Gremlins ★★★½

My movie diary started in September 2009 and over the last five years I've clocked up over 3200 watches and 2120 different films. It's been a labor of love, but of course as a forty-something there are many movies that I've seen prior to my desire to document my film-watching habits. The likes of Raiders, ET, Rocky, and even West Side Story, are among the host of films that I technically "haven't seen" according to my LB profile, so again it was time to check out some of those older favorites not on my list.
Sky Movies has shown a variety of family friendly eighties films in recent weeks. The likes of The Goonies, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Joe Dante's best film (aside from The Burbs) Gremlins. Dante's horror/comedy set around Christmas Time is one of those films that transports me back to my childhood and that fascination with Phoebe Cates. Yes long before marriage made me a one woman man, Cates was the dream girl of choice. She plays second fiddle to both Zach Galligan as the central character, and two very different creations courtesy of Dante's imagination. Long before CGI would ruin many a blockbuster, Dante stuck to puppets, marionettes, and even paper-mache heads to give us the creatures that bring the small town of Kingston Falls to its knees one snowy Christmas Eve.
Gremlins is a cautionary tale of responsibility when a young student is given a very special pet as a present. He's given specific rules, and told not to deviate from them, but just as expected things go awry and chaos quickly follows as Billy's pet Gizmo spawns a host of nasty critters after rules are broken. What follows is a magical mix of violent mayhem as the Gremlins set about destroying the town and terrorizing its inhabitants. It's funny, it's at times pretty violent for a kids film, but it has a nostalgia factor for lots of us of a certain age. From incidents with blenders, to that scene where they're all watching Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs, it's still deliciously entertaining in its own slightly depraved way.

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