4.7 24
Director: Joe Dante

Cast: Joe Dante, Zach Galligan, Hoyt Axton, Frances Lee McCain


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"Don't expose him to bright light. Don't ever get him wet. And don't ever, ever feed him after midnight." This sage advice is ignored midway through Gremlins, with devastating results. This comic Joe Dante effort is set in a Norman Rockwell-esque small town at Christmastime. Seeking a unique gift for his son an erstwhile inventor (Hoyt Axton) purchases a cute,See more details below

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"Don't expose him to bright light. Don't ever get him wet. And don't ever, ever feed him after midnight." This sage advice is ignored midway through Gremlins, with devastating results. This comic Joe Dante effort is set in a Norman Rockwell-esque small town at Christmastime. Seeking a unique gift for his son an erstwhile inventor (Hoyt Axton) purchases a cute, fuzzy little "Mogwai" from a Chinatown shopkeeper's (Keye Luke) grandson (John Louie), who dispenses the above-mentioned warning before closing the deal. Meanwhile, young bank clerk Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) must suffer such antagonists as rich-bitch Mrs. Deagle (Polly Holliday) and priggish Gerald (Judge Reinhold) while pursuing his romance with Kate (Phoebe Cates). These and a variety of other plot strands are tied together when the lovable mogwai (named Gizmo) is exposed to bright light and gotten wet. In short order, the town is invaded by nasty, predatory Gremlins, who lay waste to everything in sight as Billy and Kate try to contain the destruction. Like most of Joe Dante's works, Gremlins is chock-full of significant cameo appearances: in this instance, such pop-culture icons as Dick Miller, Jackie Joseph, Chuck Jones, Scott Brady, Harry Carey Jr., Steven Spielberg (the film's executive producer) and even Robby the Robot all show up briefly on screen.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Jason Bergenfeld
Executive producer Steven Spielberg teamed with horror director Joe Dante (The Howling) for this comical shockfest, written by Chris Columbus (Mrs. Doubtfire) in his Hollywood breakthrough. A Capra-inspired Christmas classic -- bizarro-world Frank Capra, at least -- Gremlins gleefully straddles the line between funny and frightening, as an army of animatronic creatures wreak havoc in a small town before the human residents figure out what's hit them and strike back. The story follows precocious Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan), who receives a cute-and-fuzzy (pre-Furby) "Mogwai" named Gizmo (voiced by Howie Mandel) from his inventor dad (Hoyt Axton). Gizmo comes with three strict, if cryptic, rules of pet care: no bright light; no water; and, most important, no midnight snacks. But rules are made to be broken: Soon enough, the winter wonderland of Kingston Falls catches a bad case of the Gremlins, and we have a monster movie on our hands. Ugly, green, and extremely mean, these Mogwai transmutations are the polar opposite of cuddly Gizmo. They seek only to torture and humiliate, which results in some shockingly crude physical comedy. From Billy's sweetly sarcastic coworker Kate (Phoebe Cates) to mean old Mrs. Deagle (Polly Holliday), no one escapes the depredations of these creepy critters. In 1990, Dante directed a sequel, which concentrated more on comedy than fright, but it's the original Gremlins that stays in moviegoers' minds.
All Movie Guide
Chock full of wide-eyed furry creatures that were being aggressively marketed as stuffed animals, Gremlins undoubtedly sent a misleading message to a lot of parents. The affiliation of executive producer Steven Spielberg, who was fresh off the success of E.T., surely encouraged parents further, but many were left shielding their children's eyes as a gaggle of reptilian gnomes burst forth from a swimming pool and began smoking cigarettes, wielding chainsaws, and killing off townspeople. Gremlins is not appropriate for kids, and it drew a lot of complaints, but it has some jokey pleasures and plenty of satirical bite, as a Capra-esque small town is turned inside out on Christmas Eve. The film was a box-office smash and a cultural touch point, with the viewing public quickly learning the three steps to avoid transforming the impossibly precious Mogwais into the all-id gremlins. The violence against humans is mostly cartoonish and bloodless, but the gremlins don't get off so easy; in a memorable kitchen sequence, featuring a terrified Frances Lee McCain, a pair of pursuing baddies get offed in a microwave and a blender, their orange guts splattered hither and non. Although directed by Joe Dante, the film features the undeniably Spielberg-ian theme of imperiled innocence in middle America, as well as his love for imaginative creatures. And the special effects crew has a grand time bringing it all together, making for a taut horror fantasy with lasting appeal.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Over 10 minutes of never-before-seen footage; 2 commentaries: #1 - Director Joe Dante, Zack Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Dick Miller and Howie Mandel; #2 - Director Joe Dante, producer Michael Finnell and special effects artist Chris Walas; Behind-the-scenes documentary; Photo/storyboard gallery; Cast/crew film highlights; Theatrical trailer; Languages & subtitles: English (2 tracks), Français & Español (feature film only)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Zach Galligan Billy
Hoyt Axton Rand Peltzer
Frances Lee McCain Lynn Peltzer
Phoebe Cates Kate
Polly Holliday Mrs. Deagle
Scott Brady Sheriff
Glynn Turman Hanson
Corey Feldman Pete
Keye Luke Grandfather
Judge Reinhold Gerald
Jonathan Banks Dep. Brent
Edward Andrews Corben
Susan Arnold Actor
James MacKrell Lew Landers
Mushroom Barney
John Louie Chinese Boy
Don Steele Rockin' Ricky Rialto
Dick Miller Mr. Futterman
Arnie Moore Pete's Father
Harry Carey Mr. Anderson
Donald Elson Man on Street
Belinda Balaski Mrs. Harris
Lois Foraker Bank Teller
Chuck Jones Mr. Jones
Kenny Davis Dorry
Nicky Katt School Children
John C. Becher Dr. Molinaro
Jackie Joseph Mrs. Futterman
Joe Brooks Santa
Frank Welker Special Vocal Effects
Howie Mandel Gizmo
Fred Newman Special Vocal Effects
Mark Dodson Special Vocal Effects
Michael Winslow Special Vocal Effects
Peter Cullen Special Vocal Effects
Michael Sheehan Special Vocal Effects
Bob Holt Special Vocal Effects
Steven Spielberg Man in Electric Wheelchair (uncredited)
Jim McKrell Lew Landers

Technical Credits
Joe Dante Director
Susan Arnold Casting
Norman Burza Costumes/Costume Designer
Chris Columbus Screenwriter
Michael Finnell Producer
Jerry Goldsmith Score Composer
Warren Hamilton Sound Editor
Tina Hirsch Editor
John Hora Cinematographer
Rosemary Johnston Stunts
Kathleen Kennedy Executive Producer
Ken King Sound/Sound Designer
Frank Marshall Executive Producer
Linda Matthews Costumes/Costume Designer
William Matthews Set Decoration/Design
Mike McGaughy Stunts
James Spencer Production Designer
Steven Spielberg Executive Producer
Chris Walas Special Effects

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Gremlins [Special Edition]
1. Three Rules [5:35]
2. Wintry White [2:52]
3. Mrs. Deagle's [4:53]
4. With Gerald [1:38]
5. "Gonna Like This" [4:43]
6. Bedtime Buddies [3:01]
7. Instant Menagerie [9:53]
8. Closing the Bar [5:16]
9. Hungry Mogwai [2:58]
10. Pupal States [3:37]
11. Hanson Gets Needle [6:39]
12. Under Siege [2:57]
13. Kitchen Carnage [4:56]
14. Stripe's Plunge [2:30]
15. Skeptics [1:09]
16. Remodeling [2:24]
17. Mailbox Mischief [2:22]
18. Carolers [2:22]
19. Mayhem [3:10]
20. Hot Time @ Dorry's [5:01]
21. Sad Yuletide Story [2:54]
22. Hi-ho... to Movies! [6:21]
23. Store Showdown [5:46]
24. Gizmo to Rescue [1:54]
25. Stripe's Last Stand [3:05]
26. Grandpa Knows Best [3:54]
27. You Never Can Tell [4:06]


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