Retro Review: Gremlins (1984)

Just to prove that I don’t only watch films with subtitles, or classic oldies, I thought I would remember this fun and touching film from the 1980s. When I see buzz words like ‘Fun’ or ‘Original’, I usually get suspicious. ‘American Comedy’ is also a heading that might make me think twice, as it is a fact that any country’s comedy doesn’t always cross oceans or borders well, even when using the same (well, similar) language.

So I went to see this much-hyped film expecting to be restless after fifteen minutes, and possibly leaving before the end.

But I didn’t leave, because I simply loved it.

Never seen it? Here’s a simple overview. A travelling salesman and inventor discovers a rare creature in a Chinese curio shop. It is called a Mogwai, and is one of the cutest things you have ever seen. The man secretly buys it for his son, as a birthday present. But he receives a serious warning. The creature must not be fed after midnight, and must never be exposed to water, or bright lights. The son, Billy, names his Mogwai ‘Gizmo’, and cares for him according to the warnings. However, when someone spills water over Gizmo, more creatures appear on him, as cocoons. When they hatch, they are the opposite of Gizmo; mischievous, destructive, and downright evil. They are the Gremlins of the title.

What follows is a feast of fun, as the Gremlins multiply, and set about taking over the small town, with Billy and his girlfriend trying to defeat a veritable horde of the creatures.

This is a film where the cast doesn’t really matter, the setting is unimportant, and the story is secondary. It is all about the creatures, who each have personalities, and distinctive styles of their own. Set piece battles with them are often hilarious, as is their takeover of a local bar, and the town cinema. If you have never seen it, then I suggest you rectify that omission.

It will make you feel good. And you will want a Gizmo too. I did.

20 thoughts on “Retro Review: Gremlins (1984)

  1. That town would much prefer “The Trouble With Tribbles.”
    I remember seeing “Gremlins” long ago (movie theater? TV? I don’t recall), and enjoying it. I never saw “The New Batch,” though.
    I’ve seen “The Goonies” at least twice, and have read the novelization in French. Have you reviewed this film?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t reviewed ‘The Goonies’, David, because I have never watched it. I did see the ‘Tribbles’ on Star trek, what seems like a lifetime ago now. I also saw ‘New Batch’, the sequel to ‘The Gremlins’. Like most sequels, I could take or leave it. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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