“Awwww… Isn’t Gizmo cuuuuuuuute! Oh, he’s so gorgeous, I want one, I want one!”… or words to that effect. Gizmo was the poster boy (or girl maybe, that was never entirely clear, but given that they reproduce asexually, it’s hardly relevant) for adorable little furry things that you just wanted to take home and snuggle. But watch out! If you don’t read the instructions (and/or abide by them) it’s going to get VERY messy! We’re talking about 15 hours of dismantling the household food processor to clean out the green goo, MESSY.
Gremlins is a morality tale of sorts. Basically it told us that the West is definitely not ready for the mystical spiritualism and discipline of the East. Our lovable protagonist, Billy, provides for his family whilst his scatterbrained, inventor father pushes useless products that might one day be marketed on television between the hours of 2-5am, but back in the 1980s, were merely mocked for being a waste of baby boomers’ disposable income. After hearing the irresistible Mogwai hum a few bars, like a sailor to a siren song, Billy’s dad will not take ‘no’ for an answer when he offers to buy Gizmo as a Christmas present for his son. A basement-bound sage finally relents, however this exchange occurs bound by a strict caveat:
- Never get the Mogwai wet. (It causes them to reproduce asexually.)
- Do not expose the Mogwai to bright light, especially sunlight (it will kill them).
- And absolutely never, EVER, feed them after dark. (If you do this, they will spin a cocoon and undergo a metamorphosis which causes them to become an entirely hostile, antisocial and not at all cute and cuddly monster).
I have to say, that Gremlins was a pretty scary film to see as a 10-year old. Thank goodness my parents never paid attention to ratings and took me to see films like Poltergeist when I was ill-equipped to process them (to this day, I cannot sleep if there is anything resembling a clown in our house), and hence the tense horror scenes in the film were able to be digested. However, it’s nice to see that the racists, classists and random extras (“it’s funny because I don’t know ‘em”) meet an end by the hands of the metamorphosed creatures. Like I was saying, MORALITY TALE!