Episode 45. Monsters Ball: Gremlins (1984)

gremlins

‘Tis the season to be scary! Andrea and Alex unpack all the rules that come with Gizmo and the Mogwai and what they mean to small-town America at Christmastime. Don’t get your values wet or feed them after midnight!

REQUIRED READING

Gremlins. Dir. Joe Dante, 1984.

Gremlins 2: The New Batch. Dir Joe Dante, 1990.

EXTRA CREDIT

Orientalism by Edward Said. A book that has only gotten more relevant since its publication 30 years ago.

Key & Peele’s hilarious full sketch on the writing process for Gremlins 2.

The Faculty of Horror Spotify playlist! Have yourself a scary little Christmas with the Faculty of Horror playlist on Spotify.

LISTEN

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4 thoughts on “Episode 45. Monsters Ball: Gremlins (1984)

  1. love_rob says:

    I think I’m pretty strongly on team gremlin. Sure they were a bit mischievous at first but Mrs. Peltzer basically starts murdering them immediately. If I was was attacked on sight by a species I probably wouldn’t care too much about their safety after that. Even when they were mogwai humans were pretty shitty to them. They’re just punk-rock.

    I feel the movie sort of half-explored the decline of the working class in the United States and the loss of the american dream with the Mr. Futterman character. I expected something at the end as a redemption of the american blue collar worker but I didn’t see it realized, but maybe I was reading too much into it.

    I found the grandfather character to be the Asian equivalent of the magical negro or noble savage tropes and thus didn’t really find his admonition at the end redeeming of the racism at all.

  2. Chris mosher says:

    Merry Christmas Faculty crew. I have wrapped presents every year well watching a double feature of Gremlins and Die Hard for well over the past decade. So I am firmly in camp Gremlins.

    I have always enjoyed the literal deconstruction of the percieved perfection of the 1950s Frank Capraesque small town. I have always felt that the Gremlins had gleefully punk feel to their destruction of the town.

  3. Great work, professors, to bring some perspective to the messiness I always found to the original, where it can be tough to sort out how to feel about the Gremlin antics at times–taking out some of the mean characters feels deserved, but the creatures are quite villainous too. I like the idea of a kind of consumer chaos, or even maybe a cultural appropriation backlash to it all. That element of the movie could have also come from the duel of masters–the clash of Spielberg/Dante hands in the pot.

  4. Christine says:

    Don’t feel bad about Gizmo losing out on a marketing opportunity with Furbies. Tiger made an officially-licensed Gizmo Furby as well as ET and Yoda. I’m sure lots of money was made for both companies involved.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furby#Furby_Friends

    Also, this movie scared the shit out of my sister when we were little. Even just mentioning the word “gremlin” would cause her to burst into tears and screams. In high school, I bought myself Gizmo pajama bottoms to wear around the house because his image still gave her the shivers. I think/hope she’s gotten over this fear in her adulthood.

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