Gizmo gets wet and all hell begins to break loose as the Mogwai begins to multiply.
Once again, Dante walks the tightrope between horror and wonder with expert dexterity.
Joe Dante has acknowledged that Dahl’s book, The Gremlins , was hugely influential, so much so that he has Mr. Futterman reference its WW2 setting.
“It’s the same gremlins that brought down our planes in The Big One,” he says. “That’s right, World War II!”
Billy’s irascible neighbour is a reliable font of amusement, as he sets about blaming everything that goes wrong in his life on the input of “foreigners”.
Goddamn foreign TV. Goddamn foreign car.
You get the gist.
Jerry Goldsmith’s score is note perfect throughout, from the Gremlins’ unhinged fairground music to the sinister horror movie strains that amp up the tension of the film’s scarier scenes.
Gremlins certainly doesn’t stint on the cameo front, with Police Academy voicebox Michael Winslow, Steven Spielberg and even Robbie The Robot making brief on-screen appearances.
Lovely little bonus bits for the eagle-eyed viewer.
Gizmo shows off just how cute he can be, singing back the notes that Billy plays on his keyboard.
The resentful expression on Billy’s pet pooch is priceless…
As Billy goes sneaking into a sports store, armed with a baseball bat, you could be forgiven for thinking a game of whack-a-Gremlin is in store.
Not so, as those clever little shits have armed themselves with a pitching machine.
Slapstick ball-bashing ahoy!
Thanks to Gremlins’ unusual mix of genuine horror and kiddie-friendly cutesiness, the MPAA were forced to come up with a new certificate to accommodate it.
Thus, Gremlins was at least partially responsible for the PG-13 classification, allowing an adult edge to infiltrate kids’ films from that point onwards.
Billy Meets Gizmo for the very first time as his foolhardy but well-intentioned father gives him his Christmas present early.
The moment when Billy’s pet dog licks Gizmo on the nose is too cute for words.
As with all great family movies, the leading man is a socially awkward teenage boy.
Played perfectly by Zach Galligan (whatever happened to him?), Billy is the kind of geeky loner that audiences instantly warm to.