24 movies Guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy

December 9th - Gremlins

Gremlins  Poster

Year : 1984

Director: Joe Dante

Starring: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyte Axton.

Gremlins

What were the rules for feeding them and getting them wet - oh never mind I'm sure it wont matter.

Rand, a struggling inventor, heads off to New York's Chinatown to try and sell his inventions. Whilst he is there he looks to pick up a Christmas present for his grown up son Billy. In a mysterious old mans shop he comes across a strange cute little creature called a "Mogwai" its so cute that he attempts to buy the Mogwai form the elderly shop owner, but the shop owner refueses and no amount of money will change the shop owners mind. Reluctantly Rand leaves the shop empty handed, but is stopped outside by the old mans grandson who explains that the family need the money and he will secretly sell him a Mogwai named Gizmo. He also tells him of the strict rules that he must abide by - keep the Mogwai away from bright light, even daylight can kill the mogwai; don't get water on the mogwai; and, most importantly, don't feed it after midnight. Rand agrees and takes Gizmo home. Billy is delighted with Christmas present and carefully looks after Gizmo, but when one of Billy's friends accidentally spills some water on the Mogwai it causes Gizmo to multiply and spawn five new little Mogwai's. The five new mogwai's are much more mischievous than Gizmo and they eventually trick Billy into feeding them after midnight. The five slowly start to pupate until they eventually hatch into fully formed Gremlins, intent on destruction and killing they head off to town for some fun.

Gremlins (and its sequel) are films that you never tire of watching. Very rarely has horror and comedy been so well combined as here. The effects are superb and the creatures look real (well I suppose I mean they don't like like puppets). The manic cartoon violence (admittedly dark edged) is absolutely hilarious with so many great touches happening throughout the frame, and fleeting references to other movies that there is always something new you pick up on with each viewing. With its humour, its horror and its terrifically inventive visuals it is remains on the best Christmas movies ever.

Although Gremlins received criticism for its level of violence, the film was actually toned down from the original script. One of the scenes in the original script but come from the movie was a scene where the Gremlins stormed a MacDonalds and ate all of the customers but wisely left the burgers themselves well alone.

I still remember when the film was first released and every kid wanted a Mogwai for Christmas, and how all their dads searched the length of breadth of Chinatown trying to buy one for their kids. If only they had heeded the advice - "Mogwai not for sale".

Gremlins placed at December 9th on our Films guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy (UK edition).

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