Friends, 1984’s Gremlins is movie that I hold close to my heart. Not just around the time of the Holidays – because I think we can all agree that Gremlins IS a Holiday film. But the fact that Joe Dante’s movie manages to be both sweet and in some cases delightfully frightening – much like Spielberg’s collaboration with Tobe Hopper in ’82 with Poltergeist – it makes the film stand out all the more to me. Granted the latter was most definitely designed to be more of a straight up horror film than Gremlins – besides just remember the amount of merchandising that was rolled out for the 1984 film aimed at kids!
For myself Gremlins is a near perfect film – it has a few scares, quite a few bits of dark comedy, likeable characters and in addition it boasts an incredible score by Jerry Goldsmith. The composer totally managed to distill the essence of the film itself, the madcap and deadly antics of the gremlins characters into the song entitled The Gremlin Rag.
Six years later when Gremlins 2: The New Batch was released to theaters, I was the only one of my friends who actually enjoyed it. I totally caught Dante’s gleeful poking fun of not just his own original picture but the nature of sequels in general. For what it’s worth, the only reason that Dante decided to do Gremlins 2: The New Batch was the studio was so hot to create a sequel they literally let him do whatever he wanted to do. Which is why I believe the movie plays like a live-action Looney Tunes animated short!
Over the years there have been many attempts at either rebooting the franchise itself or managing to produce a third film. Just last year, Chris Columbus, who wrote the screenplay for the original film made mention that a reboot was still moving ahead and that it would be ‘twisted and dark‘ which of course the first film had been planned to be. For example in the original draft the Gremlins offed Billy’s Mother and even went so far as to eat Barney, the Family dog!
I’m certainly not opposed to the idea of a reboot of Gremlins but the real question is how are the little beasts themselves going to be brought to life? Will the studio go with practical effects like in the original with those wonderful puppets created by Chris Walas? Or shall they probably go the CGI route or perhaps a combination of both? Only time will tell but at the very least we can enjoy the many, many fan created works paying homage to the Gremlins film. Such as this extremely short animated film simply entitled Gremlin that gives us a taste of what an animted feature film might look like if it was tackled by Pixar.