When you think of Christmas movies, Gremlins probably doesn’t spring to mind. Yet this 1984 horror comedy is a Christmas movie.
Despite the fact that Gizmo was cute and the movie had massive marketing of toys, video games, etc. this is not a cuddly Christmas movie; not for children or those disturbed by violence and graphic scenes.
GREMLINS bits and pieces:
Howie Mandel did the voice of Gizmo, the Mogwai.
Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) 1943 book, The Gremlins influenced the director, Joe Dante.
During World War II, aircraft mechanical failures were jokingly blamed on gremlins or small creatures.
A WWII era Bugs Bunny cartoon had Bugs harassed and battling a gremlin on an airplane.
In Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, a 1963 William Shatner Twilight Zone episode he sees a gremlin on the wing of the plane trying to destroy it. There’s…something…on…the…wing!!!John Lithgow re-enacted it in Twilight Zone: The Movie then he and Shatner referenced the scenes when they were together as Father and Son on 3rd Rock From The Sun.
In The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror IV, Terror at 5 1/2 Feet, a gremlin attacks the school bus…
Look at the set for Kingston Falls closely, it’s the same one they used as Hill Valley in the Back to the Future movies.
There was never supposed to be a Mogwai named Stripe. Gizmo was to turned into Stripe, but Gizmo was so cute they’d keep him around for the whole film.Gremlins and Indiana Jones: The Temple of Doom were so violent the ratings were changed, on the suggestion of Steven Spielberg, and the PG-13 rating was created.
Howie Mandel learned to say “Bright light!” in several languages so he could dub the movie in various countries and do appearances and promos.
When Billy is walking by the movie marquee we see the titles A Boy’s Life which was the original title for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Watch the Skies which was the working title for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Spielberg loves to put this stuff for movie buffs.
Steven Spielberg did a rare cameo as the man with the broken leg riding recumbent bicycle. His suitcase says SS Enterprises.
Merry Christmas and remember, if you get a Mogwai as a gift:
1. Never expose it to bright light;
2. Never get it wet;
3. Never, ever feed it after midnight.