This seems to be turning into a mini-series of posts on movies... That's fine with me. I have some time for watching movies (brainless), and almost none for reading.
So I snagged a copy of Gremlins (alas, The Blob will have to wait).
Never saw it before -- I really missed out on pop culture as a child. So it came out in the 80s, of course -- in elementary school, that was the decade of Swatches and Transformer lunchboxes. Actually, I think I may even have had a Gremlins lunchbox, but my memory is a bit foggy on this point.
I love catching up on these missed pieces of collective culture, so I was ready to enjoy even a bad movie.
Oh boy, was it bad. (At least the special effects were still bearable, even after a few decades. Impressive!)
Let me just share a few random thoughts... if it jogs your recollection, please share in the comments.
Summary: boy meets cute but mysterious critter, keeps critter in bedroom. Accidental exposure to water leads to more sinister generation. Sinister generation spawns horde of demon-kind, lay waste to town. Viewers don't care; someone saves the day.
Brain-exploding logic: if water makes the Gremlins reproduce, and each generation is more sinister... what generation made the cute-and-nice creature? Is there some other method of reproduction? How come jumping in a pool bypasses the apparently-normal chrysalis stage? If water is so bad, why the heck would anyone keep these things as pets in the first place? (Like, if they ever escaped, the planet is toast.) What kind of water is OK? Isn't there water in all food? Humidity in the air? Why do the Gremlins like Snow White? And how can they watch the movie if they destroy the projector?
Ethnic moments: hello, Orientalism (thank you, Mrs. Troll, for pointing this out). What, Spielberg makes movies with inappropriate ethnic stereotypes? Couldn't be.
Most fun scene: Mom find several of the Gremlins in her kitchen; goes beserk and chops, mashes, blends, and nukes interlopers. Awesomely gory! Go, Mom!
Pointless moral: "you might just have gremlins in your misbehaving equipment..." Uh, yeah, nowhere in the movie did anyone try to make this point. The Gremlins did not act in subtle ways. They destroyed things. Generally in large, unmistakable hordes. If your oven is a little flaky, it's not a friggin' Gremlin unless some scaly, be-teethed horror jumps out and aims for the jugular.
Movie I haven't seen but that totally has to be better: Critters.
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