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Gremlins [WS] [DVD] [1984]

  • SKU: 4684979
  • Release Date: 05/15/2007
  • Rating: PG

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    99% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (437 out of 443)

    Special Features

    • Over 10 minutes of never-before-seen footage
    • 2 commentaries: #1 - Director Joe Dante, Zack Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Dick Miller and Howie Mandel; #2 - Director Joe Dante, producer Michael Finnell and special effects artist Chris Walas
    • Behind-the-scenes documentary
    • Photo/storyboard gallery
    • Cast/crew film highlights
    • Theatrical trailer
    • Languages & subtitles: English (2 tracks), Français & Español (feature film only)


    "Don't expose him to bright light. Don't ever get him wet. And don't ever, ever feed him after midnight." This sage advice is ignored midway through Gremlins, with devastating results. This comic Joe Dante effort is set in a Norman Rockwell-esque small town at Christmastime. Seeking a unique gift for his son an erstwhile inventor (Hoyt Axton) purchases a cute, fuzzy little "Mogwai" from a Chinatown shopkeeper's (Keye Luke) grandson (John Louie), who dispenses the above-mentioned warning before closing the deal. Meanwhile, young bank clerk Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) must suffer such antagonists as rich-bitch Mrs. Deagle (Polly Holliday) and priggish Gerald (Judge Reinhold) while pursuing his romance with Kate (Phoebe Cates). These and a variety of other plot strands are tied together when the lovable mogwai (named Gizmo) is exposed to bright light and gotten wet. In short order, the town is invaded by nasty, predatory Gremlins, who lay waste to everything in sight as Billy and Kate try to contain the destruction. Like most of Joe Dante's works, Gremlins is chock-full of significant cameo appearances: in this instance, such pop-culture icons as Dick Miller, Jackie Joseph, Chuck Jones, Scott Brady, Harry Carey Jr., Steven Spielberg (the film's executive producer) and even Robby the Robot all show up briefly on screen. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Zach Galligan
      Zach Galligan - Billy
    • Hoyt Axton
      Hoyt Axton - Rand Peltzer
    • Frances Lee McCain
      Frances Lee McCain - Lynn Peltzer
    • Phoebe Cates
      Phoebe Cates - Kate
    • Polly Holliday
      Polly Holliday - Mrs. Deagle

    Customer rating

    Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 443 reviews

    would recommend to a friend

    Most relevant reviews

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    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      "Now I have another reason to hate Christmas..."

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      A comedy with horror elements, set at Christmas, released in the summer of 1984, earning positive reviews (Despite many being turned off by the violence) and earned a ton of money at the box office and a huge cult following 30+ years after release. How does this compute? A few days before Christman, Randy Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) is in Chinatown in New York City (Well... at least presumably NYC) and is looking to sell his inventions in one of the many shops around. He finds, with the aid of a young kid, a trinket shop, ran by the boy's grandfather, Mr. Wing (Key Luke). Upon trying to sell his wares, he comes across a strange creature; very rare but also very interesting. He tries to buy the creature for his son, but Mr. Wing refuses because he couldn't handle the huge responsibility of taking care of a Mogwai. Of course, his grandson sneaks him out and sells him the Mogwai, with three rules: Sunlight will kill them, do not get the creature wet, and don't feed them after midnight. Back in Kingston Falls, USA, Randy's son Billy (Zach Galligan, in his screen debut) is working at the local bank, trying to earn a living until his drawing lands him a better job and also trying to get a date with co-worker, Kate (Phoebe Cates). His father comes back from his trip, with an early gift in tow for Billy, the Mogwai he dubs "Gizmo" (Voiced by Howie Mandel). Billy manages to take real good care of Gizmo, but when his young friend Pete (Corey Feldman) accidentally spills water on Gizmo, it unleashes more Mogwai, who tend to be more unruly than Gizmo. Billy decides to take Gizmo to his old school science teacher to run some tests on his own creature he creates with water. In the meantime, Billy tries to take care of all of the creatures, but is tricked into feeding them after midnight, after his clock wire is chewed loose. This then creates something far more dangerous, far more scary and more sinister... Gremlins! Billy must then team up with Kate and Gizmo to protect himself, his family and the rest of Kingston Falls from falling into chaos. Will they succeed? Will they fall in love? Does the mogwai have internal clocks that tell them where midnight is in their timezone? Has anybody never saw this classic film? Endlessly parodied, countless ripoffs (The series of Critters films, Muchies and Hobgoblins just to name a few) and was supposedly even the inspiration for the Furby, this film has huge influence. That, and the film is a ton of fun and pretty dark to boot. I really like how black the film got, with the infamous scene of Kate telling the story of her father while hiding from the gremlins, but also making some of the darker elements huge sources of comedy and hasn't aged a bit. The story is well-paced, managing to entice us throughout the whole journey and not be boring. The two leads have good chemistry, and while Galligan did pretty well as a first time lead (Charming, not bad looking as a lead, delivers a line fairly well), but Cates acts better overall and manages to believably make her character tragic but hopeful. The supporting cast does tremendous work, with Axton delivering a warm, fatherly performance, Feldman does good work as Pete, Mandel doing a voice fairly similarly to Bobby from Bobby's World (Anybody remember that show...?) but not annoying at all, Key Luke doing good work as the stubborn Mr. WIng and Polly Holliday as Mrs. Deagle (The single richest person in town who is a real you-know-what) are all fantastic. Of course, Billy's neighbor is played by iconic character actor Dick Miller and shines as the only real believer in gremlins, though in a fairly xenophobic way, but still believes in them. Joe Dante brings his A-game to the film, managing to imbue his style into a major Hollywood film. Though able to be serious in the serious moments, there is a comedic pulse throughout the entire film that could undercut several scenes, but manages to subside until needed. Which is often needed and well done. Chris Columbus' screenplay, his first screenplay (Followed by The Goonies' and Young Sherlock Holmes, all three made by Spielberg) and manages to be a great mix of comedy and horror (Originally, this was a pitch black comedy, where the gremlins would eat patrons of a McD's instead of the burgers... 'nuff said) and has terrific flow and great use of the Christmas-time setting, which Columbus would use to great effect when he became a director, making the classic Home Alone years later. The makeup, special effects and puppetry are flat out amazing, with the creature design by Chris Walas being absolutely fantastic (He later did the makeup for The Fly, winning an Oscar), with Gizmo and the gremlins looking fantastic and real, and the goopy slime effects also used to great effect. The score by Jerry Goldsmith, though not one of his epic masterpieces along the lines of Patton or Planet of the Apes, but manages to carve out a nice synth/orchestral score, with the more traditional sound blending well with the carnival-esque depravity of the Gremlins when they appear onscreen, unleashing havoc. The cinematography (C/O John Hora) is also used well, being Rockwell-ish but if Norman Rockwell decided to paint small town America with Dali influences. The editing is well done and is cut where there is no lag time in-between scenes and flows well, the sound being decent but decidedly analogue, and the set design appropriately recreating winter in the dead heat of California in the middle of summer. Moving on to the DVD, we'll start with the PQ. Shot in 1.85 on 35mm film (Blown-up 70mm prints were also released) and anamorphically enhanced, the picture here is pretty decent but not stellar. Though the cinematography has some influence on the look, the film can be grainy and soft at times, but the details are fairly sharp for a DVD and the colors do look great as well. Just don't expect a hugely modern look and feel and you'll be within expectations. The AQ is a bit better, but the 5.1 Dolby Digital track doesn't add too much the the presentation. The surrounds are used from time to time, but don't be looking for a strong LFE presence or an aural wonderland of delights, and mainly benefits the music. The original stereo track is also included and works better for the film overall. The extras are fairly excellent, and puts the special in special edition. Starting off is the first of two commentaries, with Joe Dante, produce Mike Finnell and Chris Walas headlining track one. Though it is tech-minded, talking about BTS issues with the puppets, how certain shots were made, et cetera, but they manage to have fun and not be a boring track. Track two is just as good, this time Dante wrangling Galligan, Cates, Dick Miller and Mandel to the party, and manages to be a very entertaining and worthwhile track. Overlap is almost non-existent, and there are some great stories such as an accident Cates had with a moped to Galligan an inch away from being electrocuted fatally when destroying a neon sign. Both are excellent and worthy of your time, Moving on, is a rather disappointing set of extras (Especially compared to the excellent commentaries) starting off with a vintage 1983 making-of that has some good BTS shots and interesting comments from cast and crew, but with muffled sound quality and it being so short, its good for a viewing once or twice. Next up are 10 minutes with deleted scenes (w/ optional commentary with Dante, Galligan, Mandel, Miller & Cates) with a few okay scenes, including a subplot where Mrs. Deagle was knowingly firing workers and forcibly foreclosing on homes for a strip mall, and one that many TV viewers will notice that follows the infamous speech in the bank. Rounding out the extras are an extensive set of photo galleries, biographies of cast and crew members, production notes and trailers to this and the sequel. Overall, this classic is treated well on DVD, with okay picture and sound, but the extras (Mainly the commentaries) make up for it, and is a must own if you don't want to upgrade to HD, though it is worth it with better picture and sound along with all the extras and new ones if you get the Diamond Luxe release. But, if you need a cheap DVD to entertain you for 90 minutes, look no further and comes highly recommended.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      This is a classic flick!

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      The year was 1984; 2 years after the onset of the "E.T." phenomenon, when a little mogwai stole the hearts of every viewer in the audience. This movie was a staple in my 1990's VHS library. My son (born in 1990) grew up watching this movie endlessly, over and over and over again. He now has a 4 year old of his own, and the tradition continues. The story line promotes discussing "following rules" and "taking responsibility" when the young owner opens the door to chaos and destruction simply because he failed to take appropriate care of his funny, fuzzy, little cherub. There is some violence, albeit comedic for older children and adults, that younger children may not understand without appropriate guidance. In our house it's "bright light - bright light" not "ET phone home". This movie is a family tradition!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Mixed feelings on the packaging

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      This review is for the packaging, not the movie. The movie is a 5 star movie in my opinion. These new slim "Magno" cases that are coming out look nice, but have some flaws that I would like to point out. The material used is like a thin metal or aluminum. Fresh out of the shrink wrap, you can already see several scratches & scuffs all over the case artwork, inside & out. The discs are held in place by a round disc shaped cutout and a small lip on the bottom of the cutout to stop the disc from slipping out. This lip can potentially cause scrapes when removing & replacing the disc over time. Also the disc makes contact on the metal case when placing the disc in its cutout space. I feel this will also cause scratches over time. Overall, I think the design looks nice but some of the features are poorly thought out. I think Digibooks are better designed than these new "Magno" cases.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      delightful & spooky


      This Joe Dante film is a wonderful and, at times, scary (so much so that it helped lead to the creation of the PG-13 rating) ride. An inventor gives his son, Billy, a rare Christmas gift: a sweet creature known as a Mogwai (who the recipient names Gizmo). However, this pet requires more precise care than most: it shouldn't get wet (as it'll multiply), be exposed to bright light (which hurts them) or sunlight (it kills them), and it shouldn't be fed after midnight. To do the latter will cause them to turn into the title creatures, which are ugly, mean, & have claws(although they are just as mischievous as their Mogwai counterparts). Needless to say, these rules are all broken, which leads to havoc for Billy's town, which he, Gizmo, & Billy's girlfriend Kate must stop.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      They Don't Make 'Em Like This Anymore


      'Gremlins' has always been an underrated film in my opinion, even though it was a relative box office success. The reason being, this was an incredibly difficult and painstaking production that ultimately turned out a very high quality product, especially given the time it was made. While special effects fans are sure to delight the most, just about everyone can appreciate and enjoy this movie which is quite good overall. Unfortunately, as is often the case, the sequel did not live up to the standard set by the original. This is a superb dvd release, featuring a good widescreen transfer and two excellent commentaries, as well as a nice selection of other extras that are sure to please any fan of the film.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Classic Legends

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      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      I am using the same review on both Gremlins 1 and 2. minus the typo in the part 2 review. I don't really see leaving a review for these classics. But hey you never know. I am really surprised they have not remade the Gremlin movies. They have remade everything else and than some. I am afraid they might rip it to shreds though. These are classics, and there are a few younger people that know who they are, which was surprising to me. I sat down with my now 5 year old daughter and introduced them to her. She loved them, of course the Gremlins were scary but she couldn't stop laughing at Gizmo. I like 1 more than 2, but 2 is still good. I use the theme as my ringtone.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great movie

      • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

      You doesn't love the adorable Gizmo. Don't feed him after midnight, don't get him wet, and keep him out of the light. Bright light, Bright light. This is such a good movie. It is such a good movie kids will like it but be careful younger kids will be a little freaked out and scared. It is a great movie for adults too. This is one movie that has stood the test of time. Great price and buy. If you have never seen it or are a fan for pick yours up today you will watch it over and over and get your moneys worth.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

      A Classic


      I was a young child the first time I saw this movie and it scared the heck out of me! I was afraid to go in our basement by myself for quite awhile after watching it. I recently watched it again over 30 years later and, while I no longer found it scary, I also didn't enjoy it as much. But I still say it's a classic and you should see it at least once!

      I would recommend this to a friend

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