The Eighties was a strange time. At least that’s the way I perceived it. When it came to movies, there was no genre bigger at that time than horror. You had both Freddy Krueger and Jason come to haunt you in that decade, as it seemed there were “no holds barred.” However, it was a more unassuming and sort of softer film that garnered my attention from 1984. Yes, of course I’m referring to the cult-classic, Gremlins.
The movie stars Zach Gilligan and Phoebe Cates. It starts out in what appears to be a Chinatown in some city where the main characters father has traveled to on business. Since Christmas is nearing, the father searches for a gift for his only son. After some failed attempts, the man is brought into a rather shady looking underground store. He spots this cute, furry, pet-like animal in the corner and offers to buy it. He eventually procures the little critter and is on his way back home, but not before the previous owner warns him about three important rules to follow. 1. No bright light. 2. Don’t get him wet. 3. Never, ever feed him after midnight.
When the boy receives the pet, he is full of joy, and begins to develop a special connection with the unusual creature. They came up with the name Gizmo. Everything seems all fine and dandy, until the boys friend spills water on little Gizmo. Immediately five furry, egg-like objects eject out of his body. They eventually hatch and now he is stuck with 6 little creatures. After feeding them after midnight, through no fault of his own, the creatures turn into these weird cocoons. Days go by and they start to hatch. Now, they are no longer cute little furry guys, they are green savage monsters. They start terrorizing the town. After killing several people and destroying everything in sight, the Gremlins must be exterminated. Of course, the main characters prevail and humanity is restored.
It’s not the acting, nor is it the special effects or cinematography that wow you here. It’s just a unique story, with compelling characters that just fit for the genre. I’m not sure about you, but sometimes I need a movie like this one to just watch, laugh, and not think. Kind of tune myself out of the grind of daily life for a while. Not sure if that’s what they were aiming for, but if it was, they nailed it.