Director: Joe Dante
Cast: Zach Galligan, Hoyt Axton, Phoebe Cates and Howie Mandel
Synopsis: Inventor Randall Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) is on a business trip and is searching for a last minute Christmas present for his son Billy (Zach Galligan) when he is brought to an antique Chinese store. In the store he tries to sell one of his inventions when he hears a faint singing and he offers to buy the creature singing. After he is refused sale of the animal the grandson of the store owner secretly sells it too him but tells him there are three rules he must follow keep it away from light sunlight can kill it, don’t get water on it and don’t feed it after midnight. We discover that the animal is a Mogwai which the family names Gizmo (voiced by Howie Mandel). It is not long however before they spill water on Gizmo which makes more Mogwai’s. It’s not long before they are fed after midnight turning them into small monsters that wreak havoc on the town and it’s people. Now Billy must rush to save the town and Kate (Phoebe Cates) a girl from work he has a crush on before the gremlins destroy to much of the town.
Trivia: Generally credited (along with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) to influence the MPAA to create the PG-13 rating, as many felt the scenes of violence in both movies were too much for a PG rating, but not enough for an R rating. Hoyt Axton was always the foremost choice for Rand Peltzer. Pat Harrington Jr. was also considered. Pat Hingle was said to have delivered the best screen test, but was passed on because it was feared Rand’s character would take over the picture as a result of Hingle’s excellent performance.
How scary is this really?: This movie is quite notorious because it was one of the films that created the necessity of a PG-13 rating. I have always loved this movie and while an overly scary movie is terrified me as a kid but I still couldn’t help but love it. If it wasn’t the fact that they can turn into gremlins I really wish the Mogwai was a pet you could actually have because they are beyond adorable. Although it is set around Christmas I still feel as though this is also a Halloween movie.