Movie Marathon #23: Gremlins

by thethreepennyguignol

There’ll be no beating around the bush here. No skirting the issue. No dodging the bullet. No dancing round the point. No talking around the real conversation. No literary procrastination. No tantric writing. No humming and hawing. No passing the buck. No bollocking on about nothing in particular. No pussyfooting. No waffling. No previcating.

I LOVE Gremlins.

Joe Dante’s surreal, touching and wildly entertaining movie lands in a rare and prized area of the horror genre; a family horror film. It matches wierd-looking but ultimately not TOO terrifying creatures with black-as-night humour and ridiculously fun action sequences. And probably the cutest protagonist ever (no, not a wide-eyed and goofy Zach Galligan-Gizmo, the unbelievably adorable Mogwai who I utterly and totally want as my own).

It mixes a Twilight-Zone-y premise with a small-town Christmas setting, and doesn’t once let up the barrage of jokes and sequences of the Gremlins running amok throughout the town (for such a light film, they do seem to murder an awful lot of people in incredibly violent ways). There’s also this scene in which a Gremlin puts some popcorn packets over his ears and does a little dance for a fraction of a second; I truly believe this to be one of the, if not the, funniest moment in cinema history. The first time I saw it, I was very nearly sick with laughter.

Add to that one of the catchiest film scores not written by John Williams, Dante’s madcap direction, and a cast who look like they’ve never had more fun in their life, and you’ve got one of the finest films to toe the scary/witty lines in all of silver-screen history.