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The Original Gizmo Movie

by Johnny Bray

Bright light hurts them; water makes them multiply; and feeding them after midnight can turn them into vicious, nasty, (but fun-loving) monsters.

Gremlins is about a young man who receives a Christmas present from his dad. It's a cute little furry creature called a mogwai. At first, you wonder what harm this adorable little thing could possibly bring, but once the events start unfolding it becomes clear.

Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) and his friend Pete (Corey Feldman) are hanging out, when Pete accidentally spills some water on Gizmo (the mogwai). This causes it to go into convulsions, and eventually toss out a few hairballs, which turn out to be more mogwais. Unfortunately, these ones are not as cute and cuddly as Gizmo, and trick Zach into feeding them after midnight. Then, they go into the pupa stage, and eventually hatch into the Gremlins.

Though the premise sounds like a horror film, Gremlins is actually funnier than it is scary. Not many laughs come in the first half, but once the Gremlins appear, it turns out that they just want to have fun (I guess they're just victims; they don't mean to hurt people, they're just misunderstood monsters).

The effects were good for the time, but just look really cheesy now. The acting is generally pretty bad too. But all in all, it's a fun movie, one of those classic 80's movies (classic movies and classic 80's movies are two completely different categories). It's perfect for anyone who grew up in the 80's, and appreciates the cheesy films of the decade.

Just don't feed them after midnight.

The original DVD of Gremlins came out in 1999, and featured only the full screen version. This new release has a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, but it seems they forgot about the quality of the picture. It looks very grainy, and definitely not up to par. The sound is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital, but it too seems sub par. The only extras included are brief production notes and the really bad theatrical trailer.

Gremlins, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
106 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) 16X9 enhanced, 5.1 Dolby Digital
Starring Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, Polly Holliday and Frances Lee McCain
Produced by Michael Finnell, Written by Chris Columbus
Directed by Joe Dante.


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Updated May 13, 2006