UK Release date: 7th December 1984
Watched on Sky+ Tuesday 1st January 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Thought I’d start the year with a bit of festive cheer… But then I thought, what the heck, I’ll review Gremlins instead (just kidding – It is set at Christmas so I guess it is festive). The hallmark of this film is the excellent work done on the creature effects, for their day, they are quite superb. Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
When Randall Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) buys his son, Billy (Zach Galligan), a Mogwai for Christmas, he has no idea of the mayhem that’s about to ensue. The creature, which Billy calls Gizmo, comes with three simple rules:
- Keep it out of bright lights.
- Do not give it any water.
- Do not feed it after midnight.
Well as you can guess, all of these rules are soon broken and the small town is overrun by murderous gremlins. Billy’s girlfriend, Kate Beringer (Phoebe Cates) finds herself trapped in the bar she owns by a horde of these evil critters and he comes to her rescue. But how will they destroy these pests and save the town?
First of all, the creature effects are really great, giving some of the gremlins real character. As for performances, well everyone was ok, but nobody really stood out either; if I was pushed, I’d probably single out Phoebe Cates for her speech about why she hates Christmas. The plot was a bit of a mess really; characters carefully established and then unceremoniously ditched; even the dog has to go on holiday! No, it’s definitely the creature effects that grab the attention in this one and it is for those that I give the majority of the marks.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 7.2/10.
IMDb Score: 7.2/10 (based on 76,523 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: No Data: (Based on 0 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 70/100 (based on 418,685 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Gizmo: Bright light. Bright light.
Kate: What're they doing?
Billy Peltzer: They're watching Snow White. And they love it.
Murry Futterman, Billy's neighbor: Goddamn foreign cars.
Chinese Boy: Look Mister, there are some rules that you've got to follow.
Billy Peltzer: Yeah, what kind of rules?
Chinese Boy: First of all, keep him out of the light, he hates bright light, especially sunlight, it'll kill him. Second, don't give him any water, not even to drink. But the most important rule, the rule you can never forget, no matter how much he cries, no matter how much he begs, never feed him after midnight.
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