Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Movies That Suck (?) - Gremlins

Gremlins [Blu-ray]
Movies That Suck is a feature where I watch a bad movie and share my reactions to it in real time. Sort of like live tweeting without the tweeting. Spoilers ahead! 

This week is Gremlins. Just in time for Christmas! Because this is a Christmas movie... well, kinda. It takes place at Christmas, so that counts, right? And it's sorta cuddly and sweet. Well, initially. But we'll get into all that. What you need to know though is that something cuddly and cute by day might not be so by night... if you feed 'em after midnight, or get 'em wet, or whatever. So we start off in Chinatown and a guy named Rand Peltzer, who's an inventor. He's trying to sell some of his junk and maybe find a present. Some kid leads him to a shop owned by a mysterious gentleman (of course)- it's all candles and artifacts, you know, and what does he find? Why, a Mogwai of course! 

Peltzer's got to have it for his son as a Christmas gift. After all, it's cute right? The elderly gentleman won't sell though- with Mogwai comes much responsibility, after all. He won't be swayed but the kid sells it to Peltzer anyway unbeknownst to his grandfather- he says the old man's crazy and they need the money. There's three rules Peltzer has to follow though. 1) Avoid light. Oh, that's easy enough. 2) Don't get it wet. And 3) Most importantly- never feed it after midnight. Ooh. Peltzer's like yeah whatever and off he goes. 

So then we get Christmas music and a nice, quaint little American town, all covered in snow. And Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) is trying to start his VW Bug- but it won't start. Filing this away as I'm sure this is foreshadowing. He works at a bank (and takes his dog to work?) and Kate (Phoebe Cates) the love interest works there too. Cue awkwardness. You know, as an aside, when Billy is walking down Main street I was looking to see if there was a bookstore. I didn't see one. 

We also meet some of the charming characters in this little town, including the Grinch-like Mrs. Deagle. And oh Judge Reinhold is in this as a smarmy bank VP who likes to taunt Billy. And he asks Kate to have dinner with him at his new apartment- and he has cable now! Wow. This is like 1984 though. Anyway Billy comes home and asks his mom if she needs any help in the kitchen. Nice kid. And Pops of course brings home... the Mogwai!!   

Cute little thing. Doesn't like lights though. And thankfully Barney the dog approves- they're gonna be friends, I guess. Billy's got this cozy little upstairs attic/ bedroom thing and Gizmo (that's what they name him) settles right in. 

Oh my gosh- Corey Feldman is in this and he looks like he's about 10 or something!

So they spill water on Giz naturally and now there are 5 more Gremlins. And the leader Stripe (he has a white stripe on his head) is kinda mean- Pete (Feldman) tries to pet him and almost gets bitten. Clearly at this point they should go back to Chinatown and, you know, divest themselves of all Mogwai, but no. "The new ones aren't like Gizmo," Billy helpfully points out. Uh-huh. 

Billy and Kate are a cute couple. 

Billy's dumb though. He makes another Mogwai for his high school teacher to examine, and then he feeds them after midnight which of course starts everything. To be fair, he didn't think it was midnight because his clock had stopped. But I'm wondering- it's midnight somewhere, right? I mean who's to say Mogwai's are on eastern standard time or whatever? Right? Also, who puts chicken in their fridge on a plate (leftovers) but doesn't cover it up with something? 

Hey something chewed the wires of his alarm clock. No wonder it stopped! And now the Mogwai are all in a pupal stage- cocoons. Billy's teacher explains this to Billy and Pete, who remarks that it sounds like what's happening to his mother. That actually made me laugh. Meanwhile Billy's mom is baking cookies! 

Okay this is fun. I never noticed this before but at the convention, when Billy's dad is talking to his mom on the phone, you can see the time machine from the 1960 Time Machine movie in the background - and when they go back to that scene the time machine is gone and people are mystified. Love it. 

Oh they're hatched! First casualty is the science teacher. He's toast. And Billy's mom is all alone at home with five of them hatching. 

That was fun.   

I love the pool scene. 

They're on the loose! The best part is how happy they are causing destruction. 

Ooh Mrs. Deagle gets hers. 

Image result for gremlins gifs

Billy needs to go find Kate, but surely his VW won't start right? Wrong! It started. Will wonders never cease. And speaking of Kate, she's working at Dorry's. 

Now the car won't start. 

Okay the whole town's overrun! And Billy and Kate have a plan. 

Of course everyone is gone now, so there's no one to help Billy and Kate take down Stripe. And seriously- law enforcement in this town? Big fail. In fact some guy was getting overwhelmed by gremlins and what did the police chief do? Rolled up his window and drove off! Serves him right that he crashed. :) With a little help. 

Stripe is kinda taking it to Billy here. They're in a department store and Billy's got a bat but he is not doing well. Ooh Stripe just shot him with a crossbow! And now he has a chainsaw. Um, good luck Billy. What is Kate doing with the fusebox meanwhile? Ohhh... she hits the floodlights. Gotcha. 

Stripe, who now has a gun, is trying to blow poor Billy's head off. Plus he's found a fountain- ooh he's trying to "reproduce" again and Billy is sort of just watching when it's Gizmo to the rescue! 

So sunlight kills 'em just like it would a vampire, huh? 

Alright, the moral of the story here, folks, is just say no to those exotic pets. Mr. Wing the Chinese gentleman who Rand "bought" the Mogwai from shows up to take Gizmo away. Seems sensible considering half the town has been exploded. Billy though seems surprised by this? Really, kid? Anyway Giz says bye to Billy- that's pretty heartwarming. He even says "Bye bye woof-woof" to Barney the dog, which is super cute. Awww...and Billy "may" be ready for a Mogwai someday, Mr. Wing assures him. So there's hope. 

Oh, and Merry Christmas! 

So... does Gremlins suck? Well, it hasn't aged very well, and it's kinda boring in the beginning, but the gremlins going apeshit all over town was pretty entertaining. And it has its moments, so I'm going to say it doesn't suck! At least, not that much. 


  1. I think I watched this film so often when I was younger that I just got sick of watching it! There are plenty funny bits when the Gremlins go mad-in the pub and the cinema but I haven't watched it in a long time.

  2. Well that was fun! And gross. I mean, throwing the monster in the microwave, I think that was a staple in 80s movies😁

  3. I enjoyed the show too. Of course you know they are going to do everything they are not supposed to, so the Gremlins can go wild...painting the town. lol
    sherry @ fundinmental

  4. This film was absolutely everywhere when I was a kid, but for some reason (Mum didn't approve?) we never got to watch it. By the time I was old enough to decide for myself, it kinda seemed too young and now you reckon it's not aged well? I guess I missed the moment?!

  5. You're right. it doesn't suck. I love the bad gremlins. They are a riot.

  6. I remember this was one of the first movies that got the PG13 rating. I wanted to see it so bad when it came out, but I was only 11 so my mom wouldn’t let me. I read the book and watched the movie and remember really loving it. I should watching it again.

    1. It was not one of the first movies to get the PG-13 rating. It was THE first movie. It started with a PG rating which was changed after release to PG-13.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was the first. Gremlins being a handfull of weeks later in release, was most likely, subsequently changed following Indy2.

  7. I liked Gizmo a lot when I first saw this movie, but I haven't watched it in years...too afraid that it wouldn't hold up like you said. Maybe it's best if I just keep the memory of it.

  8. The more I look at the DVD cover, the more I hope Gremlins sued the pants off of the Furby people. I mean, come on, that is a BLATANT theft of likeness. Anyway. I feel like this wouldn't *fully* suck just because it's so... weird and unusual? And those things are amusing, at any rate. But I think if one of the Corys was in it, it probably automatically sucks a little, right?

    The GIF of them caroling might be my new favorite thing though, so I am glad you shared it!

  9. There is something about this movie that really does make me say it doesn't completely suck, too. I loved the beginning when the dad first discovers the Gremlins. And you're right, it does have its moments. I am curious if this is going to become another '80s remake. It is the only one that seems untouched. lol

  10. I haven't seen this movie since it first came out in theaters O_O

    I didn't love it then like everyone else did (but I liked it) IT would be interesting to see how I feel now.

  11. My dad used to watch this all the time when I was little. I was TERRIFIED of it back then. When I got a Furby for Christmas, my dad kept on insisting that it was a Gremlin and so I gave it to him because I was scared of it from that point onward. Now, I am oddly amused by the film? You're right, it sucks. But it's one of those comfortable trash-piles that just thoroughly amuses me for one reason or another. Nostalgia maybe? Haha, anyways, this is a great post. You're right--it really HASN'T aged well!

  12. I re-watched this about five years ago and I still loved it. The only thing I could never figure out is when does "after midnight" end. Ha ha. 😂

  13. Gremlins is most definitely a Christmas movie... but a movie that sucks? Yeah, it doesn't. I love Gremlins and do occasionally go around referencing it (because I'm cool like that). I mean, it is a bit dated now and everyone knows Gremlins 2 was the better of the two films but it's Gremlins! I will forever love this terrible 80s film. It's fun and different and they just don't make weird films like this anymore.

  14. Ahhh Gremlins an old favorite. I watched it often as a kid and as an adult on re-watching it a few times over the years, I realized it's very violent and also gross at times yet funny too. And the ending is sad, but Gizmo needs to go back because well, it's too risky to keep him. The gremlins wreaking havoc is funny but you're right about midnight, what about different time zones? And I love when Gizmo sings.

    Gotta love the Coreys.

    Great post!

  15. It's definitely a Christmas film - but I am really curious now about it because it's been some good years since I last watch it.

  16. Gremlins definitely hasn't aged all that well, but it's still pretty fun. I agree about the bad gremlins. They're hilarious, lol.

  17. YAY for Gremlins not sucking lol! This is a movie that I absolutely love, no matter how ridiculous it is. AND I would love to have a mogwai. I promise to never feed it after midnight, although I bet my kids wouldn't follow that rule lol. ;)
    Jen @ Star-Crossed Book Blog

  18. HAHA, this movie. I remember when I was a kid they started making the Gremlins toys, I think to market to the furbies crowd.

  19. Lol this movie is one that is supposed to suck? I actually sort of love it because it is such a laugh. You're right in that the beginning is quite boring but when the Gremlins go crazy everywhere, it makes me so happy :D

  20. I still kinda like the Gremlins. I am glad it didn't make the Movies That Suck list. It's a little corny and yes very boring in the beginning but it wasn't that bad.