THE LATE LATE REVIEW: GREMLINS

Never mind Die Hard – this week Tom’s sat down with Gremlins for the first time, and decided it’s definitely not a Christmas film…

Release Date: June 1984

Awards: Won a handful of Saturn Awards, including Best Horror Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Music and Best Special Effects.

Rating: 84% on the Tomatometer, 7.3/10 on IMDb. Solid score!

Ok, before you start, yes. This movie was 35 this year and I have managed to avoid it for the 30 years that I’ve been on the planet. Also, I was told that this was a brilliant Christmas film which is ideal for this time of year; but as with Die Hard, THIS IS NOT A CHRISTMAS FILM, IT IS A FILM THAT JUST HAPPENS TO BE SET AT CHRISTMAS.

Anyway, now that we’ve got that out of the way, what the hell did I just watch?! This is such a bizarre movie.

So an inventor of unintentionally dangerous gadgets buys his son a Mogwai (which, spoiler alert, means Devil in Cantonese) for Christmas – even though the mysterious owner of the shop says he’s not allowed, which is always a smart idea. He’s given three rules – don’t expose it to bright lights, don’t get it wet, and don’t feed it after midnight.

Of course, all of these things happen and chaos ensues. The cute fluffy thing multiplies thanks to the water, the midnight snacking turns the cute fluffy off-spring into scary, scaly demons, and bright lights might just be the solution to the scary demon problem.

We have got to talk about how bad-ass the inventors wife (Frances Lee McCain) is, dealing with some of the evil gremlins with a meat grinder, kitchen knives and a microwave respectively. Casual. She really can’t get enough credit.

The gremlins were achieved through puppetry because the monkey they tried to use freaked out when they put the gremlin head on it. I wish I was joking. The effects are a little hard to believe because of this, but it’s not enough to distract from how good the movie is. Also, the set might be familiar to some eagle-eyed viewers as it also provides the setting for a small movie you might know called Back to the Future!

It’s an odd experience, but it really is a great film! It’s well worth a watch, and as the release date shows, it’s good for any time of the year because, and I can’t reiterate this enough, it’s not a Christmas film. Also, Gizmo is really cute, so that’s another great reason to give it a go.

Is there an iconic film or album you think I should have experienced by now? Let me know @MoveToTRASHUK #latelatereview

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