Saturday, November 24, 2012

1984 - GREMLINS, Joe Dante's horror comedy

Gremlins is one of the few films that Joe Dante has directed where audiences responded to his comic book style of film making.  Dante, also a major film buff (nerd)  has packed the film with lots of in jokes and old actors he grew up watching.

This is a nostalgia wallow of old character actors with Kenneth Tobey, Edward Andrews, Scott Brady, Harry Carey Jr, William Schallert, Dick Miller, Jackie Joseph and Keye Luke.  The film gets even more inside with appearances from Jerry Goldsmith, Robbie the Robot (reciting dialog from Forbidden Planet), Steven Spielberg sitting in George Pal's time machine, Chuck Jones and pictures of character actor Edward Arnold prominently displayed.  Amazingly, all this stuff doesn't get in the way of the film.

The film sends up small town middle class American life with the gremlin assault on a housewife in her kitchen the highlight of the film.  Americans can wallow in sloppy holiday sentimentality but they are also capable of developing a real vicious and violent streak when push comes to shove. 

106 minutes

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