Gremlins (1984)

Gremlins poster

 

Gremlins (1984)

Somehow, I have made it through the best part of 29 years on Earth without seeing this Christmas classic in full. I’m glad it ended up being first on my list of films to watch/re-watch, as it is a bit of a doozy.

Where to begin? The whole thing feels like Stephen Spielberg and John Carpenter teamed up to create a satirical B-movie on the set of It’s A Wonderful Life. Whilst it didn’t take itself at all seriously, it just managed to stay out of the spoof territory. It was masterfully done, and I think it helps the films appeal.

Despite not being a spoof, it is so referential! Many films were nodded to and winked at, but none more so than E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. From the plush E.T. doll, to the use of the same circular saw blades, and even one of the Gremlins muttering ‘phone home’ – it was hilarious.

You know what also great? The mother (Frances Lee McCain) was pretty badass. In a world crying out for strong feminine characters, it turns out that we already had them thirty plus years ago. Don’t get me wrong, the tussle with the Christmas tree was daft (it is a silly film), but the kitchen scene where she takes out not one, or two, but three of the critters in quick succession is pretty darn cool – especially as we’ve literally just seen the school teacher get taken out by a solitary monster. Which was worse – the blender or the microwave?

I also really like that the main guy is actually pretty rubbish as a ‘hero’. He’s a bit of a wimp throughout. He gets his arse kicked (verbally and physically) in most confrontations and, in the end, it is his mogwai Gizmo that saves the day.

Unless you don’t get the humour of it all, there’s little to complain about. The pacing is a bit disjointed in places, and the severe cutting back of Judge Reinhold’s character is a little odd (I’ve read that he was meant to have a much larger part, but it was severely cut). The effects for the monsters are a little shaky/cheap looking, but given that is a cultish B-movie it only adds to the charm.

Thumbs up.

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The DVD Marathon

I have an ever increasingly voluminous collection of DVDs and Blu-Rays that I have been intending to watch. You know how it is – you are in your local entertainment retailer and you see a pretty nifty deal involving a bunch of films that ‘you’d been meaning to check out’. You pick them up at a bargain rate… then let them gather dust on the shelf, never to be opened.

I’m now approaching the point where I will run out of space to store all of the films I own on DVD/Blu-Ray. Before I can commit to clearing them out though, I want to make sure I have seen them all at least once. That is where this feature comes in.

The DVD Marathon is something that I shall be updating (hopefully) with some regularity. I am going to use it the chronicle my visual journey through my entire collection. I’ll be watching all sorts of films – funny, dramatic, factual, fictional, good, bad. If I own it, it is fair game.

At first, I shall probably just stick to feature films (Besides my classic Doctor Who collection, I have a few TV box sets), but I may expand upon it once I’ve finished (if I ever finish!).

I’m not sure what’ll be up first, but I shall write about it soon.

14 Months Later…

No, it’s not the latest instalment in a decent-if-flawed horror franchise, but my second post!

I’ve finally gotten around to (somewhat) updating this place. I’m still unsure of the exact layout I’m looking for, but it will do for now.

Shortly, I shall be posting the first of many blog updates as,  slowly,  I work my way through my entire DVD and Blu Ray collection (more on that later). I’ll also undoubtedly spam this place with ramblings concerning the NFL, Fantasy Football and other bits and bobs too over time. That is, of course, if I can tear myself again from Dragon Age: Inquisition for more than a few minutes!

While I’m here, and if anyone is actually reading this, I’d like to bring to their attention a few sites/blogs that may be of interest:

Firstly, there is Fake Geeks. There, four friends and I give our opinions on contemporary film and television. We’ve just posted our breakdown of the top twenty films of 2014. (You can read the posts here: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3)

Of those friends, Mike is currently running his own blog entitled My Year of Films (he is attempting to watch 150 films in a single calendar year). Rich has his own website, where you can read some of his work and find out a little more about him. Nick can be heard on the digital airwaves as the presenter of The Lair at both Preston FM and Planet Mosh.