Gremlins was one of my favorite movies growing up, and I’m happy to report that it’s just as much fun 35 years after its release as it was when it came out. It successfully walks the line between comedy and horror and even works as a holiday movie. Indeed, the story of Billy Pelzer and his pet Mogwai is a classic.
While away on one of his many business trips, would-be inventor Randall Pelzer (Hoyt Axton) stumbles upon an obscure curiosity shop. When his attempt to pitch one of his contraptions fails, he realizes that this is the perfect opportunity to secure a Christmas present for his son, Billy (Zach Galligan). A strange, enchanting creature called a Mogwai catches his eye, but the shopkeeper is unwavering: the Mogwai is not for sale. Realizing they’re about to lose a much needed customer, the shopkeeper catches Randall in the alleyway outside. He sells him the Mogwai on the condition that three rules are never broken – Never get him wet, keep him out of the light, and (most importantly) never ever feed him after midnight.
The Pelzers name their new friend Gizmo, and it should come as no surprise that Billy is delighted with his gift. Gizmo is as clever and cuddly as can be, and he even gets along with the family dog. Their happiness is short-lived, however. It doesn’t take long for Billy’s little friend (played by Corey Feldman) to knock a glass of water on Gizmo, and it’s all downhill from there. With a shudder and a series of pops, several new Mogwais are born…crafty, evil Mogwais who’d be happy to unplug the clock before midnight and then tell you they’re hungry.
All it takes is one late-night snack to turn the new Mogwais into terrifying and mischievous Gremlins. Soon the scaly green menaces are wreaking havoc on Kingston Falls, and Billy is doing his best to stop them. While the events that unfold are extremely entertaining, it is the characters that make this movie so lovable. With Phoebe Cates, Judge Reinhold, and Polly Holiday rounding out the cast, we’re given a host of everyman heroes to root for and a few cartoonish (but utterly believable) villains to heckle. If the movies have taught us anything, it’s that little green monsters are nothing new. It’s just rare to find them descending upon a town full of people we actually care about.
Special features on the 4K Ultra HD + Blu-Ray + Digital Code edition include additional scenes, a making-of featurette, two commentary tracks (with Joe Dante, Phoebe Cates, Zach Galligan, Howie Mandel), a photo/storyboard gallery, and theatrical trailers.