Gremlins (1984, Joe Dante)

A great movie that does not get enough credit. Completely successful as a comedy, a horror, an action/effects popcorn flick, even a kids movie. I’ve loved it since I was 7.

The dog (“mushroom”) is amazing. In the commentary, Joe Dante says he loved the dog and little Corey Feldman, ’cause they were the only two actors that believed the gremlins were real. Apparently the whole production was a puppeteering nightmare, compounded when Spielberg decided (correctly, you’d think) to NOT kill off Gizmo halfway through the movie… hence little cheats in the second half, like carrying him in Billy’s backpack, and having him ride the toy car.

The black man’s the first one to die, of course. Dante fave Dick Miller plays xenophobic Mr. Futterman, who coins the term gremlins for our beasties. Dante wanted to play the old warner WWII cartoon short about gremlins before the feature, but they wouldn’t let him… too bad. Judge Reinhold has a small part, Chuck Jones has a cameo, Spielberg & Goldsmith & Robbie the Robot get cameos, and Howie Mandel is the voice of Gizmo.

Zach, Corey Feldman, and a lotta mogwai:

When mogwai go bad:

My favorite gag: