Monday, October 6, 2008

HORROR EPICS: Gremlins

GREMLINS (1984)
It's hard to believe that it's been almost a quarter-century since Gremlins clawed its way onto the silver screen, but this was a HUGE box office draw in its day. Somewhere in a box, I may still have my plastic figurine of Gizmo the Mogwai that I got back in the day that I had to settle for in lieu of the more expensive stuffed animal version. The book even has a place on my shelf, which of course was stolen from my older sister. As well, this and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom were the two main reasons for the invention of the PG-13 rating. How many of you older folks remember the news reports about kids nuking the family cat in the microwave after seeing the same thing happen to a gremlin in this movie? Man, those were the days, weren't they? I remembered all of this and more as I watched Gremlins recently and while the impact has lessened over time, it's still more memorable than many other horror movies that are more intense and violent. It's hard to beat the classic scene where the gremlins take over the local dive bar and prove that they know how to party, before heading to the movie theatre for an impromptu showing of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves' fourth reel. Gremlins joins the list of "mainstream movies from the '80s that allowed some aspect of punk fashion through their filter (see: Blade Runner and The Road Warrior)" when lead gremlin Stripe is named as such due to the white mohawk he possesses. And hot damn, could Phoebe Cates be my girl next door what with her anti-Christmas cheer and a smile that could make the snow melt. Can't forget the great Dick Miller in the supporting cast, or the fact that his onscreen character is married to Jackie Joseph, both of whom worked together on the original Little Shop of Horrors from 1960. While I don't watch any of those "remembering the '80s" kinda shows, I'd bet that Gremlins gets mentioned at least once on those, and with good reason. "But Gremlins takes place on Christmas Eve, not Halloween!" Shut the fuck up, asshole.

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