Monday, December 25, 2017

13 Days of Christmas Day 13: Gremlins (1984) 1h 46m

When I set out to do the 13 Days of Christmas I knew that I wanted to end it with Gremlins.  I hadn't watched the film in years and, oddly enough, it might have been the first horror film I ever watched as a kid.  It was one of those films that everyone saw at a young age when it came out.  It also was one of three movies that I liked that had a jump scare that freaked me out at a young age (the other two being Large Marge in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and the librarian ghost at the beginning of Ghostbusters).  My big question coming into this was would Gremlins live up to my nostalgia for it?

If you've never seen this film, let me sum it up for you:  An inventor comes across a strange creature known as a Mogwai while in Chinatown.  He acquires it from the shopkeeper's grandson and brings it home as a present for Billy.  There are three rules with the Mogwai: 1) no bright lights and sunlight can kill him, 2) do not feed him after midnight, and 3) never ever get him wet.  Needless to say two of these three happen and what was once a cute a fuzzy Mogwai spawns a mass of horrible green gremlins which kill and terrorize the town.

It was weird to watch this after such a long time and actually attempt to keep track of the body count.  There are four confirmed deaths that we see and then a load of other unconfirmed ones that we never know for sure (except the guy playing Santa lives but you have to be paying attention to background noise to find that out on a newscast).  The puppets still hold up visually and there isn't a single weak link in the casting.  Even the fucking dog is a good actor!

There are a lot of plot holes with this film, mainly revolving around the rules.  I'm not getting into it aside from the fact that snow apparently doesn't count as getting them wet.  For people that want to argue the booze, that gets handled in the official graphic novelization.  As far as my nostalgia, it was hurt a bit because I realized that this film isn't far off from just becoming a B-movie.  It isn't, but it skates such a fine line that if the quality of this film drooped at all then it wouldn't be what it is.

On a side note, as mean as this may be, I still cheered when Mrs. Deagle shot out of that window.

I give Gremlins 4 ripped Santas out of 5:

And with that, the 13 Days of Christmas come to an end.  We'll be back to our regular reviews on Sunday, January 7th.  In the meantime, I hope you have a good holiday if you're celebrating something around this time.  If not, then I still just wish you well.  See you in a few weeks!

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