More About Gremlins
Joe Dante's hilariously funny, wickedly scary film is about a loveable, furry little Christmas gift that multiplies into many little Christmas gifts, with savage consequences. Rand Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) is an inventor who hasn't successfully invented anything. But this Christmas he's bringing his family something special--a small, cuddly creature known as a mogwai. The little fella comes with three crucial instructions. He's not to be fed after midnight, he's not to get any direct light and he should never be given so much as a drop of water. If Rand and his son Billy (Zach Galligan) can adhere to these rules they can avoid the otherwise tragic consequences. Unfortunately, the rules are harder to stick to than it seems, and suddenly Billy finds himself with far too many "pets," all with big appetites. It's up to Billy and his girlfriend (Phoebe Cates) to stop the mischievous gremlins before they ruin Christmas for the residents of rural Kingston Falls. GREMLINS features a delightful combination of horror and humor that introduced Gizmo and his wild relatives to an entire generation of young fans.
Main Cast & Crew
Joe Dante - Director
Frances Lee McCain
Gremlins created by Chris Walas and creature consultant Jon Berg. In the first scene of the film, Rand Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) walks in front of a broken down American Motors Company "Gremlin", parked in front of the China town shop. The Kingston Falls theatre marquee is showing a double bill, A BOY'S LIFE (working title for producer Steven Spielberg's E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL) and WATCH THE SKIES (working title for Spielberg's CLOSE ENCOUNTER'S OF THE THIRD KIND.) An evil Gremlin says "phone home" when he disconnects the Peltzer's phone line, this is a reference to the famous line from Spielberg's E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL. Cameo appearance by Steven Spielberg as the man at the inventor's in the electric wheelchair with a t.v. monitor. Cameo appearance by composer Jerry Goldsmith at the inventor's convention. Cameo appearance by Buggs Bunny cartoonist Chuck Jones, he is the man who looks at Billy's cartoon in the bar. There is a Warner Bros. cartoon playing on the television.
"...A wiseacre mixture of movie-buff jokes, movie genres and movie sensibilities....An orgy of special effects..." - 06/08/1984 New York Times, p.C10
"...Director Joe Dante is in full control of his extraordinarily realistic mechanical creatures..." - 05/23/1984 Variety
"Dante scored his biggest hit with the slyly subversive GREMLINS..." - 01/01/2006 Sight and Sound, p.89
4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's a treat for movie buffs, Dante peppering it with filmmaker cameos, cartoonish slapstick and satirical swipes at Hollywood classics from yesteryear." - 01/01/2013 Total Film
5 stars out of 5 -- "Dante’s critters-run-amok-in-snowbound-Spielberg-suburbia satire takes the Christmas milieu of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE and splatters it with cartoony carnage, anarchic comedy and a stripe of gleeful subversion a mile wide. " - 12/05/2014 Empire