Movie of the Day – Gremlins
December 24, 2011 2 Comments
For future references, if anyone wants to get me a gift for Christmas or any other holiday that necessitates a gift, don’t buy anything from a Chinese shop unless it’s a pair of swords or knock off Rolex watches. Who the hell in their right mind would buy an unknown animal from a non-licensed breeder or pet shop? To be honest though, if I saw this cute little Mogwai sitting in a Chinese shop, I would want to buy it. I mean did you see how cute the little mogwai was, I mean we are talking penguins in sweaters level of cute. Anyways, nothing like a dark comedy and little monstrous creatures to liven up the holiday season.
Gremlins begins with inventor Rand Peltzer trying to find a quick gift for his son Billy before returning home from a New York trip. He settles on a unique pet in a Chinatown curio shop–a cute, furry creature known as a Mogwai. Before he leaves, he is warned by the shop’s owner that three rules must be obeyed by a Mogwai owner: 1) Keep it away from bright light, 2) Don’t get any water on it, and 3) Never, never ever feed it after midnight. Rand takes note of these rules and returns home with the Mogwai to his idyllic small-town home of Kingston Falls. Rand’s gift is an instant hit: Billy loves his adorable new pet, naming it Gizmo and taking it everywhere he goes. Unfortunately, he and his friends also begin breaking the rules of Mogwai care. When water is accidentally spilled on Gizmo, it causes him to multiply and produce a number of mischievous little brothers. Among these is the mean-tempered Stripe. Soon enough, the new Mogwai get hold of some food after midnight and this causes them to change from cute fur-balls into nasty, scaly monsters dubbed ‘Gremlins.’ (source)
This movie frightened the hell out of me. I didn’t even realize at the time when I was a kid, what the hell a dark comedy even meant. I thought I was going to see a movie about some cute little rodent and his adventures in the small town of Kingston Falls. But oh no, no this movie was a murder fest that had these cute little Mogwai’s wrecking shit and killing the people of the town. When I look back on the movie now that I am a more refined (debatable) movie goer, this is actually a pretty funny and inventive movie. The horror aspect of the movie comes from the use of cute, well for a short time anyways, animals that carry out some pretty horrific stuff. When they multiply and eat, they turn into the grotesque looking Gremlins, going from cute to fucking terrible little beings in short order.
Gremlins came out during the heyday of the horror comedy genre in the 80s. It was a nice take on the monster movie films that focus on the ominous, large creature and broke it down to an army of little bastards that seemingly have been in the car of MacGyver, since their penchant for traps and killing is on par with an army core of engineers. The film basks in the glory of the violence that it portrays, often coming off as cartoonish and parodying the horror gore filled movies of the 80s. The violence just seems a bit more gruesome because of the gremlins actions, but what we are seeing is a watered down version of the original story, which was just bordering on absurd.
I know that when people think of Gremlins, they will lean more towards the second movie in the series. I would tend to agree that I liked the second movie more since it was just so meta and out there with their references and pushing the comedy more so the violence. The first Gremlins movie was able to blend together urban legends, standard horror tropes and comedy into a nicely packed movie. Kingston Falls was made out to be a picturesque Christmas town until it was overrun by a multitude of little, devilish monsters. It’s a nice change of pace from the standard one killer horror movie and the introduction of a dozen little killers.
As the moral of the story is, just buy your Christmas present from Amazon.com or the local mall. Why would you even buy something from a shady looking Chinese shop?