Day 21 of Unconventional Christmas Viewing: Gremlins
Most people forget that Gremlins was indeed a Christmas movie. Gizmo is an early Christmas present for Billy played by Zach Galligan who also starred in Gremlins 2 as well as Waxworks 1 and 2. (It may surprise you to know that Zach still acts, but he does and is appearing in Hachet 3.) Also in a small role is a very young Corey Feldman as a tree delivery boy, Judge Rheinhold as a yuppie jerk, and for all you Breaking Bad fans Jonathan Banks as scaredy cat Deputy Brent. The premise is simple: Billy is given Gizmo, a mogwai, and instructed about three rules. Billy must keep Gizmo
 1. from bright lights, which hurt him, and sunlight, which will kill him
2. water which causes him to reproduce
3. eating after midnight, which spurs a transformation from fluffy cuteness to green scaly nastiness

Predictably Billy fails rules 2 and 3 and thus the town is overrun by psychotic creatures until Gizmo
and Billy manage to save the day by killing all the gremlins. Gremlins alternate being flat out homicidal, particularly Stripe, to cartoonishly silly. Particularly in the pub scene you have Gremlins imitating humans-flashing, breakdancing, cheating at cards, but not actually doing more than scaring the bartender (Billy's love interest played by Phoebe Cates). It's surprising given the popularity of Gremlins (remember the days when you couldn't drive on the highway without seeing a Gizmo suction cupped to the indoor of a car? I do.) that it only spawned one sequel. It inspired many knock off including Ghoulies and, particularly, Critters. While Gremlins only made it to two, Critters made it to four and managed to feature the talents of Leonardo Dicaprio (three) and Angela Basset (four).

Gremlins manages to be movie that not only holds up surprisingly well, it also manages to balance scary and funny moments. It's not quite an American Werewolf in London, but there are some real scares and the death of Stripe is particularly gross (I mean that in a good way). But wait, isn't this supposed to be about Christmas? Yes, it is! The movie offers Christmas-y goodness like Billy's mom crying while watching It's a Wonderful Life, but more importantly it is filled with lots of moments for those of us who get down on Christmas-from a Gremlin's head being tossed in the fire like a yule log to Phoebe Cates talking about how her father died on Christmas coming down the chimney.

Basically, it's a great movie and you should watch it.

Now as you notice I have a lot of viewing I have not written about and I'm going to fix that so generations to come can also enjoy some weird Christmas viewing or at the very least my reviews of weird Christmas viewing. However, tonight I am getting my happy ass to holiday karaoke to rock Santa, Baby.

But don't give up on me yet, there will be 25 reviews here soon. Mark my damn words.

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