Gremlins Gives Reason To Read Directions At Christmas


You all may have been there before, either yourself or a child you know.  You get a wicked cool gift for Christmas, and the packaging is quickly discarded to enjoy the gift, usually the instruction going along with it.  After you watch Gremlins this Christmas season, you might be a little more wary of tossing the instruction in the waste basket before giving them more than a cursory glance.

Our 25 Days of Christmas continue with the 1984 comedy horror flick Gremlins.   Set in Kingston Falls, a boy is given a weird pet for Christmas by his father, and ignores three simple rules that come with the gift, unleashing a torrent of unholy green monsters that have a thirst for destruction.  After some bloodshed the town recovers, but for some reason, they keep the crazy little pet.

Gremlins Plot

At 21 years old, his son deserves a gift like he has never been given before.  So while in a little chinese shop, Randall Peltzer tries buying a Mogwai (which literally translates monster) from the old shop keeper.  The shop keeper, knowing the danger and the great responsibility involved with owning such a creature, forbids the sale.  As Randall is leaving however, the younger grandson sells him the animal, citing the need for the money that will help his family.  The only directions he got, don’t feed it after midnight, don’t get it wet, and don’t expose to sunlight.

Despite knowing the rules, it doesn’t take long for Billy to spill water on the newly dubbed Gizmo, creating new furry mogwai, who are much more hostile not only towards the family, but to Gizmo himself, who is very docile.

Billy keeps five of the new mogwai, while giving one to his science teacher to investigate.  Terror ensues shortly thereafter.  Billy’s mogwai trick him into feeding them after midnight, and the sixth furry monster, steals a sandwich belonging to the science teacher.  Those monsters cocoon themselves, eventually turning into more hideous reptilian like monsters.  Mischievous little monsters who think causing problems and killing are fun.

Mr. Hanson, the science teacher, returns to find that his creature has escaped and changed, while trying to bribe it with food, gets his hand eaten in the process.  The ones at the home of Peltzer terrorize and attack Billy’s mom, who escapes with help from her son.

Only the leader remains at this point, who then jumps into a swimming pool, now creating an army horde of hundreds of psychotic little beasts.

The movie ends with Billy and Gizmo in a battle to the death with Stripe the leader of the Gremlins in a department store, with the finale being Stripe tricked into a water fountain to make more monsters – the perfect time for the blinds to be opened and Stripe to be sizzled in the sunlight.

Gremlins Cast

From the Wikipedia page of the movie:



Gremlin vocal effects provided by Michael Winslow, Bob Bergen, Fred Newman, Peter Cullen, Mark Dodson, Bob Holt, and Michael Sheehan.


Gremlins was dubbed a success, a fun movie that could both evoke laughter at some points and terror in others.  I was young and impressionable the first time that I saw the movie, and was actually scared of the Christmas song that was playing as Billy crept up the stairs to battle the Gremlins in the house.

Gremlins was successful enough that they decided to run a sequel, which while it had some terror elements of the same reptilian monsters hell bent on taking over the world and destroying anyone in their path, was much more comedy than the first one.   The sequel was not as good as the original movie.

Gremlins is a decent movie that can be enjoyed anytime of the year, and although it has its faults (doesn’t every movie) is a truly enjoyable movie that should be a staple this time of the year.  Another movie that gets four out of five bloody Christmas trees in our review, solely for the fact that the monsters, both in their furry form, and their reptile form made the movie.

This movie clip from YouTube is almost as funny as the movie itself.

So remember this Christmas, when you get a strange keep, heed the warnings.