hare, a Merrie Melodies cartoon short featuring Bugs Bunny and a gremlin, was released by Warner Bros., also in 1943. In 1983, Dante publicly distanced his work from earlier films. He explained, "Our gremlins are somewhat different—they're sort of green and they have big mouths and they smile a lot and they do incredibly, really nasty things to people and enjoy it all the while."[5]

Initial stages

The story of Gremlins was conceived by Chris Columbus. As Columbus explained, his inspiration came from his loft, when at night "what sounded like a platoon of mice would come out and to hear them skittering around in the blackness was really creepy."[6] He then wrote the original screenplay as a "writing sample" to show potential employers that he had writing abilities. The story was not actually intended to be filmed until Spielberg took an interest in it.[4] As Spielberg explained, "It's one of the most original things I've come across in many years, which is why I bought it."[5]

Spielberg chose Dante as his director because of Dante's experience with horror-comedy; Dante had directed The Howling (1981), though in the time between The Howling and the offer to film Gremlins, he had experienced a lull in his career.[4] The film's producer was Michael Finnell, who had also worked on The Howling. Spielberg took the project to Warner Bros. and also produced it with his own company, Amblin Entertainment.

The film's script went through a few drafts before a shooting script was finalized. The first version was much darker. Scenes were cut portraying Billy's mother dying in her struggle with the gremlins, with her head thrown down the stairs when Billy arrives. Dante later explained the scene made the film darker than what the filmmakers wanted. There was a scene where the gremlins ate Billy's dog, and a scene where the gremlins attacked a McDonald's, eating the customers but not the burgers. Also, instead of Stripe being a mogwai who becomes a gremlin, there was no Stripe mogwai and Gizmo was supposed to turn into Stripe the gremlin. Spielberg overruled this plot element because he felt Gizmo was cute and audiences would want him to be present at all stages of the film.[4]

There is a famous urban legend referenced in the film,[7] in which Kate reveals in a speech that her father died on a Christmas when he dressed as Santa Claus and broke his neck climbing down the family's chimney. Later, the filmed speech would be controversial, as studio executives insisted upon its removal, because they felt it was too ambiguous as to whether it was supposed to be funny or sad. Dante stubbornly refused to take the scene out, saying it represented the film as a whole, which had a combination of horrific and comedic elements. Spielberg did not like the scene but, despite his creative control, he viewed Gremlins as Dante's project and left it in.[4] A parody of this scene is featured in Gremlins 2: The New Batch.

Casting

The character of Kate is played by Phoebe Cates. She received the role despite concerns that she was known for playing more risque parts, such as Linda Barrett in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). Spielberg urged the casting of the relatively unknown Zach Galligan for Billy, because Spielberg saw chemistry between Galligan and Cates during auditions. Galligan later compared himself to Billy, saying he was a "geeky kid- and so being... in this picture for me was really kind of a dream, I mean what I get to do, what my character gets to do, blow up movie theatres... got to work with great people."[4]

In contrast to Galligan, many of the supporting actors and actresses were better known; many were longtime character actors. Veteran actor Glynn Turman portrayed the high school science teacher whose study of a mogwai leads to his death after it forms a cocoon. Dick Miller was yet another experienced actor on the set, playing a World War II veteran who first refers to the creatures as gremlins. With so many experienced actors on the set, Galligan had the opportunity to query them about their careers. Rand was played by Hoyt Axton, who was always the filmmakers' preferred choice for the role even though it was widely contested by other actors. Axton's experience included acting as the father in The Black Stallion (1979), and he was also a country music singer-songwriter. Because an introductory scene to Gremlins was cut, Axton's voice earned him the added role of the narrator to establish some context. Mr. Wing was played by Keye Luke, a renowned film actor. Although he was around 80 in reality and his character is very elderly, Luke's youthful appearance required make-up to cover.[4]

Corey Feldman, who up to this time had primarily been in commercials, played Pete Fountaine, establishing his early credentials as a child actor.

Polly Holliday, an actress best known for her role in Alice, played Mrs. Deagle. Dante considered the casting fortunate, as she was well-known and he considered her to be talented. Ironically, two other well-known actors, Fast Times' Judge Reinhold and character actor Edward Andrews, received roles that were significantly reduced after the film was edited. They played Billy's superiors at the bank.[4]

Special effects

The performances were shot on the backlot of Universal Studios in California. This required fake snow; Dante also felt it was an atmosphere that would make the special effects more convincing. As the special effects relied mainly on puppetry, the actors worked alongside some of the puppets. Nevertheless, after the actors finished their work for good, a great deal of work was spent finishing the effects. Numerous small rubber puppets, some of which were mechanical, were used to portray Gizmo and the gremlins. They were designed by Chris Walas. There was more than one Gizmo puppet, and occasionally Galligan, when carrying one, would set him down off camera, and when Gizmo appeared again sitting on a surface it was actually a different puppet wired to the surface. These puppets had many limitations. The Gizmo puppets were particularly frustrating because they were smaller and thus broke down more. Consequently, to satisfy the crew, a scene was included in which the gremlins hang Gizmo on a wall and throw darts at him.[4]

A few marionettes were also used. Other effects required large mogwai faces and ears to be produced for close-ups, as the puppets were less capable of conveying emotion. Consequently, large props simulating food were needed for the close-ups in the scene in which the mogwai feast after midnight. An enlarged Gizmo puppet was also needed for the scene in which he multiplies. The new mogwai, who popped out of Gizmo's body as small, furry balls which then started to grow, were balloons and expanded as such. Walas had also created the exploding gremlin in the microwave by means of a balloon that was allowed to burst.[4]

Howie Mandel provided the voice for Gizmo, and the prolific voice actor Frank Welker provided the voice for Stripe. It was Welker who suggested Mandel perform in Gremlins. The puppets' lines were mostly invented by the voice actors, based on cues from the physical actions of the puppets, which were filmed before the voice work. Mandel also chose the type of voice for Gizmo, which was baby-like, based on what had been done. Mandel explained, Gizmo was "cute and naive, so, you know, I got in touch with that... I couldn't envision going any other way or do something different with it. I didn't try a few different voices."[4]

Music

The film's score was written by Jerry Goldsmith. For his effort, he won a Saturn Award for Best Music. The main score was written with the objective of conveying "the mischievous humor and mounting suspense of Gremlins."[6] As the filmmakers recalled, the so-called "Gremlin Rag" came across not as "horror music" but as "circus music," and some cited it as an influence to their later work on the film. Within the story, Gizmo was capable of singing or humming. Goldsmith wrote Gizmo's song as well, but Mandel never sang it. A girl Goldsmith knew was hired to sing Gizmo's song, although she had never worked in films before.[4]

Songs heard in the film include "Gremlins... Mega-Madness" by Michael Sembello. This song is played while the gremlins party in the bar, and one break dances to it. The Peter Gabriel song "Out Out," produced in collaboration with Nile Rodgers, is also heard in the bar scene. Darlene Love's song "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" plays over the opening credits.

Reception

Critical reaction

The reactions of film critics to Gremlins varied. Roger Ebert was approving, calling the film not only "fun" but a "sly series of send-ups," effectively parodying many elemental film story-lines. In his opinion, Gremlins does this partly through depictions of mysterious worlds (the shop in Chinatown) and tyrannical elderly women (Mrs. Deagle). Ebert also believed the rule in which a mogwai cannot eat after midnight was inspired by fairy tales, and that the final scenes parody the classic horror films. He connected Kate's speech about her father with "the great tradition of 1950s sick jokes."[8] Conversely, Leonard Maltin disapproved in remarks on the television show Entertainment Tonight. He called the film "icky" and "gross."[9] Later, he wrote in his book that despite being set in a "picture-postcard town" and blending the feel of It's a Wonderful Life (from which a clip appears in Gremlins) with that of The Blob, the film is "negated by too-vivid violence and mayhem." He thus gave the film two out of four stars.[10] Maltin actually made an appearance in Gremlins 2 and repeated his criticisms of the original on film, as an in-joke, being throttled by the creatures as a result; he gave the second film a more positive rating, three out of four stars.

While some critics criticized the film's depictions of violence and greed–such as death scenes, Kate's speech, and the gremlins' gluttony–as lacking comic value, one scholar interpreted these instead as a satire of "some characteristics of Western civilization." The film may suggest that Westerners take too much satisfaction out of violence. Gremlins can also be interpreted as a statement against technology, in that some characters, like Billy's father, are over-dependent on it. In contrast, Mr. Wing is shown having a strong distaste for television.[11] Kirkpatrick Sale also interpreted Gremlins as an anti-technology film in his book Rebels Against the Future.[12] One scholar suggested the film is meant to express a number of observations of society by having the gremlin characters shift in what they are meant to represent. At different times, they are depicted as teenagers, the wealthy establishment, or fans of Disney films.[13] The film the gremlins had been watching in the theatre before Billy blew it up was Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Another scholar drew a connection between the microwave scene and urban legends about pets dying in microwave ovens. He described the portrayal of this urban legend in the film as successful, but that meant it seemed terrible.[14] This is indeed a scene that is thought of as being one of the film's most violent; even Ebert expressed some fear in his review that the film might encourage children to try similar things with their pets.[8] TV edits of the second film remove most of the microwave scene, due to similar concerns.

'Gremlins has been criticized for more than its depictions of violence. One BBC critic wrote in 2000 that "The plot is thin and the pacing is askew." However, that critic also complimented the dark humour contrasted against the ideal Christmas setting.[15] In 2002, another critic wrote that in hindsight Gremlins has "corny special effects" and that the film will likely appeal to children more so than to adults. He also said the acting was dull.[16]

However, decades after its debut, Gremlins is considered by many as one of the best films of 1984.[17][18][19] It currently holds a 78% "Certified Fresh" rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 40 reviews.[20] In 2008, the film was selected by Empire Magazine as one of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.[21]

Charges of racism

Some people have criticized Gremlins as being culturally insensitive. Some observers have commented that the film presents gremlins as African Americans,[13] and in an unflattering manner. At the time of its release, some members of the African American community protested that the film was racist. These critics suggested that the creatures exhibit some of the worst stereotypical behavior attributed to blacks: wild, drunken, violent, murderous, seductive and lascivious. In Ceramic Uncles & Celluloid Mammies, Patricia Turner writes that the gremlins "reflect negative African-American stereotypes" in their dress and behavior. They are shown "devouring fried chicken with their hands," listening to black music, breakdancing, and wearing sunglasses after dark and newsboy caps, a style common among African American males in the 1980s.[22]

Awards

Gremlins won numerous awards, including the 1985 Saturn Awards for Best Director, Best Horror Film, Best Music, and Best Special Effects, and Holliday won the award for Best Supporting Actress. The film also won Germany's Golden Screen Award and the 1985 Young Artist Award for Best Family Motion Picture (Adventure). Corey Feldman, who played Billy's young friend, was also nominated for the Young Artist Award for Best Young Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Musical, Comedy, Adventure or Drama.

Gremlins and audiences

The DVD cover in 1999, featuring the character Stripe

Gremlins was a commercial success. It was filmed on a budget of $11,000,000, making it more expensive than Spielberg had originally intended but still relatively cheap for 1984.[4] The trailer introduced the film to audiences by briefly explaining that Billy receives a strange creature as a Christmas present, by going over the three rules, and then coming out with the fact that the creatures transform into terrible monsters. This trailer showed little of either the mogwai or the gremlins.[23] Conversely, other advertisements concentrated on Gizmo, overlooked the gremlins and made the film look similar to Spielberg's earlier family film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).[24]

Afterwards, Gremlins was released into US theatres on June 8, 1984, the same day as Ivan Reitman's Ghostbusters. Gremlins ranked second, with $12.5 million in its first weekend, 1.1 million less than Ghostbusters. By the end of its American screenings on November 29, it had grossed $148,168,459 domestically. This made it the fourth highest-grossing film of the year, after Beverly Hills Cop, Ghostbusters and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.[25] In August it opened in Argentina and Spain, and in October it premiered in West Germany. Screenings began in Mexico, Australia and much of the rest of Europe in December.[26] As Gremlins had an international audience, different versions of the film were made to overcome cultural barriers. Mandel learned to speak his few intelligible lines, such as "Bright light!", in various languages such as German. Regional music and humor were also incorporated into foreign language versions. Dante credited this work for Gremlins' worldwide success.[4] Many critics questioned the summer release date when the film takes place during the Christmas holiday season and thought it should have had a Christmas release instead.

Still, there had also been complaints among audiences about the violence. This was particularly true among people who had brought their children to see the film, many of whom walked out of the theatre before the film had ended. Dante admitted to reporters later, "So the idea of taking a 4-year-old to see Gremlins, thinking it's going to be a cuddly, funny animal movie and then seeing that it turns into a horror picture, I think people were upset... They felt like they had been sold something family friendly and it wasn't entirely family friendly."[24]

The film became available to audiences again when brought back to theatres on August 30, 1985. This brought its gross up to $153,083,102.[25] It was also released on video that year, and made $79,500,000 in rental stores.[27] The film was released on DVD in 1997 and again in 1999. On August 20, 2002, a "special edition" DVD was released featuring cast and filmmakers' commentary and deleted scenes.

Merchandising

With its commercial themes, especially the perceived cuteness of the character Gizmo, Gremlins became the center of considerable merchandising. As such, it became part of a rising trend in film, which had received a boost from Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.[4] Under the National Entertainment Collectibles Association, versions of Gizmo were sold as dolls or stuffed animals. Both Gizmo and the gremlins were mass produced as action figures, and Topps printed trading cards based upon the film.[28] A product placement deal with fast food chain Hardee's lead to a series of five book-and-cassette/45 records adaptations of the film's story.

The film was also the basis for a novel of the same name by George Gipe, published by Avon Books in June 1984. The novel offered an origin for mogwai and gremlins as a prologue. Supposedly, mogwai were created as gentle, contemplative creatures by a scientist on an alien world. However, it was discovered that their physiology was unstable, and under "certain circumstances," alluding to the three rules that were given in the film, mogwai would change into creatures that the novel referred to as "mischievous". This origin is unique to the novel but is referred to in the novelization of Gremlins 2 by David Bischoff. No definitive origin for mogwai or gremlins is given in either Gremlins film.

Several video games based on the film have also been produced. At the time of the film's release, an interactive fiction game based on scenes from the film titled Gremlins — The Adventure (1985) was released for various home computers (including Acorn Electron, BBC Micro, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum). The game was written by Brian Howarth for Adventure Soft and was text based (with full colour illustrations on some formats). In addition, the game Gremlins was released for the Atari 2600 while a far superior version appeared on the Atari 5200. In the 2000s more were released; Gremlins: Unleashed! was released on Game Boy in 2001. It was about Gizmo trying to catch Stripe and thirty gremlins, while the gremlins try to turn Gizmo himself into a gremlin. Both Gizmo and Stripe are playable characters in this game.[29] Gremlins: Stripe Versus Gizmo, with both Gizmo and Stripe as playable characters, was released in 2002.

Additionally, Gremlins brand breakfast cereal was produced by Ralston for a few years concurrent to and after the first film was released in 1984. The cereal box featured Gizmo. Inside were normally decals of the malevolent gremlins, including Stripe. The cereal was similar to Captain Crunch in taste.[30]

Legacy

Along with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, also rated PG, Gremlins was one of two films in 1984 to influence the MPAA to create the PG-13 rating, with Red Dawn being the first film released with the rating in August 1984.[24] The scene in which a gremlin explodes in the microwave was particularly influential to the idea that some films too light to be rated R are still too mature to be rated PG. The change to the rating system was not insignificant; the rating PG-13 turned out to be appealing to some film patrons, as it implied some excitement without going too far.[24]

The film not only spawned a sequel, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, and an advertisement for British Telecom,[31] but is believed to have been the inspiration for, or at least similar to, several later unrelated films about small monsters. These include Critters,[32] Ghoulies,[14] Troll,[33] Hobgoblins,[34] Beasties,[35] Kamillions,[36] Spookies,[37] and Munchies.[38] Many of these films were not critical successes, and Hobgoblins was lampooned on the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000. Both Critters and Ghoulies actually began development before Gremlins.[39][40] The anime Pet Shop of Horrors has also been compared to Gremlins.[41] There were rumors that the talking doll Furby was so similar to the character Gizmo that Warner Bros. was considering a lawsuit in 1998, but Warner representatives replied that this was not true.[42] In music, the Scottish post-rock band Mogwai are named after the film's creatures, although the guitarist of the band, Stuart Braithwaite, comments that "it has no significant meaning and we always intended on getting a better one, but like a lot of other things we never got round to it."[43] Recently, The Nostalgia Critic placed Gremlins as number 7 on his list of the Top 11 Next Best Christmas Specials.[44]

References

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  2. ^ Noël Carroll, "Horror and Humor," The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 57, No. 2, Aesthetics and Popular Culture (Spring, 1999), page 145.
  3. ^ Roger E. Bilstein, Flight in America: From the Wrights to the Astronauts (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), p. 318, ISBN 0-8018-6685-5.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o DVD commentary; Steven Spielberg presents Gremlins. Special edition. Warner Home Video, 2002.
  5. ^ a b Gremlins: Behind the Scenes, Warner Bros., 1983, in the DVD Steven Spielberg presents Gremlins. Special edition. Warner Home Video, 2002.
  6. ^ a b Behind the Scenes, in the DVD Steven Spielberg presents Gremlins. Special edition. Warner Home Video, 2002.
  7. ^ "Santa Claustrophobia". Urban Legends Reference Pages. October 23, 1999.
  8. ^ a b Roger Ebert, "Gremlins," January 1, 1984. Chicago Sun-Times.
  9. ^ Edmond Grant, "Gremlins 2," Films in Review, October 1990, vol. 41, issue 10, page 485–487.
  10. ^ Leonard Maltin, ed., Leonard Maltin's 2002 Movie & Video Guide. A Signet Book, 2001, page 557.
  11. ^ Charlotte Miller, "Using Gremlins to Teach Theme," The English Journal, Vol. 74, No. 4. (Apr., 1985), p. 69.
  12. ^ Sale Kirkpatrick, Rebels Against the Future, Quartet Books, p.240
  13. ^ a b Jonathan Rosenbaum, review of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? by Robert Zemeckis, Film Quarterly, vol. 42, no. 1. (Autumn, 1988), page 37.
  14. ^ a b Charles Clay Doyle, "The Avenging Voice from the Depths," Western Folklore, Vol. 47, No. 1 (Jan., 1988), page 21.
  15. ^ Almar Haflidason, "Gremlins (1984)," Film Reviews, BBC, URL accessed 29 April 2006.
  16. ^ Blake French, "Gremlins", Filmcritic.com, 2002. URL accessed 3 May 2006.
  17. ^ http://www.filmsite.org/1984.html
  18. ^ http://www.film.com/features/story/10-best-movies-of-1984/15492765
  19. ^ http://www.imdb.com/search/title?year=1984,1984&title_type=feature&sort=moviemeter,asc
  20. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/gremlins/
  21. ^ http://www.empireonline.com/500/35.asp
  22. ^ Patricia A. Turner, Ceramic Uncles & Celluloid Mammies: Black Images and Their Influence on Culture. (New York: Anchor Books, 1994), pp. 151–52, ISBN 0-385-46784-2.
  23. ^ Theatrical Trailers, in the DVD Steven Spielberg presents Gremlins. Special edition. Warner Home Video, 2002.
  24. ^ a b c d Anthony Breznican, "PG-13 remade Hollywood ratings system", The Associated Press, Tuesday, August 24, 2004.
  25. ^ a b "Gremlins," Box Office Mojo. URL accessed 30 April 2006.
  26. ^ "Release dates for Gremlins" the Internet Movie Database, URL accessed 11 May 2006.
  27. ^ "Business Data for Gremlins" The Internet Movie Database, URL accessed 7 May 2006.
  28. ^ Gremlins Action Figure: Gizmo by NECA, Amazon.com, URL accessed 30 April 2006; Gremlins Action Figure: Poker Player by NECA, Amazon.com, URL accessed 30 April 2006; Gremlins Movie Photo Trading Cards Box -36 Count by Topps," Amazon.com, URL accessed 30 April 2006.
  29. ^ "Gremlins Unleashed", Amazon.com, URL accessed 3 May 2006.
  30. ^ "Topher's Breakfast Cereal Character Guide". http://www.lavasurfer.com/cereal-ralston2.html. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  31. ^ "It's Dragon v Gremlins in BT ad". The Guardian. 2008-04-30. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/video/2008/apr/30/dragons.den.gremlins.bt. 
  32. ^ Maltin, 298.
  33. ^ Maltin, 1141.
  34. ^ Jason Gibner, Hobgoblins. Allmovie. URL accessed 28 April 2006.
  35. ^ According to the cover: "Mix a little Gremlins and a dash of Back to the Future and this recipe explodes with adventure and fantasy!"
  36. ^ According to the cover:"Kamillions, a horror comedy frightening enough to remind you of The Fly and funny enough to make you laugh at those new Gremlins..."
  37. ^ cover blurb: "Gremlins chased you; Ghoulies terrified you"
  38. ^ Lawrence O'Toole, "NY CLIPS Nell says no to fashion king and Warren's spoon is hot," The Globe and Mail, January 16, 1987, pg. D.6.
  39. ^ Critters UK VHS liner notes (Cinema Club edition)
  40. ^ 1985
  41. ^ "Pet Shop of Horrors," Anime on DVD Reviews, URL accessed 30 April 2006.
  42. ^ "Gizmo And Furby To Co-Exist," 24 December 1998, StudioBriefing.
  43. ^ Mogwai Band FAQ
  44. ^ http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/nostalgia-critic/14801-ncchlist11

External links


The real voice for Gizmo in the movie of Gremlins is TOM PETTY. WIKIPEDIA IS a lie!


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Gremlins is a 1984 horror-comedy film starring Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates

Directed by Joe Dante. Written by Chris Columbus.

Contents

Others

  • Mr. Wing With mogwai comes much responsibility.
  • Stripe (repeated line) Gizmo CaCa!
  • Randall Peltzer: [last lines] (narrating) Well there's your story. So the next time your TV goes on the fritz or your washing machine konks out, turn on all the lights. Look under all the beds. Open all the windows. Cause you never can tell. There just might be a gremlin in your house.

Dialogue

Murry Futterman: [drunk, looking inside his car] Gremlins... [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: It's the same gremlins that brought down our planes in the big one.
Kate: [laughing] The big one...
Murry Futterman: [turning round] that's right! World war two.
[he puts his hand to his head]
Murry Futterman: Good old WWII. [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!

Sheriff Frank Gremlins huh?
Billy Yes.
Sheriff Frank Little monsters?
Billy Right.
Sheriff Frank Hundreds of them?
Billy I don't know, maybe thousands. Look, I know it sounds crazy. I know it does, but in a matter of hours, this town's going to become a major disaster area and now you have got to warn people!
Sheriff Frank I think the kid is drunk.
Deputy Brent No but you are!

Sheriff Frank Tell me something Billy. How does a cute little creature like this turn into a thousand ugly monsters?
Billy Well this is before it enters the pupal stage.
Deputy Brent The pupal stage?
Billy Yeah right. Plus it multiplies with water.
Deputy Brent Aw christ!
Sheriff Frank Brent why don't you give the kid some water?
Billy I wouldn't do that sheriff.
Sheriff Frank (the phone rings. Sheriff answers it) Sheriff office. Yeah speaking. Oh no. Yeah we'll be right over.
Deputy Brent Who was that?
Sheriff Frank It was the Futtermans. Something about a snowplow. Freak accident.
Billy It's the creatures! The creatures are making it look like an accident! Sheriff. SHERIFF WILL YOU LISTEN TO ME?!!
Sherriff Frank You listen to me kid. Go on home, take little Gizmo, sit by the fire and open your Christmas presents okay? Atta boy!

Deputy Brent Let me drive.
Sheriff Frank No you're drunk.
Deputy Brent You always get to drive!
Sheriff Frank Cause I'm the sheriff asshole!

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.

Cast

External links

Wikipedia
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