[4 December 2009]
Rand Peltzer has one special gift for his son Billy this Christmas, an adorable exotic pet Mogwai named Gizmo that comes with three ominous stipulations: keep it out of the sunlight, keep it away from water and do not feed it after midnight. As arbitrary movie rules were made to be broken, though, soon an ever-multiplying army of mischievous little green monsters is terrorizing the film’s Norman Rockwell-esque small town.
Underrated B-movie auteur Joe Dante’s 1984 hit lands on Blu-ray just in time for both its 25th Anniversary and for the holidays, when its sneakily subversive anti-consumerist satire (note the final showdown in a labyrinthine department store, complete with an isle full of E.T. dolls, a wink and a nudge in the direction of executive producer Steven Spielberg) has an added sting. A kid-friendly tongue-in-cheek horror flick that still manages to be scary and quite hilariously disgusting (its death-by-microwave remains a gross-out masterpiece).
Gremlins makes for ideal late-Christmas viewing—for just that time when you are ready for something still festive, yet nasty enough to wash away some of the holiday-special treacle.