We have a new feature this month. It works like this. I pick a film, suggest a few wonderings you might be having about it and then take the liberty of answering for you. I should run for office.
Gremlins (1984, Dir. Joe Dante) Showing at QFT Belfast on December 21st.
Who’s in it? Zach Galligan (eejit who feeds the psychotic little gerbils after midnight), Hoyt Axton (the loveably hapless inventor Dad) and a few others you’ve never heard of. Plus Gizmo.
What’s it about? In case you’ve been living in a Hobbit-hole and somehow managed to miss it… Kid buys creepy gerbil from kooky old Chinese dude and is ominously warned not to get it wet. Said gerbil then promptly spawns other furry little creatures when, lo and behold, it’s allowed to get wet. All hell breaks loose when aforementioned eejit breaks the golden rule and lets the little fur balls pig out after midnight. Frankly, the kid got what was coming to him.
Memorable moments? Yes, lots. A movie theatre full of Gremlins watching Snow White and singing along to ‘Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work we go’ tends to leave a mark.
Quotable quote? “Ah! Bright light, bright light!”
What did the critics say when it came out? ‘Gremlins was hailed as another E.T. It’s not. At the level of Serious Film Criticism, it’s a meditation on the myths in our movies. At the level of Pop Moviegoing, it’s a sophisticated, witty B movie.’ – Roger Ebert, Jan 1st 1984.
If you like this, try these: Gremlins 2 is a no-brainer but the film comes into its own when paired with It’s A Wonderful Life, oddly enough. Similar genre gems include The Lost Boys, which is likewise heavy on the pop culture references.
Trivia pursuit! Word on the lot is Warner Bros recently renewed Gremlin’s domain name, so a threequel could be on the cards. Heaven help us.