We got another classic to review for the Christmas break. I might just turn on the original and sequel while I’m baking today.
Today, In Holly Days, we are reviewing, you guessed it, Gremlins!
This movie came out in 1984, when 80s were at their peak, in my opinion. Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Prince were riding the wave of popularity, and Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th was scaring the shit out of people. I was three, but didn’t see the movies in full, that I can remember, until I was 6 years old.
Along with Thriller, the full video version, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, after watching these, I slept with a nightlite for a while….
In any event, I loved Gremlins though. Any child of the 80s loved Gremlins. It wasn’t scary to me. I laughed so hard at the scenes, and Gizmo was so cute! It took my mom forever to get me to understand Gizmo wasn’t real, and we couldn’t go to the pet shop to get one. Gizmo was the first animal I saw and said ‘I want a pet’. Damn the fact the list of special instructions was crazy for a 6 year old:
-He couldn’t eat past midnight, and in my mind, he really couldn’t eat fried chicken.
-He couldn’t take a bath, and since I’m from a military old school house, Gizmo was screwed in that aspect.
-He couldn’t be left alone. I was 6, I had a social life, school, and cartoons, that was too much responsibility.
I didn’t care, because he was the cutest thing I ever saw.
For those who haven’t seen it(really?), a guy, Billy, got an exotic animal, a Mogwai, for Christmas from his salesman father. His father got strict instructions to take care of the animal from the Asian guy he bought it from. Another Chris Columbus project I love, because anything he’s attached to starts innocent, but craziness takes over, and your on this ride of saving the town from this ugly ass siblings of Gizmo’s.
The situations in this movie are just hilarious. My favorite? The mean old rich lady, Mrs. Deagle(the same actress from Alice, who says ‘Kiss my Grits’, love it!) who harasses the Billy(main character), gets hers from the Gremlins, by flying out the window in her riding chair. She was such a mean person, and it’s a lesson of Karma for kids.
‘Now Kathy, Don’t be an asshole, or Gremlins will highjack your riding chair, send you flying out the window at 70 miles an hour, and fuck you up.’
I rewound(yes, because again, we had that on VHS, don’t judge me), and played that scene so many times. Their are so many classic scenes out of this movie, and even though it was in the horror section of the video, to most of us, it was a comedy.
Of all the slasher movies that came out between 84-1990, this wasn’t scary at all. Just so you know, I got to see the slasher movies of the 80s because my uncle went to blockbuster, and dubbed these tapes onto other tapes of his own personal use.
First, supervision was just not there. Obviously. Second, apparently that was illegal, so that movie collection of over 5000 tapes could get him locked away for a long ass time. Third, I loved being related to him, because as soon as the movie came out on tape, that Saturday, I knew I could go watch the newest releases at his house.
Anyhow, this movie became a Christmas tradition in my family as a child, and now, and Christmas tradition in my house. We never saw it as scary. Even Ms. Hyperdiva laughed so hard at the Gremlins antics, and asked me for a Gizmo! He’s so flipping cute, but knowing her, we would have a city takes over by gremlins in a matter of days, cause……just no. My community would burn me at the stake for that mistake. Forget payment arrangements or saying sorry. I can see this actually happening.
Chris Columbus wrote a great story, showing the nature of a friendship between an animal and his owner. That most people, when they have pets, will do whatever it takes to make their pet feel important and protected. He also showed us the true meaning of family coming together, and just being happy the way things were. Add in a crush, a car that never worked when it was supposed to, and the Christmas holiday, it was, and still is great entertainment.
As the Christmas day approaches, and the craziness of last minute shopping, baking, pick up groceries, and having those relatives who drive you up the wall come by, this movie will crack you up as if you just watched it for the first time. Maybe you have, and I can say enjoy, and I don’t know if I want to talk to you. That’s like saying, this is my first time listening to the Thriller Album for the first time. if you under 16, I’ll say ok, no problem, if you are over 25, we can’t be friends.
I give this movie 10 buckets of old school KFC chicken legs, out of 10. It’s a classic movie or the family to have a fun time with. The make up and effects were flawless for the time, the script wasn’t drawn out, straight to the point, and easy to follow. Come on, for my peeps who’ve seen it, those inventions were too funny by themselves. Bonus points if you watch the sequel, Gremlins: the new batch. We watch both, and still cracking up at the antics for a second time. They didn’t learn the first time apparently. Get some snacks, or some wine, and woosah in front of your television of comedy. The song to pre warn you of something getting ready to happen will be stuck in your brain for months, if not the rest of your life.